J.R. Tharp, 91, of Wanatah passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, July 12, 2023. He was born October 28, 1931, in Marion, KY to Alvin & Ilene (Wesmoland) Tharp, and served proudly with the U.S. Army’s 2nd Armored Division Engineer Battalion in Korea from 1952-54. J. R. made his career with U.S. Steel as a Team Leader in their Continuous Pickle Department for 38 years retiring in 1993. He was an avid and passionate hunter and fisherman who also loved his bluegrass gospel music. However, none of these other tempting endeavors ever challenged his love for the Lord which he nourished with longtime membership at LaCrosse Christian Church. To say that he loved his family would be to understate the genuine nature of caring that J. R. embraced with all members of his continuously expanding family.
On May 14, 1955, he married Martha Ann Newbell who survives along with their children; Sharon (David) Harness, Rick (Jackie) Tharp, James (Amy) Tharp, grandchildren; Kim Harness (Jason Wazny), Josh Tharp, Joey Tharp (Nicolette), Evan Tharp & Abby Tharp, and great-grandchildren; Tyler, Remmington, Beau & Charlotte. He was preceded in death by his parents and sisters; Evelyn Hardin & Blanche Herell.
A visitation will be held Monday from 3 – 7 pm at Wanatah Funeral Chapel, 309 N. Main St.  The funeral service will begin at 10:30 am Tuesday at the funeral home with burial following at Angelcrest Cemetery, Valparaiso. Memorial donations may be made to LaCrosse Christian Church.     

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