PITTSFIELD, Ill. -- Karl Eugene "Gene" Wilder, 88, of Pittsfield, died Sunday (Jan. 26, 2014) in Liberty Village, Pittsfield.
He was born in Pittsfield on June 14, 1925, a son of John and Stella (Ross) Wilder. He married Maxine (Dunham) on Feb. 14, 1945, in Pittsfield Methodist Church. She survives.
Gene graduated from Pittsfield Community High School in 1943. He first worked for Manning and Manning Poultry Store. Then, he was sales manager of Chanen Auto Supply in Pittsfield, Winchester and Hardin and retired after 40 years of service.
He served as president of the Jaycees and was very proud to be one of four founders of the Pittsfield Little League. Gene was also a Boy Scout Pack Master, Chairman of the Cherokee District of Boy Scouts, a member of American Legion Post 152, and an 11-year member of the Community Center Board of Directors.
A veteran of World War II
, he served as a Technical Sergeant in the U.S. Army
from 1945-1946. During his 58-year membership at Pittsfield Methodist Church, Gene served many years as an usher.
Gene loved attending all of his grandchildren's sporting events and activities. He never missed an opportunity to share a picture of his great-grandchildren. Each spring he enjoyed mushrooming, especially with his friends in Calhoun County. In his spare time, Gene made many beautiful gifts for family and friends in his woodworking shop and loved to work outside in his garden.
In addition to his wife, survivors include a son, Gary (Debby) Wilder, and a daughter, Linda (Tim) Belford, both of Pittsfield; a brother, Donald Wilder, of Centralia; a sister-in-law, Betty Wilder, of Pittsfield; five grandchildren, Kerri (Mike) Spies of Highland, Brandi (Jamie) Pennock of Pittsfield, Laura (Brian) Kruger of Bloomington, Brandon (Carrie) Belford of Highland and Brooke (Dan) Haynes of University City, Mo.; and 11 great-grandchildren.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Clifford Wilder.
SERVICES: 10:30 a.m. Thursday in the Niebur Funeral Home, Pittsfield, with the Rev. Tom Wilber conducting. Interment will be in West Cemetery, Pittsfield.
VISITATION: 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday in the funeral home.
MEMORIALS: Pittsfield Little League or Pittsfield Methodist Church.
ARRANGEMENTS: Niebur Funeral Home.