Larry Ronald Eilers, age 80, of Augusta died at 12:10 p.m. Thursday, March 19, 2020, at Blessing Hospital in Quincy after a long, courageous battle with COPD.
Born Jan. 29, 1940, in rural Bowen, Illinois, during a blizzard, Larry was the son of John and Hilda Eilers. Family members had to plow out a snow path for the doctor to attend his birth. He married Margaret Cashman at the Augusta Methodist Church, in Augusta, Illinois, on November 19, 1961. They have celebrated over 58 wonderful years together.
Larry began his schooling by walking one mile south from his home to Hog Jaw School House. His lifelong distaste for tomato soup was born after spending one winter eating the school’s soup daily for 10 cents a week. His second year of school was spent at the LaPrairie grade school, before he transferred to the Augusta school system for his third year. In 1958, he was in the first class to graduate from the newly constructed gym at the Augusta High School and then attended Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois. He also served in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1961 – 1966, earning the rank of Staff Sergeant.
Like his father, Larry was a lifelong grain and livestock farmer in rural Augusta, Illinois. He looked forward to the springtime every year. He loved watching everything turn green and seeing the growing season come alive. Through his lifetime, he spent countless hours trading farming stories and other words of wisdom with the coffee shop group and the guys at the Augusta elevator. In his later years, he lived for the opportunity to step into the combine for another harvest season.
Larry was also a strong supporter of the local community. For more than 20 years, he served on the Hancock County Fair Board. He was also elected to the Board of Education for the Southeastern School District and was Past President and Tail Twister for the Augusta Lions Club.
Larry exhibited a strong faith in the Lord. In 1954, he was confirmed into the faith at Trinity Lutheran Church in Golden, Illinois, where he faithfully attended. More recently he and his family attended Faith Lutheran Church in Augusta, Illinois. His family takes comfort in knowing that he is now living within his favorite verse from the twenty-third Psalm: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil; for thou art with me.”
Larry enjoyed reading books, watching his favorite sports teams (like Cubs baseball and Illini basketball), and had recently indulged in the joy of binge-watching Netflix movies and television shows. But, above all, he loved spending time with his family and friends. He enjoyed wintering with the Florida group at the Palmetto Mobile Home Park, while traveling down south to the sounds of Elvis on the radio and eating at Cracker Barrels along the way. He enjoyed watching many of his grandchildren’s sporting events and was proud to be a part of their high school celebrations, military service, and college graduations.
Larry is survived by his wife Margaret; a daughter, Candace Weeks; and a son, John Eilers and his wife Vicki. He was the very proud Grandpa of Taylor Weeks, SSgt Kody Eilers (USAF), and Cole Eilers. He is also survived by a brother, Harlan (Mary Ann) Eilers; a sister, Janet Eilers; an uncle and aunt, Marvin and Vernice Ufkes; an aunt Dorothy (Bert) Ufkes; and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents.
Due to the current nationwide health situation, a private family service will be held Sunday, March 22, 2020, at Faith Lutheran Church in Augusta with the Pastor Rick Hertenstein officiating. A private burial will be at Golden Memorial Gardens in Golden, Illinois. There will be no visitation at this time, but a celebration of Larry’s life will be conducted at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Blessing Foundation for Hospice or Faith Lutheran Church. Condolences may be sent to the family or to the funeral home.
Hamilton Funeral Home in Augusta is handling the arrangements.
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