John Jelks Jr. was a proud father. He always pushed his four children to live up to their potential, his daughter Crystal Jelks said.
“He made you want to do your best and he made you want to excel,” she said. “You would always try your hardest and you would always do your best.”
John Jelks Jr., 65, of Gary, died Nov. 26. He spent 28 years working at the Gary Police Department before retiring as a sergeant in February 2012, Crystal Jelks said.
“He always had passion for helping people,” she said. “I think this was his way of being able to give back and assist people. He was always the person that stood up for what was right.”
Born in Chattanooga, Tenn., Jelks grew up in East Chicago and graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1966. Following graduation he served in the Army during the Vietnam War. He attended the police academy in 1984.
After retirement, Jelks could be found on the golf course enjoying a new hobby and sporting a casual outfit completed with one of his favorite golf hats.
He also enjoyed spending time with his family, especially his granddaughter, Destiny Jelks, 13, of Indianapolis.
“They would always have lunch at Red Lobster,” Crystal Jelks said. “That was their favorite thing to do together. It was always a trip to some store to get something that she wanted followed by a trip to Red Lobster.”
John Jelks was good at making his family feel loved. He is survived by his wife, Phyllis Jelks, four children and his granddaughter.
“You felt like you were No. 1 with him all the time,” Crystal Jelks said. “He didn’t have to go out of his way to make you feel special on certain occasions because he made you feel special all the time.”