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Friday, August 25, 2023
4:00 - 6:00pm (Central time)
MORTON - Preston Lee Gale, 76, of Morton, Illinois passed away peacefully on Saturday, August 5, 2023, surrounded by family at the Richard L. Owens Hospice Home in Peoria.
Preston was born July 31, 1947, in Williamsfield, Illinois to Betty and Merl Gale. He married his wife of 56 years, Catherine Merdian Latus in 1967. She survives.
Also surviving are his younger sister, June Gale Rice Doyle; three children, Jennifer (Ed) Caumiant, Rebecca Gale Cloyd, Amanda (Brent) McGarr; two grandsons, Eddie Preston Caumiant, Michael Alexander McGarr; along with many dear nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and older sister Janice Gale Cox.
Preston was raised in the rural community of Williamsfield, Illinois where he became an Eagle Scout as a child. He met his future wife through a mutual friend and they became high school sweethearts before together attending University of Illinois Champaign- Urbana. They married on July 2, 1967. After graduating with a degree in Metallurgical Engineering, he began his career at Caterpillar Tractor Company. With over 39 years of service, he retired in 2009 as a subject matter expert in Ground Engagement Tools. Preston enjoyed fishing and taught his daughters to bait a hook and cast a line. He often joked that while fishing with the kids, he would spend as much time untangling their lines from overhead trees and removing tiny sunfish from their rods as they did actually fishing. He enjoyed reading as a hobby and was avidly interested in all Civil War literature. Being a farm kid, Preston enjoyed working with his hands and developed an interest in both carpentry and landscaping. Always the engineer, he was often found designing solutions and working on projects in his garage while listening to his favorite music including the Traveling Wilburys, Garcia & Grisman, and Pink Floyd among many others. He had a tool or saw for every job. He loved his old John Deere and spent countless hours mowing yards all over Tazewell County for his friends and family while refusing any compensation for the work he so enjoyed. He and Cathy made beautiful improvements to each home they owned, building out park like yards and gardens. Later in life, he enjoyed watching both baseball and golf.
Preston lived a Christian life, centered on family. He was a member of the United Methodist Church of Morton, Illinois. He was a man of great integrity who possessed boundless wisdom and true kindness of heart. He had a smart sense of humor and enjoyed a good laugh. He adored his wife, often referring to her as the prettiest girl he had ever seen. She was the center of his world and the love of his life. Cathy, along with their children and grandchildren, were everything to him. He will be deeply missed and eternally loved.
There will be a public visitation at the Morton United Methodist Church on Friday, August 25, 2023 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. Cremation rites have been accorded with Knapp Johnson Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Morton is handling the arrangements. A private graveside family service will be held the following day in Galesburg, Illinois.
The Gale family would like to express our sincere appreciation to all the staff at the OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home for the compassionate and dignified care they provided Preston.
Memorial contributions can be made to Morton United Methodist Church building fund and our Methodist Church school and hospital in Liberia ministry fund, 420 N. Tennessee Ave, Morton IL 61550.