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Gary Fink

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Gary Fink, 71, Popular Grove, died Friday, Feb. 24.

He was born May 25, 1945, to Richard and Mary Lou (Harper) Fink in Elgin.  

Gary graduated from Barrington High School in 1963 and Carthage College in 1967. He played football as an offensive guard and long snapper, setting records and winning numerous awards. He won the coveted Players Player Award presented by the late sports announcer Jack Brickhouse. He also played baseball and basketball. At Carthage, he belonged to Tau Sigma Chi fraternity. 

Gary taught physical education in Forest Park. He was elected commissioner and later became president of the park board. He belonged to the service group Kiwanis. After teaching, he was a manufacturer’s representative and a real estate broker. 

Gary had many interests in his life. He volunteered at “Hoo” Haven, a wildlife rescue sanctuary, Assisi Animal Foundation, a dog and cat shelter, Audubon as a state director and many other animal groups. He loved photography, spending time with his grandkids and ballroom dancing with his wife.  

Survivors include his wife of 48 years, Janet (nee Bill); two children, Jill May Smentek and her son Kolton, Cory Robert (Angela) and their children Hannah and Tyler; two brothers, Richard Fink and David (Suzanne) Fink; and a sister, Rosie (Richard) Dreger.  

He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister-in-law, Deanne Fink.  

After the profound impact Alzheimer’s had on the family, they decided to donate Gary’s body to science in hopes of medical research finding a cure.  

A memorial gathering was held March 2 in Wonder Lake. Visitation and a celebration of life service were held at Grace Lutheran Church, Woodstock. 

Memorials can be given to Assisi Animal Foundation, P.O. Box 143, Crystal Lake, IL 60039-0143; “Hoo” Haven, P.O. Box 594, Durand, IL 61024; or Illinois Police Officers Memorial, 840 S. Spring St., P.O. Box 9347, Springfield, IL 62791-9347.

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