Cover photo for Gary Brent Willgues's Obituary
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Gary Brent Willgues

October 23, 1947 — December 23, 2022

Gary Brent Willgues

Gary Brent Willgues was born in Akron, Ohio on October 23, 1947. On December 23, 2022 he passed into his next journey to be joined with his darling wife Shirley while peacefully asleep in his own bed. His passing was accompanied by Christmas music playing nearby. 

He is preceded in death by his beloved wife of 47 years - Shirley Gaye Willgues, and his cherished mother, Geraldine Willgues. Surviving him are immediate family - his only child, daughter Jennifer Lynn Willgues, her wife Tara, and his two adult grandsons, Emory and Kai. His memory is also esteemed by his brother Kent, nephew Kent Jr., and sisters-in-law and their spouses Sheila, Helen (Scott), Janice (Edward) and brother-in-law Ronald. 

Gary greatly enjoyed traveling with his wife and family, and had many hobbies and interests throughout his life. He enjoyed collecting vehicles, listening to and playing music, and exploring photography. His beloved pets also preceded him in death, most recently by Bubba, a stray Lhasa Apso that he doted on. 

He was a Vietnam Vet, and his military career  spanned several decades before his retirement from the Air Force as a Senior Staff Sergeant in 1997. His private career as a mechanical engineer saw him at companies as varied as Signetics, McNally Steel, and Peterson Automotive before his civil retirement in 2007. He retained many friends from his time in both the military and from those he worked with. 

Gary left strict instructions for his passing, including that no service be held, and that his favorite poem be printed in this obituary. Those wishing to honor him are requested to make a donation in his name to the Best Friends Animal Society. 

Mr. Robert Noel Test wrote this in an effort to encourage organ donation. It was first published in the Cincinnati Post in 1976. 

To Remember Me, By Robert Noel Test

The day will come when my body will lie upon a white sheet neatly tucked under four corners of a mattress located in a hospital busily occupied with the living and the dying.

At a certain moment a doctor will determine that my brain has ceased to function and that, for all intents and purposes, my life has stopped.

When that happens, do not attempt to instill artificial life into my body by the use of a machine. And don't call this my deathbed. Let it be called the Bed of Life, and let my body be taken from it to help others lead fuller lives.

Give my sight to a man who has never seen a sunrise, a baby's face or love in the eyes of a woman.

Give my heart to a person whose own heart has pain.

Give my blood to the teenager who was pulled from the wreckage of his car, so that he might live to see his grandchildren play.

Give my kidneys to one who depends on a machine to exist from week to week.

Take my bones, every muscle, every fiber and nerve in my body and find a way to make a crippled child walk.

Explore every corner of my brain.

Take my cells, if necessary, and let them grow so that, someday, a speechless boy will shout at the crack of a bat and a deaf girl will hear the sound of rain against her windows.

Burn what is left of me and scatter the ashes to the winds to help the flowers grow.

If you must bury something, let it be my faults, my weaknesses and all my prejudice against my fellow man.

Give my sins to the devil. Give my soul to God. If, by chance, you wish to remember me, do it with a kind deed or word to someone who needs you.

If you do all I have asked, I will live forever.

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