Jack D. Trager, age 81, of Greenville, passed away Sunday, June 14 at St. Luke’s Hospital in St. Louis. Funeral services for 81 year old Jack D. Trager will be Monday, June 22 at 10:30 a.m. at the Greenville Free Methodist Church. Friends may call Sunday from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the church. Memorials are suggested to the Free Methodist Church or Greenville College. The Donnell-Wiegand Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Jack Dean Trager was born to Harold C. Trager and Opal P. (Huls) on July 9,1933 in Topeka, Kansas. He grew up in Wichita, was baptized on April 2, 1950, met Patricia Lavonne Osteen at Central College in McPherson and married her in Stillwater, Oklahoma on August 20, 1955. Jack coached at four different schools in the Kansas area from 1955-67, and then moved with Pat to St. Paul, Minnesota, where Jack served as head baseball, basketball, and golf coach at Bethel College (University). The family moved to Greenville, Illinois in 1976, where Jack served Greenville College as head coach of men’s basketball and golf as well as athletic director until he retired in 1996. Greenville College proved to be fertile soil for Jack’s faith in Christ. His Greenville family nurtured and sustained him in his friendship with God. In retirement, Jack remained active as a coach and mentor and served as an area representative for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes from 1996-2015. Jack was the consummate coach and mentor. He remained active in the lives of students and players from his past and present, always looking to the future. Even during what would be his last weeks of life, Coach T was planning new lessons for discipleship. Since his arrival at Greenville College, there has not been a class of students that hasn’t experienced the impact of Coach T’s wisdom and challenge to love Jesus. Coach T was therefore not a typical coach. He cared more about the character and faith of his players off the court than in competition. He regularly gave of himself, his time, and his resources to care for those he came to call his friends. Trager’s friends spanned across generations and he was deeply loved and admired by friends and family alike. Jack was a beloved husband and father. His marriage to Pat of 59 years was one of dedicated devotion. Jack delighted in Pat, and it was clear to his family and friends that she was the love of his life. Jack’s children — Kim, Ken, and Karla — found in Jack not only a dependable and loving father, but also a trusted and playful friend. Jack showed his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren how to love courageously and without fear. And most of all, Papa T showed us how to love Jesus. Jack was first and foremost a disciple of Jesus Christ. His thirst and hunger for God’s word and presence in his life was obvious and contagious. Whether he had heard a recent sermon or read a new article or reflected on a fresh passage of scripture, he freely and passionately shared it with everyone with whom he came into contact. Jack Trager died on June 14, 2015 at 6:11 pm. He was a friend of God, and we will miss him deeply. Jack is survived by his wife Pat; three children: Kim (Jeff) Zitzloff, Kenneth (Sally) Trager, and Karla (Kurt) Conard; seven grandchildren: Nicole (Doug) Rangel, Michelle (Ben) Wayman, Scott (Laura) Zitzloff, Kenneth (Haley) Trager, Katelyn Trager, Trager and Mitchell Conard; and six great-grandchildren: Madeleine and Isaac Rangel; Caden, Cole, and Connor Wayman; and Jay Zitzloff.
Donnell-Wiegand Funeral Home
203 W Oak St
Greenville, IL 62246