Jerry William Knowles


Jerry William Knowles, “The Ice Cream Man”,87, of Galesburg, passed away peacefully on April 3, 2024, at 4:19 a.m. surrounded by his loving family.

Jerry was born September 15,1936 to John and Pearl (McMeins) Knowles of Huntsville, Illinois.

Jerry began working at National T grocery store stocking shelves. It was there that he met Nell Rose Adams while her father would deliver bread to the store. They married on December 24, 1954, and spent 51 years together raising their two children, Kenneth and Kay. Nell passed away on June 28, 2005.

After working at National T, he worked at Gale Products for 30 years. While working there, he ran a small business with Lloyd Whitsell sealing and striping parking lots for 25 years. After retiring, Jerry and Nell Knowles bought Kastle Kreme in 1977. Nell worked at the store and did the book work while Jerry managed the store alongside many wonderful workers. Jerry managed Kastle Kreme for 33 years and sold the business in 2010. The “Ice Cream Man”, as he was often called, was loved by many customers, coworkers, and neighbors. You would often see him in the parking lot talking to his friendly customers that he loved very much.

Jerry married longtime family friend Bonnie Whitehall of Orion, Illinois on June 19, 2013. They enjoyed attending shows and luncheons with many members of their church family. Bonnie survives in Galesburg, Illinois and resides at Seminary Estates.

Jerry is survived by son, Kenneth Knowles (Sherry) from Treynor, Iowa, daughter, Kay Knowles Beuttel (Steve) from Heyworth, Illinois. He is also survived by many wonderful grandchildren and great grandchildren which include Ryan Knowles, Lucas, and Molly from Treynor, Katie (Milton) Trabal and William from Treynor, Kimberly (Samuel) Brandenburg, Collin, Caden, Cohen from Monticello, Illinois, David (Kate) Beuttel, Adam and Griffin from Quincy, Illinois and two stepchildren, Bradley (Denise) Whitehall from Westborough, Massachusetts, and Elizabeth (Michael) Keirstead from Rochester, New York.

Jerry was a member of the Coldbrook Christian Church for over 50 years. There he served as a deacon, elder and a member of the maintenance committee along with many other committees.  

A big thank you to Bonnie Whitehall and his sisters, Kathy Price, and Betty Leahy, for taking care of him for many years during his time on dialysis. He will be greatly missed by many family members and friends.

Visitation will be held from 1:00-3:00 pm Sunday, April 7, 2024, at Hinchliff-Pearson-West Funeral Home and Cremation Services Galesburg Chapel. Funeral services will be at 4:00 pm Monday, April 8, 2024, at the chapel with Pastor Rick Warren and grandson Pastor David Beuttel officiating. Jerry will be laid to rest next to Nell in the Wataga Cemetery at 10:00 Tuesday. Memorials may be offered in Jerry’s name to the Coldbrook Christian Church. Online condolences may be made at

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