Gary E. Kerres, 77, of Edgington, passed away unexpectedly on January 9, 2021, at UPH-Trinity, Rock Island.
A private family funeral service will be held on Wednesday at Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory, Milan. A recording of the funeral service may be viewed at https://www.wheelanpressly.com/obituary/Gary-Kerres. Burial will be at Edgington Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the family to be determined at a later date.
Gary was born on February 27, 1943 in Edgington, IL, the son of August J. and Miriam L. (Hartman) Kerres. He graduated from Rockridge High School in 1961. After high school, Gary joined the Army Reserves.
Gary loved “Red One,” his 1966 Chevy Impala SS with a 427 engine. For the last few years, he had been working on restoring the car back to its glory days. However, he had been tinkering with it so it could include his new gadgets that he wanted in the car, old merging with new high tech contraptions.
Dirt track lovers from the 1970’s and 80’s will remember this Quad Cities' legend best for driving the red 1957 Chevy Convertible #77. This winning race car had a 350 Fowler engine in it that left the rest of the cars in the dust. Throughout his racing career, Gert won 7 track championships at area race tracks.
Another passion was helping the community. It seemed he lived at the baseball diamond for many years, while he was President of The Edgington Baseball Association. He also ran the scoreboard at the high school football games for over 2 decades. When he was unable to go to the games to cheer his Rockets on, he would listen to WRMJ. He enjoyed watching his children and grandchildren play sports at the Ridge. He proudly continued following Rockridge athletes through their successful college careers. His love for the Rockets continued until the end.
In 2005, Gary proudly retired from John Deere Plow and Planter after 39 years. At Deere, Gary drove a hyster, was a proud member of the union, and was known as “King of the Bitchers” at work.
In his retirement, Gary focused on making his family “think” and spoiling his dogs. It was normal to see 3 dogs riding on a golf cart with Gary as he drove around Edgington to see what was happening in town. It was also normal seeing him debate with loved ones and friends. Gary was an avid animal lover which he passed down to his children and grandchildren. Gary’s colorful personality will be greatly missed by all.
Gary is survived by his four children, Kelly Kerres, Edgington, Kerry Kerres, Edgington, Kimberly (David) Blaylock, Milan, and Karen (Chris) McManus, Edgington; grandsons, Tysen and Kain Edwards; siblings, Aug E (Mary Rose) Kerres, Edgington, Ronald (Patty) Kerres, Aledo, and Marilyn Spivey, Viola; brother-in-law, Lewis Fowler, Buffalo Prairie; ex-wife and mother of children, Kathleen Kerres-Stigers; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; and sisters, Martha Jean and Dorothy “Dot” Fowler.
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