Joseph H. Temple

July 16, 1919 ~ April 7, 2020 (age 100)


Joseph Hite Temple, age 100, of Ottawa, passed away Tuesday, April 7, 2020 at his residence with his loving family at his side.


In keeping with guidelines involving the worldwide pandemic, private graveside services will be held at West Serena Cemetery with the Rev. Rich Fassig officiating.   A public visitation and service will be held at a later date.  Gladfelter-Roetker Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.


Mr. Temple was born at Serena, Ill., July 16, 1919, to William and Maude (Hite) Temple. He married Dorothy Jane McEwing February 15, 1941, at Epworth United Methodist Church in Ottawa, she preceded him in death June 3, 2012.  He is survived by  two sons, Howard (Jill) Temple and Jim (Melinda) Temple of Serena; a daughter, Jane Novey of O’Fallon, Ill.; ten grandchildren, Duane, Karmella, James G., Jay, Jill and Torrey JeanTemple, Sara Hilgedieck, Troy Novey, Julie Pennock and Lynsey Custer; fifteen great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.  He was preceded in death by an infant grandson, Kirk Novey and a brother, Robert (Mercedes) Temple.


He was a member of Serena United Methodist Church, a charter member of Ottawa Garden Club, National Garden Writers Association, a seventy seven year member of Occidental Lodge #40 A.F. & A.M., Ottawa; LaSalle County Farm Bureau and NRA. He was a long time member of University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener program. In the 1950’s, he organized and served as co-leader of the Serena Juniors 4-H club. About the same time he organized and served as co-instructor of the Serena Junior Rifle Club, being certified by NRA in marksmanship and gun safety. In the 1960’s, he organized and served as Chief of the Serena Civil Defense Auxiliary Police to assist local law enforcement, under the supervision of LaSalle County Civil Defense Director, Philip J. Bailey. During his lifetime he spent twenty-five years at farm operations, thirteen years as photographer for International Harvester Company and eleven years as Coordinator of Emergency Service for the County of Grundy and City of Morris.  Following retirement he pursued horticultural interests, becoming a Master Gardener, served as Coordinator of LaSalle County master Gardeners. He has contributed hundreds of gardening articles for the Ottawa Times with his “Over the Garden Fence” weekly feature.


Honorary pallbearers will be David and Kent Butterfield, Terry and Kevin Thompson, Brad Temple and Michael Clinch.  Memorial contributions may be directed to Serena United Methodist Church, or the University of Illinois Extension, LaSalle Co. Unit.  

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