Gary A. Spilger, 90, of St. Paul, died with his loving family by his side, on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, at the Howard County Medical Center in St. Paul after battling chronic kidney disease for over a year.
A Celebration of Gary's Life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov 12 in the chapel at the E-Free Church, 2609 Blaine Street South, in Grand Island. Private Graveside Services will be held in the Elmwood Cemetery in St. Paul.
To honor his wishes, a Private Family Visitation will be held at Jacobsen-Greenway-Dietz Funeral Home in St. Paul. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Gideon's International.
Gary Albert Spilger was born on Aug. 13, 1932, in the family home west of Palmer. He was the son of Paul P. Spilger and Anna M. (Glause) Spilger.
Gary attended District 19 in Gage Valley grade school near Palmer, Palmer High School, and graduated from St. Paul High School in 1949.
On May 19, 1951, Gary married Bettie A. Zmek in Palmer, and they lived in the St. Paul area all of their married life where they were engaged in farming, raising angus cattle and hogs. He was an avid collector of antique barb wire, buggy and carriage steps. Gary was a member of the American Barb Wire Society. His collection of 2,400 different types of barb wire is on display in the Barb Wire Museum in LaCrosse, Kansas.
In the early 1960's Gary and Bettie put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ and this decision to become a follower of Jesus Christ colored the rest of their lives. When the opportunity presented itself, he gladly would share his faith with others, leaving a Legacy of Faith.
Gary is survived by his wife, Bettie; their three children, Robert and (Paula) Spilger of Marshalltown, Iowa, Gayle and (Arnold) Moody of Scotia, and Jill and (Dave) Sharman of Palmer. They have seven grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild. His siblings and their spouses, Gilbert and Betty Spilger, Connie Jensen both of Grand Island, Kathy and Larry Hermsmeyer of Alliance, and Kenneth and Beth Spilger of St. Louis, Mo.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents.