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Gary Dean Eilers
August 7, 1942 ~ November 27, 2023 (age 81) 81 Years Old
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Gary Dean Eilers, 81, of Keokuk, passed away on Monday, November 27, 2023, at Blessing Hospital in Quincy, Illinois.
Gary was born on August 7th, 1942, in Quincy, Illinois, the son of Arnold “Capp” and Darleen (Ehman) Eilers. He was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church on August 30, 1942, in Golden, Illinois, and was confirmed there on March 25, 1956. He attended grade school in La Prairie, Illinois, and graduated from Central High School in Camp Point, Illinois, on May 27, 1960. He was active in school sports and received the student of the year award.
After graduation, Gary worked with his father at the family’s farming operation. In November of 1961, he joined the United States Army, serving for six years in active duty and the Army reserves, receiving his honorable discharge on October 31, 1967. On December 27, 1975, he was united in marriage to Donna Jean (Fecht) Marshall of Keokuk, Iowa, welcoming her children Greg and Sherri.
In April of 1977, Gary started working for Great River Gas Company, which later merged with United Cities Gas Company, which later merged with Atmos Energy Gas Company. He was a leakage and corrosion specialist and also a qualified pipeline welder. He retired from Atmos Energy with thirty-three years of service. On January 2, 1980, he started a part-time job at his home church of First Lutheran in Keokuk, Iowa, as custodian. He held this position for forty years, retiring on December 31, 2021. He remained an active member of First Lutheran Church.
Gary took so much pride in his grandchildren. When they were younger, he spent every weekend playing their pretend games and teaching them how to play cards. He was notorious for his yearly Easter egg hunts for the grandkids that typically ended with some missing eggs found later that year. As they got older, he enjoyed sharing his love for baseball with them while playing pitch and catch in the backyard and could always be found supporting them at their sporting events; Kaelie with her softball pitching and in high school, her pom-pom routines; Megan playing volleyball and softball and Siearra playing softball and running cross-country. He was their biggest fan. Gary also loved visiting his family in Florida and spending time with his grandchildren, Logan and Crystal, while he was there. He never missed a chance to brag about all of his grandchildren to anyone who would listen. Most recently, a great grandbaby filled his heart and brightened his days and conversations even more.
Gary loved being outdoors. He took pride in the appearance of his yard, being particular about how it was mowed. He enjoyed planting flowers and tomatoes in his garden as well. His daily walk outdoors was very important to him, but when the weather got bad, he could also be found walking, but more so people watching, at the local mall. He looked forward to the fellowship of his group of friends on Friday nights, as they shared a meal and played cards together weekly.
Gary is survived by his wife Donna Eilers of Keokuk; his daughters Amy Eilers of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Sherri (Tim) Whiston of Palmyra, Missouri; his son Greg (Teresa) Marshall of Winter Garden, Florida; five grandchildren: Logan Marshall, Kaelie (Max) Venvertloh, Megan Harvey, Siearra Harvey and Crystal Marshall; his great-grandson Ford Venvertloh; his sister Betty (Gary) Kaneshiro of Atlanta, Georgia; and two nephews: Brent and Todd Kaneshiro.
Gary is preceded in death by his parents, his brother Kenny Eilers and his nephew Shaun Kaneshiro.
Funeral services will be held at 10 am on Saturday, December 2, 2023, at First Lutheran Church of Keokuk, with burial to Follow at Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Basco, Illinois. Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 pm on Friday, December 1, 2023, at DeJong-Greaves-Printy Funeral Home in Keokuk.
Memorials may be made to First Lutheran Church in Keokuk.