Granite City | Tuesday, November 30 2021 |
Eugene Jackson Wimberly, 92, of Granite City, Illinois passed away at 8:38 a.m. on Tuesday, November 30, 2021, at Stearns Nursing and Rehab in Granite City with the nursing staff holding his hand and skating rink music from the 1960’s playing in his room.
He was born November 26, 1929, at home in Granite City. He was delivered prematurely by a midwife and weighed a little over two pounds to the late Ola Francis (Marler) Wimberly Puhse and the late William Wimberly. They used the oven as an incubator for him. When his older brother, Carl Wimberly got up the next morning he thought his mom had a turkey in the oven but it was his baby brother. A serious illness when he was about a year old left him with a paralyzed tongue and mentally handicapped. That didn’t stop him from working. He worked full time at a bakery and then a plating company until he was 55 and the company closed. He worked at Johnson’s and then Stopkotte’s Skating rink from the age of 16 until his mid 80’s, evenings and weekends until it was sold to another family. Gene was well known thereby all as a skate guard and helping with parties. Everyone knew Gene and remembered him fondly. Gene was a big-time St. Louis Cardinal’s baseball fan. His step-dad, Carl, would take him to see the games, he would listen to the games on the radio and watch them on television. He and his friend, Paul Zimmerman, would sit out in his garage, drink Pepsi and watch the game there. Dal Maxville, who played shortstop and second base for the Cardinals and was a childhood friend of Gene’s brother, Bill, got a baseball signed by all of the players and Gene cherished that baseball. Gene and Paul also would cut people’s grass, collect cans, go fishing, make some picnic tables, gardened, and spend a lot of time together. Gene was always busy. He walked so fast that his little brother, Bill had trouble keeping up with him when he was growing up. Gene either walked to work or rode his bike. Gene really lived his life to the fullest.
He is survived by a brother and sister-in-law, Bill and Rosemary Puhse; two sons, Kevin, and wife, Terri Wimberly and Dale Wimberly and partner, Judy Cann; a daughter, Jackie Phillips, and boyfriend, Dave Pulley; four grandchildren, Shelby, Jason, Elizabeth and Lisa, and their spouses; six great-grandchildren, Ashlyn, Emily, Jason Jr., Alania, Ethan, and Cade; many nieces; nephews; great-nieces; great-nephews; other extended family and friends.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his stepfather, Carl Puhse; a brother, Carl Wimberly, and a sister, Thelma Orr. In celebration of his life, a memorial visitation will be held at Irwin Chapel, 3960 Maryville Road in Granite City on Saturday, December 4, 2021, from 2:00 p.m. until the time of service at 3:00 p.m. with Reverend Chris Sedabres officiating. A private family burial will be at Sunset Hill Memorial Estates in Glen Carbon. Memorials may be made to the Granite City APA and may be accepted at the funeral home. www.irwinchapel.com
Irwin Chapel Funeral Home