VeteranRobert Gillenwater

Robert GillenwaterRobert E. Gillenwater, 85, of Rushville, formerly of Beardstown and Jerseyville, died at 12:12 a.m. April 14, 2014, at his home.

He was born Sept. 23, 1928, in Macomb, a son of Earl and Della Warrington Gillenwater. He married Mary Lou Keeney on May 28, 1950, in Rushville. She survives.

Also surviving are three sons, Steven Robert (and Linda) Gillenwater and Stace Jon (and Wanda) Gillenwater, both of Cortez, Colo., and Scott (and special friend Shannon Thatcher) Gillenwater of Plainfield, Ind.; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by two brothers, Kenneth and Virgil Gillenwater; and one sister, Lucille Poppenhager.

He graduated from Rushville High School in 1946 and joined the U.S. Navy. He was an aerial photographer in the Navy and photography became a lifelong hobby.

He took up woodworking and made furniture, clocks and toys.

He began his career with CIPS in 1951 as a tree trimmer in Canton. He became a lineman first working in Carthage before transferring to Pittsfield. In 1955, he moved to Beardstown as an engineer and 1980 he was transferred to Jerseyville as an operation supervisor, retiring in 1994 after 45 years with the company.

While in Beardstown, he served two terms as both an alderman for the city and also on Beardstown School Board. He became involved in Little League as a manager then as a coach. He established District 17 for Little League and was the only district administrator for 33 years. He continued with the organization for 37 years.

He has been a member of First United Methodist Church in each town he has lived. He also is a member of Beardstown Elks Lodge.

In 2005, he and his wife returned to Rushville, where he served as alderman.

Services will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday at Wood Funeral Home in Rushville with Reverend Bill Werner officiating. Visitation will be held Saturday from 2 p.m. until the time of the service at the funeral home.

Memorials may be made to Cass-Schuyler Area Hospice or Rushville Little League.

Condolences may be sent to


Published in the Astoria South Fulton Argus on 4/16/2014

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