Gary Wayne "Hershel" Wilburn, 61, of Tucson, Ariz., formerly of Belleville, Ill., passed away Monday, July 11, 2016, after a brief battle of a rare cancer. He was surrounded by his loving family.
Gary was born Oct. 30, 1954, in East St. Louis, Ill., to Joan, nee Evans, Wilburn and Melvin Wren Wilburn.
Gary was an avid golfer, tennis player and all-around great athlete. He brought passion to all he did; whether loving his girls, entertaining, cooking, home remodeling, playing tennis, or "tormenting" you while making you laugh until your sides hurt. He always filled the room with laughter and brought a smile to everyone's face. He had a zest for life and had a way to make everyone feel special and he never met a stranger. He was all about memories and spreading joy.
Gary is survived by his beautiful, caring daughters, Lyndsey Rose Wilburn and Ashley Marie Wilburn both of San Diego, Calif.; by his caring mother, Joan Wilburn; siblings, Steven Wilburn (Margaret) of New Port Beach, Calif., Sally Holman (James) of Glen Ellyn, Ill., Michael Wilburn (Kelli) of Cedarburg, Wis., David Wilburn (Melissa) of Tucson, Ariz., Keith Wilburn (Carol) of Tucson, Ariz., Janet Wilburn Walker (Gina) of Greenfield, Ind., Sandy Wuller (Bill) of Swansea, Ill.; and Valorie Finck, mother of his daughters. He is also survived by many dear nieces and nephews who were one of his greatest joys. He was a "fun" uncle and taught each one of them his ability to remain positive through difficult times and remember not to sweat the small stuff. He leaves behind many dear friends and "cousins by the dozens."
Gary was preceded in death by a sister, Mary Wilburn, in infancy; his father, Melvin Wilburn; and his beautiful baby sister, Robin Lynn Wells.
Funeral: A Funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 23, 2016, at St. Henry's Catholic Church in Belleville, Ill., followed by a celebration of life at noon at Shenanigan's Restaurant, 6401 West Main St., Belleville, Ill.
Published in Belleville News-Democrat on July 17, 2016