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Gary D. Whaley, 80, of Effingham, IL, former longtime Mt. Pleasant, IA businessman, died Friday, January 11, 2019, at his home.
Visitation will begin at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, January 18, 2019, at Olson-Powell Memorial Chapel, where the family will receive friends until 2:30 p.m. Funeral service will be immediately following at the Memorial Chapel with the Rev. Dave Anderson, officiating. Burial will be in Richwoods Cemetery. Gifts of love and friendship may be given to the First Baptist Church of Louisville, IL, or the First Baptist Church of Mt. Pleasant. Online condolences may be directed to www.olsonpowell.com
Born October 16, 1938, in Mt. Pleasant, Gary Dean was the son of Herman Russell and Lola Lucille (Parker) Whaley. He was a 1957 graduate of Mt. Pleasant Community High School and served in the Iowa National Guard. On June 10, 1960, Gary married Jean Marie Collett at the Open Bible Church in Mt. Pleasant.
While still in high school, Gary began his work career as a school bus driver. After graduation, Gary worked for Watkins Feed and Farm Supply. Later, he was employed by Harold Hawkins Shell Station for one year before he purchased the business and named it Gary’s Shell Station; which later became Whaley’s Sinclair Station. He owned and operated the service station from 1960 – 1994, and served as a volunteer fireman for the City of Mt. Pleasant for 20 years during this time period. When the Whaleys moved to Effingham, IL in 1994, Gary became the head maintenance man at Petro Truck Stop until 2004 when he retired.
Gary was a member and deacon of both the First Baptist Churches of Mt. Pleasant and Louisville, IL. He was also a member of the Mt. Pleasant Rotary Club. When he wasn’t on a wrecker call, at the station or work, Gary loved to work on cars and restore them. Gary enjoyed woodworking, playing pinochle and had a wonderful sense of humor. His greatest love was spending time with his family, particularly with his grandchildren which were pure joy to him.
Besides his beloved wife Jean, of 58 years, Gary is survived by three children, Cathy (Dave) Anderson of Marion, IL, Steve (Trudy) Whaley of Pekin, IL, and Tiffany (Pete) Balotti of Grand Prairie, TX; eleven grandchildren, Emily (Adam) Byrne, Haley Anderson, Shelby Anderson, Laura Whaley, Matthew (Danyelle) Whaley, Jessica Whaley, Liz (Jose) Quijada, Rachel Beirbrodt, Abby (Dan) Swartzlander, Perrin Balotti and Collette Balotti; and ten great grandchildren. Also surviving is a brother, Richard Whaley of Keokuk, IA; and twin sisters, Joyce Stevens of Mt. Pleasant, IA and Janice Sinclair of New London, IA.
Preceding in death were Gary’s parents and a sister, Patricia Richenberger.