GALESBURG - Robert "Gene" Stewart, 85, of Galesburg passed away at 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, Dec 4, 2013, at Washington Christian Village in Washington, surrounded by his loving family.
Gene was born July 21, 1928, in Dahinda, Ill., to Robert and Lillian (Clark) Stewart. He married Doris Meline on April 17, 1949. She preceded him in death on Nov. 3, 1981. Gene married Betty Tousley on June 9, 1984, and she preceded him in death on Sept.19, 2002.
Gene was also preceded in death by his parents and four siblings, Mary (John) Alderson, Margaret (Bob) Hendricks, Edward (Mary) Stewart and Everett (Alice) Stewart.
Gene is survived by two brothers, David (Theresa) Stewart and Paul (Dorothy) Stewart. Gene and Doris are survived by three children, Robert (Terri) of Dunlap, Ralph (Lisa) of Peoria and Julie Penn of Washington. He is also survived by seven grandchildren, Craig, Beth, Kyle (Nicki), Michael, Patrick (Sarah), Christina and Emily; one stepgrandchild, Chrissy; and four great-grandchildren, Ellie, Connor, Julia and Jack. He is also survived by three stepsons with Betty, Randy, Troy and Donnie Tousley.
Gene worked at the John Deere Plow Planter Works in East Moline, Ill., for 37 years, where he was known as "Bob" by his work mates. Gene always worked spare jobs, either helping on the family farm or working with his friends conducting estate auctions.
After retiring from John Deere, he volunteered full time as the grounds and maintenance manager at the Knox County Fairgrounds. He made many friends on the fair board and his greatest joy was hosting his grandchildren on his golf cart at the fair and treating them to free carnival rides during fair week.
Gene was a life member of the Galesburg Elks Lodge, helping on many community projects and being voted Elk member of the year for his service projects and commitment to fundraising.
Gene had many hobbies, but he loved to fish for catfish; he and his fishing buddies from the Knoxville and Galesburg areas took trips several times a year. Gene's favorite times were the trips he made in later years to Rend Lake.
Gene was a devoted family man, giving unselfishly to all his family and friends. He was someone who people could always count on to pitch in and help in times of need.
Gene would want to have it known how much he loved and appreciated his daughter, Julie, and daughter-in-law, Terri, for the loving care they provided these last few years.
Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, at Hinchliff-Pearson-West Galesburg Chapel, with burial to follow in Oak Lawn Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be one hour before the service at the chapel.
Memorial gifts may be made to
Online condolences may be made at www.h-p-w.com.