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Gary Cooper Oxley


Gary Cooper Oxley, 91, of Palmyra, went to rest with his ancestors on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022.

He was born on Dec. 29, 1930, and was the son of, Maurice and Mildred (Cooper) Oxley of Palmyra.

Gary married Lyla Holloway on Sunday, Nov. 4, 1956 at the Modesto United Methodist Church with the Reverend Arthur Runyon officiating.

He attended Landreth Country School and then Modesto High School for three years, before he graduated from the new Northwestern School District in 1949, as a member of its first class.

He served in the Army Corps of Engineers during the Korean Conflict and was stationed in Alaska.

He was a member of the Modesto United Methodist Church since 1946 and the Palmyra Lions Club since 1964. He volunteered at the Northwestern Food Pantry and served 12 years as a North Palmyra Township Trustee.

Except for his time in Alaska, Gary lived on the family farm his entire life. He began working on the farm as a teenager in the 1940s, helping his father and grandfather, and was able to finish his farming career working alongside his son and grandson, operating the combine during the 2021 harvest.

He is survived by his wife, Lyla of almost 66 years; son, Douglas (Brenda Jo) Oxley of Modesto; daughter, Brenda Kay (Rev. Dr. Roger) Grimmett of Springfield; five grandchildren, Brandon Oxley of Modesto, Brett (Amy) Oxley of Warrensburg, Blake (Kim) Grimmett of Eureka, Missouri, Nathan Grimmett of Manchester, Missouri, and Taylor Jo Oxley of Denver, Colorado; four great-grandchildren, Cooper and Eloise Oxley of Warrensburg and Hudson and Brinley Grimmett of Eureka, Missouri and a niece, Cindy (Ed) Scroggins of Normal.

He was preceded in death by his parents; granddaughter, Katie Jo Oxley; brother and sister-in-law, Harold and Maxine (Stanton) Oxley, and a nephew, James Oxley.

Services were held on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022 at the Modesto United Methodist Church.  Burial was in Oak Hill Cemetery in Palmyra.

Memorials may be made to Modesto United Methodist Church c/o Stults-Neece Chapel, 349 E. Tanner, Waverly, Il. 62692.

Condolences may be sent to the family online at