Kenneth I. ‘Irv’ Tharp – Services 9/14/23

Kenneth I. “Irv” Tharp, 76 of Oquawka, Illinois, passed away at 6:10 a.m., Sunday, September 10, 2023, at his residence. A funeral service for Mr. Tharp is planned for 11 a.m., Thursday, September 14, at the Keithsburg Christian Church in Keithsburg, Illinois. His family plans to receive friends from 10 to 11 a.m. prior to the service at the Church. Interment will follow at Greenmound Cemetery in Keithsburg, Illinois. A memorial fund is being established for the Keithsburg Christian Church. For more information, or to leave a remembrance of Irv, please visit

He was born April 23, 1947, in Muscatine, Iowa, the son of Kenneth S. and Eva (Kenney) Tharp. Irv was raised and educated in the New Boston and Keithsburg area schools. On September 11, 1965, he married Elaine Kay Link at the Rosetta Baptist Church and she is surviving.

Irv was the owner of Tharp Construction and Tharp Brothers Directional Boring. He retired in 1998. He enjoyed hunting, harvesting coon, deer, elk, bear, and mountain lion; fishing; and travel, and had an affinity for collecting BB guns. Irv was a great lover of the outdoors. In his younger days, he traveled to Florida where he was a commercial fisherman. Irv enjoyed his custom built fishing boat, adding to his passion of fishing. More than anything, he loved to eat catfish and smoke his catch. Irv’s family stressed that he enjoyed Sunday dinners with his family: kids, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and there was always enough food to feed anyone that came over. He was a longtime member of the Oquawka Eagles Club. Irv was also a member of the Keithsburg Christian Church.

Irv is survived by his wife, Elaine Kay Tharp of Oquawka; one daughter, Laurie (Randy) Short of Oquawka; two sons, Kenneth (Mary) Tharp of New Boston, Illinois, and Ronald (Darci) Tharp of Kirkwood, Illinois; grandchildren, Abby, Randi Lynn, Roxanne, Erica, Mallory, and Miranda; and his great-grandchildren, Bella, Rileigh, Reyna, Renlee, Braylee, Cooper, and Hank. He is also survived by one sister, Doris Whitesell of Rock Island, Illinois, and one brother, Roger (Linda) Tharp of Aledo, Illinois. Irv is preceded in death by one granddaughter, Marissa Tharp; his parents; sisters, Dorothy Harader, Ester Gibbs, Mary Gilmore, and Marna Stewart; and brothers, Lyle, Jim, Frank, and Marvin Tharp.