Gary Bettis, 75, of Girard, passed away Sunday, April 16, 2023 at his residence.
Gary was born Dec. 27, 1947 in Nilwood, the oldest son of Eldon and Hilda Bettis. He was always proud to share a birthday with his Aunt Velma (Bettis) Shoppe of Nilwood.
Gary spent his teen years working on the farm, playing with his dog Scamp, racing cars and skiing on Sunset Lake. He loved to tell stories about the ski shows that he participated in on Sunset Lake, which included a ski jump and his trick skis. He even performed with the Tommy Bartlett Water & Ski Show one summer in the Wisconsin Dells.
He was a graduate of Girard High School, Class of 1966 and never missed a game watching his daughters cheer on the Big Red. He still enjoyed attending class reunions and was a supporter of the North Mac Foundation.
After high school, Gary served his country as a Navy Seabee during the Vietnam War. Every Memorial and Veteran’s Day he would trek to the Vietnam Memorial in Springfield to honor his Girard friends who did not come home. Remembering and honoring their legacy was important to him. During the summer of 2018, Gary was chosen to go on the Land of Lincoln Honor Flight to Washington, DC, where he and the other veterans were honored at each stop. He spent his time at the Vietnam Wall locating the name of each friend from Girard. One last time, in honor of Gary, we say their name again: Dick England, Ronald Fox and Thomas Prose.
Upon returning from Vietnam, Gary joined his father on the family farm. During the winter he drove a truck for his Uncle Jessie at Bettis Trucking delivering livestock across the country. He farmed in Girard and Nilwood until his retirement in 1999.
Gary loved cheering for the St. Louis Cardinals and Green Bay Packers, watching cartoons and playing the lottery.
He is survived by his daughters, Angela (Carl) Try of Chatham, Jodie (Mikel) Sealey of West Jordan, UT; grandchildren, Abby, Mackenzie, Athena, Xander, Xavier, Eli, Griffin and Finn; sister, Jeanette (John) Earley of Girard; nephew, JR (Brooke) Earley; niece, Stephanie (Kris) Neuman of New Berlin, five great-nieces and nephews and too many cousins to count.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Doug Bettis.
Visitation was held on Friday, April 21 at Davis-Anderson Funeral Home. Funeral Services were held on Saturday, April 22 with a full military burial at Girard Cemetery.
Memorials can be made to the Land of Lincoln Honor Flight.
Visit davisandersonfuneralhome.com to leave condolences or light a candle in his memory.
Davis-Anderson Funeral Home, Girard is in charge of arrangements.