David Empke


David R. Empke, 66, a resident of Rock Island, Ill., died Sunday, March 21, 2010 peacefully at his home following a lengthy illness.

Funeral services and a Mass of Christian Burial will be at noon on Saturday, March 27, 2010 at St. Ann’s Catholic Church, Long Grove. Burial will be in St. Ann’s Cemetery. Visitation is Saturday from 10 a.m. until Mass time at St. Ann’s.

Memorials may be made to NAMI (National Association for the Mentally Ill) or to a fund for his two sons.

David Richar Empke was born Nov. 7, 1943 in Rock Island, Ill., a son of William and Carmen (Cavanaugh) Empke. Dave served our country in the National Guard. David attended Brophy Prep High School, Phoenix, Ariz. He graduated from Blackhawk College and received his M.S. in counseling from Eastern Illinois University. David was a teacher and counselor in several schools throughout his career.


Dave was united in marriage to Sheryl “Sherri” Hughes on July 9, 1983. From this union came three sons: Billy Jonathon born July, 1984, Joseph David born July 8, 1986, and Sean Teddy born March 15, 1988. David was very proud of his sons.

Prior to his illness, Dave was an active member of St. Ann’s Parish for many years serving as a Eucharistic minister, participating in CEW and the religious education program. He enjoyed family vacations, racing bikes and cars with his sons, music and collecting Lionell trains.

Following a bipolar diagnosis, without medicine or treatment his medical condition worsened gradually until he was unable to care for himself. Thus, began a long journey for his family of loving each other “from afar,” doing what we could do to support a very caring man in a difficult situation.

Dave is survived by his loving wife Sherri, sons Joseph and Sean.

He was preceded in death by his son Billy Jonathon, his parents William and Carmen, and his stepfather Charles Zaleski. May they rest in peace.

Online remembrances and condolences may be expressed by visiting David’s obituary at www.hmdfuneralhome.com.

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