In Memory

Dennis Gayer - Class Of 1969

Dennis Gayer

Dennis L. Gayer, 67, of Columbia/Higbee, Missouri went to join his Lord Jesus on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018, while surrounded by his immediate family. Services at Woodcrest Chapel and burial at the State Veterans cemetery at Jacksonville, MO with full military rites.

Dennis was born in Olney, IL on June 18, 1951 to Donald L. and Joan (Gray) Gayer. Dennis grew up on the family farm in Southern Illinois. He began his career as a mortician where he served for 10 years. He attained a BSN and served as an RN in the Columbia area. He then became an independent insurance agent, where he worked for 30 years before retiring in 2014. In 1969 he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served 30 years in the Army and Army Reserve before retirement in 2003.

Dennis was preceded in death by his parents, Donald L. and Joan Gray Gayer.

He is survived by his wife, Debra Gayer of Higbee; sons, Jason W. (Emily) Gayer of Olney, IL, John D. Gayer of Killeen, TX; daughters, Jenny Harmon of Chicago, and Elizabeth A. Gayer of Seattle; four grandchildren; sisters, Tanya (Joe) Gemma and Trisha Gayer of Booneville, Lisa (Ken) Thompson of Prairie Home; brothers, Daryl Gayer of Olney, IL, Donald P. Gayer of Calhoun, IL, Scott Gayer of West Salem, IL, Robert Gayer and Kenneth Gayer, both of Tempe, AZ; and several nieces and nephews.

Dennis first married Beverly McCleave in Dec. 1974 and had son Jason W. Gayer. Dennis remarried to Debra Morris in July 1986, and they had John D. Gayer and Elizabeth A. Gayer.

Dennis and Deb traveled the country extensively and enjoyed annual ski trips with family and friends to Colorado. They traveled throughout America and visited all 50 states. Dennis and Deb spent many great evenings and weekends enjoying all of the sporting events of John and Elizabeth during their formative years. Boy and Girl Scouting was always a part of family life as they all enjoyed being involved.

Dennis was very involved in local clubs and service organizations where he was usually involved as an officer, president, or commander. He was a member of Acacia Masonic Lodge Post 602, AF & AM Lodge 687, Herbert William American Legion Post 202 where he was a 49 year member and post commander, The Voiture Post 292, Veterans 40 & 8, the Eagles Lodge, The Elks Lodge, Diamond Council of Columbia where he served as board member, president, and coach for several years, Troop 706 Boy Scouts of America as assistant scoutmaster, Old Wheels Collector Car Club of Columbia. He served 15 trips to Washington D.C., as a guardian on the Central MO Honor Flight where he very much enjoyed escorting his fellow veterans on their honor flights to see their memorials. He served 30 years in the Army and Army reserve working as a combat engineer, a combat field medic, food inspector and the last 10 years as a medic instructor at FT Leonard Wood, where he began his Army career in basic training and later retired his Army service.

Dennis’ positive attitude and willingness to help others were his treasured life traits. Memorial contributions may be made to Central MO Honor Flight through Nilson Funeral Home, 5611 E. St. Charles Rd, Columbia, MO 65202 who are in charge of arrangements.

Columbia Daily Tribune (MO) - Thursday, September 27, 2018

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09/28/18 02:21 PM #1    

Martha Bryan (Schmitt) (1969)

I am so sorry to see that Dennis has passed away.  We had such a great time talking at our 35th reunion especially about our families.  I shall miss visiting with him - what a good guy!

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