Gilbert “Gib” J. Boester passed away on Monday, October 08, 2018 at 4:15 am. Gib was the fifth of six children, born June 17, 1925, on a farm east of Marion to August and Sophia Boester and was a life-long member of Zion United Church of Christ.
He attended Marion schools and with the Second World War raging, was drafted into the US Army when he turned 18, prior to his graduation from high school. Gib served in the 160th Infantry Regiment, 40th Infantry Division in the Southwest Pacific Theater of operations rising to Staff Sergeant and acting platoon sergeant in a rifle company. He earned a Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with three battle stars, Philippine Liberations Medal with a battle star, a Good Conduct Medal, and a Combat Infantryman Badge in 18+ months overseas. The end of the war brought Occupation Duty in Korea until his return home on December 27, 1945. He married Betty Henry on May 4, 1951 and they went on to have three sons and one daughter. He became a carpenter and served in various executive positions in the Carpenter’s Union until his retirement in 1987 and receiving his 50-year Carpenter pin. He remained busy helping family and friends with construction projects into his late 80s when he decided it was time to relax.
Additionally, he worked tirelessly in his efforts to bring municipal water to the rural areas of east Marion, serving on the Coal Valley Water District Board in its initial stages, and helped recruit the needed number of households to make the project feasible.
He is survived by his wife of 67 years Betty and their children Gerry (Pam), Danny (Ruth), Valerie Camden (Doug) and Russell (Kristi) along with their families consisting of eight grandchildren – Amber Eldridge (Shawn), Mandy Hughes, Ted Boester (Jen), Toni Strait (Steve), Adam Boester (Anh), Matthew Camden, Zach Camden, Justin Boester and eight great grandchildren – Elizabeth Eldridge, Allison Eldridge, Kennedy Boester, Jacob Boester, Rowan Boester, Eden Strait, Kyle Hughes and Ava Hughes.
He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings, Walter, Lorene Mayer, Pauline Pulley, Irvin (KIA 1945 on Okinawa) and August.
Funeral services will be Thursday at 1 pm at Zion United Church of Christ with Pastor John Holst officiating. Burial will follow in Davis Prairie Cemetery. Military rites will be presented by members of the Marion Post #1301 VFW, American Legion Post #147 and National Guard Flag Detail Unit. Visitation will be Thursday from 11 am until the time of service at the church. Mitchell-Hughes Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
For those who prefer memorials may be made to the Zion United Church of Christ or charity of your choice. Envelopes will be available and accepted the day of the service at the church or by mail to Mitchell-Hughes Funeral Home, 800 North Market Street, Marion, Illinois 62959.