Eugene Leroy Gilleland was born on October 9, 1944, in Red Oak, Iowa, to Francis and Marie (Ross) Gilleland. His family moved several times when he was a child. He graduated from Villisca Iowa High School in 1962. Gene was a member of the Methodist Church. On September 28, 1974, he married the love of his life, Vivian Thompson, in the Methodist Church in Dunlap, Iowa. Gene worked for Walnut Grove Construction and in management in Dubuque Packing for over 40 years. After retiring, Gene did carpentry work and farmed.
Eugene treasured being outdoors. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, riding motorcycles and farming. He was a talented carpenter and spent a lot of time on wood working and restoring furniture. He loved his garden and would spend countless nights watering it to make sure that everything turned out perfect. In his younger years, his daughters would often tell their friends that he was Hulk Hogan. Because of his size, was also referred to as “Mean Gene”.
Eugene died on Sunday, November 24, 2019, at the Dunlap Care Center in Dunlap, Iowa, at the age of 75 years, one month, and 15 days.
Eugene is preceded in death by his parents; granddaughter, Kaitlyn Gay; sister, Phyllis Bingham; brother, Roger Gilleland; and father-in-law, Earl (Windy) D. Thompson. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Vivian Gilleland of Dunlap, Iowa; children, Troy Gilleland and Donna and husband Brian Gay all of Villisca, Iowa, Theresa Brummer of Arion, Iowa, Craig Gilleland of Logan, Iowa, and Sarah and husband Jonathan McDonald of Neola, Iowa; nine grandchildren, Dana Gay, Haley Gourley, Renae Gilleland, Brooke Donscheski, Tyler Brummer, Austin Brummer, Kyle McDonald, Sydney McDonald, and Dylan McDonald; four great-grandchildren; siblings, Betty and husband Ray Andria of St. Petersberg, Florida, Lewis Gilleland and wife Nancy of Lewis, Iowa, Bill Gilleland of Atlantic, Iowa; mother-in-law, B. Darlene Thompson of Dunlap, Iowa; brothers and sisters-in law, Steve Thompson and Beth and husband Joe Sullivan all of Dunlap, Iowa, Richard Thompson and wife Shawna of Manilla, Iowa, Cindy and husband Don Vollebrecht of Norfolk, Nebraska; and many other relatives and friends.
~In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials to be directed to the family for funeral expenses.
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