Gary Wimmer, 71, of Creston joined his savior in glory, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017.
Memorial services will be 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13, at First Baptist Church in Creston. Pastor David Tebbenkamp, Pastor Dan Fields and Rev. Norman Hoag will officiate. Burial will be in Jerusalem Cemetery at a later date. Open memorial visitation will be from 2 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12, at First Baptist Church with family receiving friends from 5 to 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to First Baptist Church or Creston youth football. Online condolences can be given at www.powersfh.com.
Gary Daniel Wimmer, son of Margaret L. (Kelley) and Charles Daniel Wimmer, was born Feb. 14, 1946, in Creston. Gary attended Lincoln No. 5 through the eighth grade. He graduated from Creston High School in 1964. While in school, Gary was a gifted athlete competing in many sports. He had a particular passion for baseball, even playing on a traveling semi-pro team for a time, the Saints. Gary continued his education at Southwestern Community College and Northwest Missouri State University where he earned his Bachelor of Arts and later his Masters of Arts degree.
Gary served his country as a part of the National Guard during his college years.
Following his graduation in 1970, Gary settled in Mount Ayr where he took his first job as a physical education instructor and coach. Gary coached many things while in Mount Ayr including football, wrestling and baseball. In 1972, Gary was united in marriage to Janene (Van Houtan) at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Creston. They welcomed their daughter Benjie Naquel in 1974.
Two years later, Gary and family moved to Creston where he continued his education and coaching career. In Creston, he taught swimming lessons at Franklin School for many years in addition to coaching eighth-grade football, cross country, softball and officiating wrestling even at the state tournament. In 1979, they welcomed their daughter Ashley Mikkael. Gary was a member of First Baptist Church, where he served as a trustee and deacon. He was a member of the Union County Fair Board where he managed the cook shack.
Gary had a God-given gift to make others feel special. And he used that gift mightily. He showed genuine interest, care and concern to everyone he met, everywhere he went. No one humbly encouraged, supported or loved others more. He specifically had a unique gift to see into a child’s heart, discover their value and potential and help them realize it.
His daily life was an example of how to overcome challenges. Nineteen years ago, Gary’s life, and the lives nearest him, were altered forever. While he faced many struggles and obstacles, with the help of his wife and friends, he lived his life to the fullest extent possible. Never did he allow his limitations to keep him from being the fun-loving, supportive man God created him to be. His family and friends will forever be grateful for those “bonus” years with him.
Gary and Janene made the most of those years, partnering to celebrate their daughters’ marriages, the births of their seven grandchildren and creating a farmstead that is as beautiful as it is fun. They were blessed to enjoy lifelong relationships with dear friends and neighbors.
Never was there a more supportive dad of his two daughters. Gary came off the wrestling mats and out of the cornfields to sit proudly at dance and piano recitals. He spent endless summer hours guiding his girls in the horse ring and on the softball field. Through his actions, they learned and enjoyed selfless, unconditional love. And oh, his grandkids. “Papa” lit their universe. He didn’t miss a birth, even if it meant driving through a snowstorm. The bond between Papa and his grandkids began the moment he held them for the first time, tears in his eyes. Papa was their number one fan. He and Mama made it their highest priority to cheer on the kids at their many events and games, even when it meant driving all day for it. If he wasn’t there to share it in person, Papa was the first call after ballgames or even just to share a funny story from the day. He was an extremely appreciative audience of it all.
Papa and Mama poured so much of themselves into the farm for the grandkids – and it worked – the kids preferred it to any other place on earth! Those kids were embraced by the purest love, wrapped up in the non-stop fun of playing ball, driving ride-on vehicles, fishing, riding horse, swimming, playing games, roasting s’mores, swinging, snuggling, reading books ... and on and on.
Gary believed strongly in the power of prayer. Daily he could be found sitting in his bedroom chair, having read the Bible, with his head bowed in prayer. His family and friends will miss this great prayer warrior. Coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus in his adult life, Gary never took his salvation for granted and clung to the promises of his faith. He lived his life demonstrating Jesus’ love for others.
Because of what Jesus overcame, we rejoice that Gary’s body is made whole again today and we have assurance in an eternal reunion with our beloved Papa.
Left to cherish Gary’s memory are his wife Janene Wimmer of Creston; two daughters, Benjie (husband Jonathan) Anderson of Denver, Colorado, and Ashley (husband Dana) Scott of Austin, Texas; brother William Wimmer of Des Moines and seven grandchildren, Hadley Anderson, Adam Scott, Evan Anderson, Isaac Scott, Quincy Anderson, Bo Scott and Christian Anderson.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents.