Robert C. Gaither, 86, of Taylorville, died at 6:50 a.m. Monday, Feb. 4, 2013, at Taylorville Memorial Hospital.
He was born Aug. 3, 1926, in Golden Gate, the son of John William and Mary Jane Walker Gaither.
On March 23, 1950, he married Margaret Fay Weber in Fairfield. Mr. Gaither was a member of Victory Baptist Church in Fairfield and attended First United Methodist Church in Taylorville.
Mr. Gaither was an Air Force veteran, serving in World War II from June 1945 to November 1946. He had been a teacher and principal for over 40 years.
He served for over 50 years as county counselor for Boy’s State and had a city named after him at Boy’s State.
In 2008, Mr. Gaither was honored at an American Legion awards banquet at the governor’s mansion in Springfield where he received the American Legion Abraham Lincoln Award and the President’s Call to Service Award for his 50 years of extraordinary and distinguished services as a volunteer and counselor.
He was a member of the American Legion Post in Catlin and Boy’s State Board of Directors for Premier Boy’s State. He was a Sunday school teacher for many years. He had over 1,200 hours of volunteer service at St. Vincent Memorial Hospital and Mary Bryant Home for the Blind in Springfield.
He enjoyed his family, his garden, working in the yard and his “grand dogs,” Bella and Sophie.
He is survived by his wife, Fay Gaither, of Taylorville; son, Mike Gaither and companion, Lori Young, of Springfield; daughters, Anne Simpson and husband, Bill, of Taylorville, and Mary S. Blakeman of Taylorville; daughter-in-law, Jan Gaither of Chatham; four grandchildren, Michael Gaither and wife, Lauren, Naperville, Cindy Gaither and companion, Anne Schroer, of Olathe, Kan., Kris Valenti and husband, Zach, of Rochester, and John R. Blakeman of Taylorville; three great-grandchildren, Meghan Gaither, Courtney Gaither and Addison Gaither. There are numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and siblings, Lillian Hedrick, Mary Alice Collins, Wilma Gaither, Helen Gaither, Evelyn Morell, Jean Elkins, Ross Gaither, Earl Gaither, Francis Gaither, William Gaither and Donald Gaither.
Funeral services will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 8, at McClure Funeral Home. Burial with military honors will be in Oak Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.
Memorials may be sent to Taylorville First United Methodist Church or Taylorville Memorial Hospital Auxiliary.
Condolences may be sent online at www.mcclurefuneralhome.com.