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Gary Clevers was surrounded by his family as he entered his Heavenly home on August 3, 2012. Gary was born October 2, 1952 in Sheboygan to the late Willard and Shirley (Gartzke) Clevers. He was united in marriage to Kathy O'Reilly on May 5, 1973.
Gary began his insurance career in 1973 in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Gary's passion to serve others and his community was evidenced with the beginning of his career. As a young Jaycee in Manitowoc in the mid-70's, he with a few others, started the Manitowoc/Two Rivers Coho Derby. He inspired local professional organizations to promote tourism to benefit the community. Gary established a free consulting service for seniors to explain their medical coverage options. The project grew to be nationally recognized and implemented.
Gary and Kathy moved to Green Bay in 1977. He established an independent insurance agency in 1984, Financial Life Cycles, an employee benefits consulting company which has served the Green Bay area for 28 years. He was a leader in working with and educating employers, employees and consumer groups about health care and insurance, providing them with the tools needed to become responsible health care consumers. In 1998, Gary and a partner established Informed Choice, an insurance consulting company for senior related products.
Gary was an active member of professional, business and civic organizations and his achievements included: State of Wisconsin Health Underwriters Association, past chair of the Ethics Committee; Co-founder of the Green Bay Healthcare Initiative, serving as communications and marketing coordinator; member of the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, Clevers developed a Healthcare Purchasing Coalition for Green Bay non-profit employers; Recipient of Families in Good Company Award; Recipient of the Green Bay Chamber's Special Accomplishment Award; Nominee for the Green Bay Chamber's Small Business Person of the Year Award; Nominee for Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Cornerstone Award. He was also the founding board president of the Angel Fund, serving children and families with juvenile onset cancer. Gary was instrumental in establishing and raising one million dollars for an endowment now housed at the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation.
Gary believed passionately to lead by example in his daily life. His legacy is one of Christian and community service. He was an active member of Peace Lutheran Church, serving on the Life and Growth and Strategic Planning committees. He served the Howard Suamico community. He established a community corporation with other neighbors - Suamico Citizens for Informed Decisions - to better educate voters on issues facing the community. One of his greatest enjoyments came from coaching youth sports - baseball, football and soccer - and received a plaque from parents, "To Coach Gary Clevers, who taught his players sportsmanship and knowledge of the game", that meant a great deal to him.
Gary was most proud of his children, Jared and Jenna, and their accomplishments; and his 39 year marriage to Kathy. He enjoyed spending quality time with his family and especially at their Kelly Lake cottage, "Kellybunkport". His interests included deer hunting, upland game hunting at Fox Ridge Game Farm with his springer spaniels and nature time on his hunting property in Florence. Gary took pride in a manicured lawn and being the handyman around the house and for others in need. Gary believed that "Good Health is True Wealth" and he exercised faithfully at the west side YMCA. He completed two marathons. Gary was an avid Packer fan and proud season ticket holder. He enjoyed touring on his Harley Davidson with his buddies and taking Kathy on corvette rides on warm summer nights.
Gary never retreated from a challenge; however, his fight against pancreatic cancer proved to be insurmountable even for him. His faith in God sustained him throughout his courageous battle. The family is grateful for all of the providers of medical care received during Gary's illness.
He is survived by his wife, Kathy; children, Jared and Jenna; brothers, Randall (Debby) Clevers, John (Donna) Clevers; mother-in-law, Grace O'Reilly; brothers-in-law, Gary (Marvene) O'Reilly, Dennis O'Reilly; uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his father and mother, grandparents and father-in-law, Roger O'Reilly.
Friends may call at Peace Lutheran Church, 1954 County Road U, Kunesh from 4-7 p.m., Tuesday, August 7, 2012. Friends may also call at the church from 1-2 p.m. Wednesday, August 8, 2012. The funeral service will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the church with the Rev. Donald Behrendt officiating. Burial will be in Waldo Cemetery in Waldo, WI. Blaney Funeral Home is assisting the family. Online condolences may be expressed at www.BlaneyFuneralHome.com.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund will be established to benefit those less fortunate in the community who Gary and Kathy supported with their time, talents and financial resources.
Published in Sheboygan Press from Aug. 5 to Aug. 7, 2012