Return to Class of 1956

Gary Shilling09/18/2022
Gary Lloyd Shilling, 83, passed away September 18, 2022, at the Pella Comfort House in Pella, Iowa.

Throughout Gary’s life, he enjoyed hunting and fishing, playing pool as his passion, maintaining his yard to picture-perfect perfection, doing bonfire cookouts, and having holiday dinners with family.

Gary was born on the family farm in Knoxville, Iowa on December 8, 1938. He was the 2nd of 5 children born to Thurlene (Agan) and Raymond Shilling. He has an older sister, Nancy, and 3 younger brothers, Dick, Donnie, and Tom.

Gary attended Liberty country school in his younger days and then onto Knoxville High school, where he played football. In addition to helping his dad with the chores, he had also participated in the Lucky Lads and Lasses 4H club, where he showed Brown Swiss cows. Two of which were named Betty Lou and May Bell.

After high school, he joined the Air Force and was stationed at Luke’s Air Force base in Glendale, Arizona from 1956 to 1960. After his stint in the Air Force, he moved back to Iowa to the family farm, where again he helped his dad with the farm chores.

During this time, he also worked on the construction of the new dam that was being built across the Des Moines River. But the itch to move onto other callings took him to long-haul trucking. So, he ended up being a long-haul driver for Ace Lines out of Des Moines.

Eventually, Ace Lines became Highway Carriers Inc, and he became their Operations Manager. This is where he spent the remainder of his career until his retirement.

Retirement brought him back to his hometown of Knoxville, where he built the house that was to be his retirement home.

At this time, he met and married Judy Weldon, and they spent the remainder of her life together. During their time together they vacation in various places, two of which were Washington state and South Dakota.

After Judy’s passing, Gary spent the remainder of his years as a bachelor, having backyard bonfires, hosting family holiday dinners, and playing pool with anyone and everyone who wanted to play. And once bored with retirement, returned to truck driving for Brooks Trucking and then for Rich Goff. After some health issues, he finally retired for good.

Gary’s occupations over his lifetime consisted of farming, his military service, construction of the dam over the Des Moines River, long-haul trucking, and ending with the operations manager.

Due to his last health issues, he finally sold his retirement home and moved to Independence Village in Pella, Iowa. Due to continuing health issues, this was the final chapter in a long life lived to his fullest.

Gary is preceded in death by his wife Judy, his parents Thurlene (Agan) and Raymond Shilling, his sons Cory Lloyd and Rodney Lloyd, his granddaughter Chrystie, his son-n-law Kevin, his sister Nancy, and brother Dick.
Gary Shilling
Gary is survived by his daughters Rhonda (Don) and Sherri (Brent), granddaughters Angie, Mandy (Anthony), and Andie (Nick), great-grandchildren Joe, Isaiah, Claire, Eli, and Grace, his brothers Don (Linda) and Tom (Sue), and their families, and many nieces and nephews.

Also, very special to Gary is Steven Null and his family. (Vanessa, Aiden, Steven Jr., Dallas & Kwan)

A memorial service for Gary will be held on Saturday, October 1, 2022, at the Knoxville Armory at 11:00 A.M. Immediately after his service, military honors will be held.

Following services, a luncheon will take place, also at the Armory. A private burial will be held at Gosport Cemetery