Celebrating the life of Joseph Earl "Jody" Gully
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Jody was born on April 16, 1925, one mile east of El Dara, Illinois, a son of Joseph Ralph and Mary Loyd Gully. He married Bonnie Wendorff on October 28, 1949, in the Barry United Methodist Church. She is deceased.
Jody lived in El Dara until he was seven years old when his family moved to Barry, Illinois. He graduated from Barry High School in 1943. In September 1943 Jody enlisted in the Army Air Force. He served as a tail-gunner on a B-24 Bomber during World War 2 stationed in Hawaii.
Mr. Gully returned to Barry after the war and was employed by Clark Armentrout operating movie projectors for area theaters. In 1947 he purchased the insurance agency owned by his great uncle Roy Strubinger and it became Gully Insurance Agency. His son-in-law Ron Hechler joined the agency in 1978 and the agency was renamed Gully-Hechler Insurance Agency. In 2007 his grandson-in-law, Devin Conkright became an agent for the family business that has been in operation seventy-three years.
In 1969 Jody became involved in keeping The First National Bank of Barry locally owned. He was President of the bank for many years, until John C. Shover was named President. Jody was then named Chairman of the Board of Directors for the bank, positions he held for 40 years.
Mr. Gully gave generously and often anonymously to the Barry and El Dara community he called home. He helped raise money and contributed to the building of the Barry Swimming Pool, was instrumental in obtaining the military tank for the Barry Layfette Park. He also was a major investor in the group Cieten that built the Barry Truck Stop and Wendys.
Jody was a former member of the Illini Hospital Board, serving as President, The old Barry Cemetery Board and Barry Legion Post 222-past commander. He was a member of the Ansar Shrine, and the Barry Masonic Lodge. In 1985 he received the Outstanding Conservation Landowner Service Award from the Pike County Soil and Water Conservation District.
Jody's true passion was his business, but he also retained his love of flying from his time in the service. He owned his own plane and landing strip and enjoyed taking area residents on their first airplane ride. He was devoted to his family and loved taking rides with them to his farms.
Jody is survived by one daughter Cynthia (Ronald) Hechler of Barry, two granddaughters, Jean (Devin) Conkright of Barry and Anna Hechler of Quincy, Illinois, and three great-grandchildren, Ella, Nolan and Eva Conkright of Barry. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Jody was preceded in death by his wife, his parents, his five siblings - four brothers, Lloyd Gully, Leo Gully, Leslie Gully and William Gully, one sister Leona Gully Howard, special cousin Walter (Nelle) Strubinger, step-mother Clara Yelton Gully, step-sister Judy Smith and step-brother Dick Burgdorff.
There is no visitation.
Graveside services will be at 11:00 a.m. Friday, November 6, 2020, at Park Lawn Cemetery in Barry.
Burial will be in Park Lawn Cemetery in Barry.
Memorials can be made to Barry Park Lawn Cemetery and the Barry Fire Department.
Kirgan Funeral Home in Barry is in charge of arrangements.
To plant a tree in memory of Joseph Earl "Jody" Gully, visit the Tribute Store.
Barry, IL 62312
Barry, IL 62312