Gail DeWayne Whitley, Sr.

July 12, 1935January 8, 2021

PEKIN ~ Gail DeWayne Whitley, Sr., 85, of Pekin, passed away at 8:29 a.m. Friday, January 8, 2021 at his home.

Born July 12, 1935 in Kilbourne to Everett Rue and Sarah Francis (Tackman) Whitley, he married Donna Mae Forbis on January 16, 1955 in Pekin. She died June 5, 2003. He was also preceded in death by his parents; one grandson, Daniel Wayne Whitley; and four sisters, Ruth Moore, Mardell Stake, Opal Leamon and Lowenda Wubben.

Surviving are one son, Gail “Wayne” (Lynda) Whitley, Jr. of Pekin; three daughters, Diana (Ricky) Fryman, Twyla Lowe and Richelle (Chris) Tisdale, all of Pekin; 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Gail had worked at Caterpillar, Inc., where he started as a core handler in 1955. When he retired on July 1, 1991 he was a 3F42 all around core setter. Following retirement, Gail worked at Ray Dennison Chevrolet in Pekin for a few years.

He loved spending time with his family, fishing, bowling and watching wrestling. He also enjoyed helping others mow their lawns.

Gail was a member of Lighthouse Church of God in Pekin.

His visitation will be from noon to 2 p.m. Thursday, January 14, 2021 at Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin. Guidelines regarding social distancing and wearing of masks will be followed. A private funeral will be held following the visitation and officiated by Pastor Keith Moore. Burial will be at Glendale Memorial Gardens in Pekin.

Memorial contributions may be given to St. Jude Midwest Affiliate, 530 Northeast Glen Oak Avenue, Peoria, Illinois 61637.

To express condolences online, visit


  • Visitation

    Thursday, January 14, 2021

  • Private Funeral Service

    Thursday, January 14, 2021


Gail DeWayne Whitley, Sr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Linda Carter

January 15, 2021

My heart goes out to Gail's family. I didn't now Gail that long and I meet him threw a friend of both of ours Dianna F
Gail would come visit her and check on her and even pick her up for church. He always brought her some kind of choc goodie. Or we would visit him (since he lived across the street from poochies.) While Diannias dog was being groomed. Anyway, long story short Gail was a great guy. Very caring and concern for ur wellbeing. God got another great guy .. Your father was the mold that I pray they keep making. GOD BLESS YOU ALL and GAIL will always be walking by your side....RIP GAIL. Love you.

Jim Jackman

January 13, 2021

Rest In Peace, Gail (Pops!) Gods Peace to you and your family, friends, and all who knew you. You will be dearly missed.

Joann Harms

January 11, 2021

Every spring and some days in the summer Mr would bring me 🌸💐🌺🌻🥀 so gonna miss him every day and every season. He was the BEST neighbor anyone could’ve had.
Rest In Peace Mr
Love Always

Rhonda Medina

January 10, 2021

I remember when I was a kid and baby sat for Gail and Donna's children. Gail and Donna were always so very happy. And Vickie says she remembers he was always smiling. Hugs and prayers to the family.

Cheryl Kiefer

January 10, 2021

Soar high to your Angels Uncle Gail👼🏻 You are in good and loving hands💜 I will never forget how much fun I had with you as a child teaching me how to fly kites at Grandma Whitley’s farm!🪁

Barbara Kaiser

January 10, 2021

~ My sympathy to all immediate family members ... he was (to me) my favorite uncle ... may he rest in peace. ~ Barbie

Don Bussert

January 10, 2021

Met Gail in 1968. Just a really nice guy.❤️ To his Family ❤️

Bonnie Sheppard

January 9, 2021

Dee and family. I am so sorry in the loss of your Dad. May your memories bring much comfort to you during this sad time.