Gary Leo VanHese, age 70, died at Clarissa Cook Hospice Home on November 6, 2019. For two months, he fought a battle with a vicious cancer he could not win. He was an intense warrior. In his final days, he was surrounded by the love and presence of his family and friends.
Visitation will be held Sunday, November 10, 1 – 4 pm at Halligan-McCabe-DeVries, 614 Main, Davenport. A Celebration of Life will be held on Monday, November 11, at One Eighty Community Center, 601 Marquette St, Davenport at 11 AM. Doors will open at 10:30. Cremation rites will be accorded.
Gary was born April 27, 1949, son of Louis & Marie Jeanne VanHese. Louis later married Marilyn Broadwater, who became a very special mom to Gary. As a teenager, Jerry & Evelyn Ryan welcomed Gary and he became a member of their loving family. Life with the Ryan’s on Iowa Street changed his life, and helped to shape the man that Gary became.
Gary graduated from Assumption High School in 1967, married Pam Sweazey, and his son Eric was born in 1969. He was drafted into the US Army, serving as a medic in Korea during the Vietnam War. He came home to work at the Highway Commission, Midas Muffler, Swensen & Glynn Construction, then starting his own business, Benchmark Building & Repair. He worked as an engineer at McClure Engineering and Landmark and spent the last 20 years of his career as a construction inspector with Shive-Hattery, retiring in 2014.
Gary married the love of his life , Linda Leinbaugh Flemming on July 11, 1981. He immediately became a father to Evenstar, and 10 years ago to Todd. He was happiest when their large inclusive family and friends gathered at their beautiful home on the hill, purchased as a Dollar House in 1985. Gary spent the rest of his life working on their home. He was a master of carpentry & renovation, always wanting it to be done correctly.
Gary was a quiet, gentle soul; he was humble and generous – a man of few words and of great passion. Gary loved nature, the great outdoors and traveling. They loved driving the back roads to explore wide open spaces – from the Sand Hills of Nebraska, the Kansas tall grass prairie, the plains of Texas, Four Corners of the American Southwest, the Smoky Mountains and Deer Lake in Minnesota.
Gary had eclectic tastes,. He loved music and sunshine; he was content to sit on the deck overlooking the river valley. Gary was a hard worker. He knew a little bit about everything. He had the largest collection of Christmas albums known to man. Gary enjoyed watching the Bears, Packers, Hawkeyes, the Cow Pokes, along with the Cubs & Cardinals.
Gary is survived by his wife, Linda; son Eric (Julie) and children Alexandria & Christopher; daughter Evenstar (Tom) and children Alexis, Enrique, Emilio, Lauren, Blake, Neal & Tommy; son Todd (Angela) and children Emily & Riley; and three great-grandchildren: Camden, Cassel & Will.His siblings Sharon, Gary Russell (Kathleen), Cindy (Kevin) & Patti & families, in-laws Carol (Keith) & Sue (Allen) & families. Also, as sister and brothers Jerelyn, Jeremiah, Patrick Peter and Christopher& their families. Gary was pre-deceased by his parents, his mom Marilyn, Ev & Codge, nephew John & brother-in-law Aden.
Gary believed that we are surrounded by angels. Angels took on many forms recently. Deep gratitude to the doctors at Mayo & Methodist Hospital, the Genesis Palliative Care Team, and especially to Clarissa Cook Hospice Home. Memorials may be made to the family, or Clarissa Cook, Bettendorf.
To send flowers to Gary's family, please visit our floral store.