Gary Wayne Wickre was born March 22,1944, in Mt. Clemons, Michigan to Julian and Eleanor (Christopherson) Wickre. The second child of six, he cherished family and took the role of big brother seriously. When he was very young they moved to South Dakota near relatives and he spent fun times on the farm working and playing baseball. He attended high school in Mankato, Minnesota mostly, but graduated from Dubuque Sr. in Iowa after moving with his family. He then joined the Army and was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division and served his country with great commitment. After his service he settled in Belvidere, Illinois and worked at the Chrysler Assembly Plant. He was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, and on November 2,1988 he married Becky Bleakley. He loved to travel together as they served others through the American Legion. He was a life member of American Legion Post 205 of Capron, Illinois. He served many roles throughout his service including 12th District Commander, 2nd Division Commander, and many other roles involving helping the community. He lived as a leader in all things he did, including a passion of sending young men to experience the tradition of Boys’ State. He was a member of Anavicus and the Egyptian Past Commander’s Club. He valued fellowship and service and was a craftsman at heart, designing and building his own home, among other projects, especially cabinetry. He loved gardening and was a life member of the Boone County Garden Club. He was always at-the -ready to lend a hand to anyone and everyone in need. He was a Mr. Fix-it, as well as a talented singer and guitar player. He often shared his gift with family members at special times. His legacy of wise wit, gentle humor, compassionate heart, and hard work ethic will continue through his children and grandchildren. Gary moved to HQ, God’s Army on April 26, 2022 holding Becky’s hand, and is now in his Heavenly Quarters.
Those left to cherish him are his wife, Becky, of almost 34 years, who cared for him with amazing patience. His 4 children, 12 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren: Daughter, Annette (Ken) Brown of Des Moines, Iowa, and their children-Katie & Bryon Coen and their four children-Neveah, Walker, Harry, and Alucard; grandchildren, Jacob Brown and Tiffany Brown; son, Thomas (Patti) Wickre MSgt, USAF, Retired of Alamogordo, New Mexico and their children- Tim Wickre MMN3, USN, Tami and Dewey Huffmon, Abby Wickre, and Brooke Wickre; daughter, Christi Wickre of West DesMoines, Iowa and her children, Ellie and Jaiden Cole; and daughter, Bethany-Buffy (Joe) Tangen of Pella, Iowa and their children-Thomas, Tabetha, and Theodore; and his siblings and their families: Shirley, Jayne, Daryl, Jackie, and Jeff, all of whom he loved dearly.
Memorials in Gary’s honor can be gifted to Immanuel Lutheran Church or to the family. Visitation will be held at Immanuel Lutheran Church on May 3rd at 9:00 a.m, with the memorial service to follow at 11:00 a.m. Burial will ensue at a later date at Rock Island National Cemetery.