MOUNT MORRIS – Jonas L. Fultz, 78, passed peacefully into the arms of Jesus and eternal life Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, at OSF Saint Anthony Hospital in Rockford, after a short, courageous battle with cancer.
Jonas was born Dec. 17, 1934, in a coal mining camp in the Cumberland Mountain community of Insull, Ky., the son of Monroe and Phoebe (Wilder) Fultz. He moved to Fairborn, Ohio, when he was 14 years old. Jonas graduated from Fairborn Baker High School in 1954, where he played football and developed his passion for auto repair. He attended Walters State University in Morristown, Tenn., and studied business administration and management.
Jonas married Joyce A. Shewsbury in 1955, in Indiana. She preceded him in death. Jonas married Linda McNeil on Dec. 30, 1978, in Fairborn.
His career spanned 39 years in the rotogravure printing industry, moving into supervision after completion of training programs. He worked for printing companies in Dayton and Springfield, Ohio, then moved to American Greetings Plus Mark in Greeneville, Tenn. Finally, he worked for Quebecor Printing Co. in Mount Morris, retiring in 1993. He then spent 6 years with Kable News Co. in Mount Morris, retiring in 1999. During this time, he continued to pursue his love of engine and transmission building and auto repair. He mentored many friends over the years in that skill. Jonas was an avid NASCAR fan, and was passionate about restoring and showing classic vehicles. He was an accomplished coordinator/promoter of classic car shows in the Ogle County area.
Jonas was an EMT for the Mount Morris Fire Department for several years in the 1990s. He was a member of Samuel H. Davis Lodge 96 in Mount Morris; a 32nd-degree member of the Freeport Consistory; and member of Tebala Shrine Temple in Rockford. Jonas ran a drag car for 15 years in NHRA, moving into round track racing in ASA and ARCA circuits.
Jonas is survived by his wife, Linda Fultz of Mount Morris; two daughters, Joan M. (Don) Strouth of Fairborn, and Ginger S. (Bill) Johnson of San Antonio; son, Jonas F. Fultz of Rockford; six grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; uncle, James Joe Wilder of Overland Park, Kan.; aunt, Elizabeth Wilder Green of Pineville, Ky.; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his first wife.
Jonas continuously sought ways to help others, and wished to continue that practice by donating his body to the NIU Medical Study. The memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Mount Morris Evangelical Free Church, with the Revs. Bruce McKanna and Herman Brown officiating. Fellowship time and a meal will be provided at the church following the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donors consider memorial contributions to Samuel H. Davis Lodge 96 and Let Freedom Ring in Mount Morris.