DECATUR — Gary L. Hein, 90, of Decatur, IL, died peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, February 2, 2020, in Decatur.
Funeral service will be 11:00 a.m. Saturday, February 8 at Central Christian Church, Decatur. Burial will be in Fairlawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Gary’s honor may be given to Hickory Point Christian Village or Safe Haven Hospice. Brintlinger and Earl Funeral Home is handling arrangements.
Gary was born October 2, 1929 in Alliance, OH to Gary and Mary Louella Hein. He was a veteran of the Korean war, where he served as a non-commissioned US Coast Guard officer aboard the destroyer escort USS Newell WDE-442, attached to the Navy’s Pacific Fleet in the Korean Theatre and stationed at Pearl Harbor. After graduating from the University of Illinois in 1956 with a Bachelor of Science degree, he started his career at the William S. Merrill Co. in pharmaceutical sales and marketing. He moved to Decatur in 1959, where he established himself as National Sales Manager of Lincoln Laboratories and quickly rose to the position of President. At the helm of Lincoln Labs, he negotiated business deals with Institut Merieuex of Lyon, France, to market novel medical products that he helped develop. In 1982, he founded Lincoln Laboratories in Decatur, a leading supplier of medical devices for allergy testing.
He most enjoyed spending time with family, watching college football and telling stories of his life to anyone willing to listen. He retained a lifelong love of the sea and boating and was a member of the US Power Squadron, where he taught a variety of boating courses. He was enamored with horses from a very early age, and as an adult, he owned and showed award-winning gaited horses. He enjoyed hunting and shooting trap, water skiing, boxing and playing boogie-woogie on the piano.
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He was a member of the Country Club of Decatur, Lauderdale Yacht Club, Masonic Lodge (32nd Deg.), Millikin University Board of Trustees, American Cancer Society of Macon County, Junior Achievement Board of Directors, Illinois Pilots Association, Chi Gamma Iota (collegiate honor society for Veterans), Lions Club (vice president).
Gary showed his dedication to his community and various individuals in many ways. A dedicated philanthropist, he had a giving spirit, was generous in many ways, and was a strong supporter of Millikin University, the University of Illinois, the Salvation Army Decatur Corps, Meals on Wheels, the Good Samaritan Inn, and St. Teresa High School.
Surviving are his wife, Elizabeth Jane; sister, Margie Higgason of Springfield; sons, Douglas Hein and wife Leslie, Gary Hein and wife Lisa of Decatur; grandchildren: Harrison Hein of Decatur, Jennifer (Peter) Grotenhuis of Naperville, Lauren (Kyle) Mieszkowski of Wheaton, Preston Hein of Decatur, Loren (Jaelayne) Jacobs of Canada, Chris Hein, Alex Hein, Helden Hein, Veronica Hein, and Valerie Hein all of Decatur: great-grandchildren Audrey, Rinnie, Theodore, Colt, Arabelle, Griffin, Kinsley, Milo, and Jensen.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents, daughter Leslie Morris and grandson Geoffrey Morris.
The family would also like to thank the caregivers and staff at Hickory Point Christian Village for their devoted attention to Gary.