The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Meet Your Neighbor


Meet your neighbor Stronghurst Mayor Gary Root. Gary was born in Macomb and raised in the Raritan area.

His parents are Lavern Root (deceased) and Mary Root Short of Alamo, Texas.

Gary graduated in 1972 from Southern High School in Stronghurst. During school he worked for his father at the Raritan Feed Mill and part time for area farmers.

After graduation he worked for his father-in-law, Robert Cole, building houses. Later he worked for J. I. Case in Burlington, IA.

In 1981 he moved his family to Texas where he continued to build houses for 7 years and then decided to relocate back to Illinois where he worked in the Chicago Carpenter's Union for 15 years.

He started his own construction business, G & R Builders, Inc., and still runs it today.

He married Janet Cole in 1972. They own and operate Kone Korner in Stronghurst. Janet runs it and they employ Sherri Lant, Deborah Beam and Kaitlyn Lant.

Gary and Janet have two children, Kimberly Root Doornbos and Robert Root. Kim lives in New Berlin, WI and has one son Adam Doornbos, age 15. She works at Mayfair Rent a Car in Milwaukee, WI. Robert lives in Stronghurst and is married to Melissa Spiker Root. Together they have 7 children: Traven Root, 20; Tyler Root, 19; Taren Root, 16; Talon Root, 13; Austin Spiker, 19; Kendra Spiker, 17 and Marissa Spiker, 7.

Tyler Root is married to Jamie Bundy Root and they have 2 children, Jaxson, 2, and Bella, 6 months.

Robert works with his father in the carpentry business.

Gary has three brothers and one sister: Danny Root of Sciota, David Root (Melissa) of Monmouth, Jerry Root of Muscatine, IA and Sherri Lant of Media.

Gary and Janet like traveling to new areas and revisiting places they have already seen. They also winter in Alamo, TX.

In a couple years, Gary plans to retire in a couple years, do a little traveling and enjoy his family and his life.