Marissa: 618-295-2321 | New Athens: 618-475-2151 | Sparta & Tilden: 618-443-2139

Eunice Marilyn Gegel

Eunice Marilyn Gegel

Eunice Marilyn Gegel (née Brewer), 88, of Baldwin, IL, peacefully passed away into our Savior’s waiting embrace on Wednesday, May 29, 2024, at the Coulterville Care Center in Coulterville, IL.

Eunice was born March 10, 1936, in Hampton, IA. After graduating from Glidden High School in Iowa in 1953, she earned a teaching degree at St. John’s Lutheran College in Winfield, KS, graduating in 1955. She then became an elementary teacher at the St. John Lutheran School in Baldwin.

Soon after her first school year as a teacher began, Eunice met the love of her life, Kenneth “Kenny” Gegel, a machinist and farmer from Baldwin, at a Walther League event held at the school. Eunice and Kenny were united in marriage at Peace Lutheran Church in Glidden, IA, on June 17, 1956. The wedding was officiated by Eunice’s father, Rev. Elmer W. M. Brewer, who had also baptized and confirmed her into the Christian faith.

Kenny and Eunice purchased a home in Sparta, IL, where their sons Brian, Stanley, and Michael were born. At Brian’s birth, Eunice left her teaching position, devoting herself to being a mother and homemaker. While living in Sparta, she and her family were members of St. John Lutheran in Sparta, where she participated in and helped with many activities.

At the death of her father-in-law in 1971, Eunice and her family moved to the family farm northeast of Baldwin, returning to membership at St. John Lutheran in Baldwin.  In addition to managing the household, Eunice helped with farm tasks, worked part-time as a teacher’s aide, and wrote the Baldwin News for the Sparta News-Plaindealer.

An important part of Eunice’s life was being a volunteer for Hospice of Southern Illinois.  She did so for over thirty years. Her compassion, her care for others, and her dedication were appreciated by all who encountered her.

Very involved in music programs in both high school and college, Eunice had a life-long passion for music, singing soprano in the Sparta Community Chorus for many years. She was also in the St. John Lutheran Church Choir in Baldwin and served as its director. At St. John she also was a Sunday School teacher, VBS teacher, greeter, and member of the Ladies Aid.

An excellent seamstress since her teenage years, Eunice made clothing, quilts, dolls, doll clothing, embroidery, and cross-stitches. She also enjoyed listening to St. Louis Cardinal baseball games and attending high school music and sporting events, especially basketball, which she had played in both high school (including with her brother Dave at home) and in college. She also liked sending greeting cards and notes in the mail. Wherever she went, Eunice was known for her love of life, love of people, kindness, and genuine caring for other people.

Any opportunity to spend time with her sons, her daughters-in-law, and her grandchildren—whether in person or on the phone—brought Eunice immense joy. Her grandchildren always embraced her love of playing Scrabble and card games. They also appreciated the delicious pies she made, her passion for music and theatre (especially The Sound of Music), her sweetness, her thoughtfulness, her love, her faith, her pride in her family, her interest in not only their lives but also the lives of their friends, and her joy in being a hostess for any guests (no one leaving hungry!).  The grandchildren also admired her devoted care for their grandpa when his health began to fail.

Eunice will be truly missed by her family and many friends.

Eunice is survived by her sons, Stan Gegel of Baldwin, IL and Mike (Tammy) Gegel of Wapakoneta, OH; grandchildren, Jessica (Jon Markl) Gegel of Traverse City, MI, Josh Gegel of Minneapolis, MN, Tori Gegel of Dayton, OH, Salon (Edward Long)

Gegel of Decatur, AL, and Cedric (Sarah Fryman) Gegel of Bayonne, NJ; brother-in-law, Tom (Leisa) Wheatley of Waterloo, IL; sister-in-law, Betty Root of Bainbridge Island, WA; uncle-in-law, Albert Guebert of Okawville, IL; a niece, who was like a daughter to her, Candace (Tim) Juarez of Lakewood, CO; and other nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends galore.

Eunice was preceded in death by her husband of sixty-three years, Kenneth Gegel; her parents, Rev. Elmer and Martha (née Simonin) Brewer; her parents-in-law, Otto and Anna (née Guebert) Gegel; a son and his wife, Brian and Jane Gegel; a grandson, Austin Gegel, whose girlfriend, Emily Smith, also mourns Eunice’s passing; her sisters, Moselle (Paul) Loeschen and Jennine (Charles) Johnson; her brother, David Brewer; a sister-in-law, Norma Wheatley; and two nephews.

In lieu of flowers, Eunice asked that people do acts of kindness for others. Memorial contributions can be made to Hospice of Southern Illinois, St. John Lutheran Ladies Aid, and the Sparta Community Chorus.

The family is grateful for the staff at the Coulterville Care Center and Hospice of Southern Illinois employees and volunteers.

A funeral service in celebration of Eunice’s life will be held at St. John Lutheran Church in Baldwin, IL, on Monday, June 10, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. Visitation will be that day, 8:30-11:00 a.m. Rev. Clifford Adair and Rev. David Loeschen, Eunice’s nephew, will be the officiants.

Heil-Schuessler & Sinn Funeral Home in Sparta, IL, is in charge of arrangements. Condolences to the family may be expressed online at www.heilschuessler.com.

Share this...
  1. Judith Walter says:

    What a lovely tribute to a life so well-lived, and with so much love for so many. She was certainly a wonderful role model for everyone she touched. That legacy lives on in all of you. ❤️

  2. Brenda Johnson, and sons,Donald,Adam, and Heremy says:

    She’s is home now and surrounded by loved ones who went befor her.
    A blessing
    Saddness of her being gone will be hard but rejoice in
    The thoughts of her being with God.

    • Susan Vane says:

      My deepest sympathy and prayers to all…
      R.I.P. Aunt Eunice with all my Love…
      May God
      Bless you…
      Susan Vane
      & Family…

  3. Sue Morrison says:

    Tom and I send our deepest sympathy to the family. We spent many gatherings together as Tom and Ken worked together at the power plant, Eunice always had time and kindness for everyone.

5 Comments

  1. Tom and I send our deepest sympathy to the family. We spent many gatherings together as Tom and Ken worked together at the power plant, Eunice always had time and kindness for everyone.

    Reply
    • Our deepest sympathies in your time of loss.

      Michael, Kari, Ryan and Madison Vane

      Reply
  2. She’s is home now and surrounded by loved ones who went befor her.
    A blessing
    Saddness of her being gone will be hard but rejoice in
    The thoughts of her being with God.

    Reply
    • My deepest sympathy and prayers to all…
      R.I.P. Aunt Eunice with all my Love…
      May God
      Bless you…
      Susan Vane
      & Family…

      Reply
  3. What a lovely tribute to a life so well-lived, and with so much love for so many. She was certainly a wonderful role model for everyone she touched. That legacy lives on in all of you. ❤️

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.