Trooper Jerry Ellis grew up in the small western Illinois community of Colchester. He was working for ISP in the Chicago area when he was killed on March 30, 2019 in a head-on car crash.
Police said the other driver was under the influence and was traveling the wrong direction on Interstate 94.
Ellis had just finished his shift and was headed home to his wife Stacy and their two young daughters.
“He was a humble man. He was caring and wouldn’t harm a fly. He loved his girls,” said Stacy Ellis.
“Every second that you have with your loved one, take it because you never know when it’s going to be your last moment with someone. Be nice to everyone. Be kind.”
Ellis and her daughters traveled from northern Illinois to attend the dedication ceremony for Trooper Gerald “Jerry” Ellis Memorial Park. The small green space is located along Market Street on the former site of the Colchester Hotel in the downtown area.
“The park is beautiful. It’s someplace my kids can go and see how he was raised and where he was born, and the kind of people that live here,” said Stacy Ellis.
Illinois State Police District 14 Commander, Captain Jon Dively, told the crowd that gathered for the dedication ceremony that Jerry Ellis was a hero. “I truly believe the spirits of these heroes like Jerry live on forever,” he said.