Gary Wayne Fansler


With heavy hearts, we bid farewell to Gary Wayne Fansler, who passed away on May 8, 2024, at 8:05pm in Quincy, Illinois at his home surrounded by loved ones for his final breath. He succumbed from multiple health conditions and the most challenging being cardiomyopathy. He was born June 13, 1954 in Shelbyville, Indiana to parents Wayne Ernest Fansler and Norma Grubb. Gary was more than just a carpenter by trade; he was an artist whose passion for woodworking, landscaping, gardening, Model A restoration, and in his younger years caving, spelunking, European motorcycles, bicycling, hiking, and the outdoors illuminated his life.

After graduating in the class of 1972 from Northfield High School in Wabash, Indiana, Gary opted to enlist into the Army, before he could be forcibly drafted. He served from 1973 – 1974 and was stationed in Neu Ulm, Germany as a Private Second Class MP. He had many stories of his side hustles while on base that entertained many with his vivid tales. After being honorably discharged he took up his education at Gem City College in 1974 where he studied Horology and Jewelry Design. During his college years he was a fixture in the Quincy party and live music scene.

It is around this time he met the love of his life and in 1975 he married Sue Ann Lehenbauer of Palmyra, Missouri. Sue and Gary had two children, Brock Evan Wayne in 1982 and Hayley Elizabeth in 1986. Through-out his career he worked for various local businesses including Farm & Home, Knapheide, and ultimately Kirlin’s for over 32 years until retirement in 2017. He was especially proud of his work at Kirlin’s, where he was nicknamed ‘Critter’, to build them to their height of over 120 stores and making many life-long friends.

Gary was a long-term cancer survivor who overcame a high mortality lymph node cancer when he was 43. In his treatments he faced many hurdles from partial loss of speech, a decreased immune system, and later the need for a feeding tube but always faced challenges with grit and determination. Though he braved it for many years, the lingering effects of the treatment took a toll on his overall health over the years.

Gary leaves behind a legacy of love and memories cherished by his surviving family members: His wife of 48 years Sue Ann Fansler (née Lehebauer); son Brock Fansler and spouse Eva Aguila Fansler of Los Angeles, California; daughter Hayley Elizabeth Fansler of Quincy, Illinois; oldest sister Carol Burbank and her daughter Corine Burbank of Tucson, Arizona; Karen Yeager and husband George Yeager, her daughter Layla Fansler Conn, her grand-daughters Alana Keller and Dezahnae Fansler of Westport, Washington. It would be remiss to not mention his companion schnauzer dogs Winnie and Lovey who loyally stayed by his side during his passing.

He was preceded in death by his mother and father Norma Fansler (née Grubb) and Wayne Fansler, leaving a void in the hearts of those who knew him.

In honoring Gary’s legacy, a celebration of his life will be held next month around his birthday in Quincy, Illinois, allowing friends and family to come together and reminisce about the joy he brought to their lives. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that memorials be made to the Quincy Humane Society and Blessing Hospice, causes close to Gary’s heart.

Though Gary may no longer be with us in person, his spirit will forever live on in the hearts of those who were fortunate enough to know him.

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