John Thomas “Tom” England, 80, of Knoxville, passed away on Wednesday, February 10, 2021,6:05 PM, at OSF St. Mary Medical Center, Galesburg.
Tom was born on April 12, 1940 in Galesburg. He was the son of Herman and Dorothy (Davis) England. He married Lois Jane Smart of Homewood, Illinois on August 17, 1963. She survives, along with a daughter, Elizabeth Ann England of Plymouth, Minnesota, and a sister Susan (John) Wozny of Hawthorne Woods, Illinois; brother-in-law, John (Polly) Smart of Champaign, Illinois; and four nephews, Jerry Hinck, Paul Hinck, Shay Smart and Paul Wozny. Tom was preceded in death by his parents, a sister, Janet Marie Hinck.
Tom graduated from Knoxville High School in 1958 and Eureka College in 1963. He served two years in the US Army, the last year in Vietnam. He worked six years for Pekin Insurance as a field manager and traveled the ten county area around Galesburg. In 1974, he resigned from Pekin Insurance and went into business with his father at Lacy-England Agency in Knoxville. He also sold real estate for five years for Wilson-Hannam Realty. He owned and operated Lacy-England Agency Inc. for twenty-three years before retiring and selling his business in 1997.
Rotary was an important part of Tom’s life. He joined the Knoxville Rotary Club in 1975 and then the Galesburg Rotary Club in 1978. He served as President in 1994-95. He was a Paul Harris Fellow, a member of the Paul Harris Society, recipient of the Clarendon E. Van Norman Service Award, and the first recipient of the Max Goodsill Award. He was a donor and major benefactor to the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International as well as a major donor to the Galesburg Rotary Club Foundation. When the Galesburg Club started their own foundation in 2006, Tom endowed a plan that would provide funds to help pay for the exchange students ski trips. His endowment would also provide funding to the Knoxville High School Project Graduation and other worthy K.H.S. Programs.
In the spring of 2015, Tom was one of the original organizers of the newly formed Knoxville Community Fund and served on the advisory board. He was a major donor and benefactor to this cause and helped to grow this fund from $25,000 to $300,000 in five years.
Until the last few years of his life, Tom enjoyed golfing at Lake Bracken Country Club and fly fishing for trout.
Due to COVID-19 a private graveside service will be held at the Knoxville Cemetery. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Hurd-Hendrick’s Funeral Homes and Crematory, Knoxville have been entrusted with arrangements. Memorials may be made to the Galesburg Rotary Club Foundation or to the Galesburg Community Foundation for the Knoxville Community Fund. Online condolences may be left to the family at www.hurd-hendricksfuneralhome.com.