James Leslie “Les” Gadbury, 96, died Thursday morning, February 20, 2020, at Kirby Hospital in Monticello.
Funeral Arrangements: Visitation begins 10 AM Monday, February 24, at the Monticello United Methodist Church, 2020 East Washington followed by a funeral service at noon. A graveside service, with military rites accorded, follows the funeral at the Monticello Township Cemetery.
Les, the youngest of eight children, was born February 27, 1923 outside of Monticello to James Ensel and Velva (Dalton) Gadbury.
He graduated from Monticello High School in 1940. He enlisted in the USMC in January 1942 serving until 1946.
Utilizing the GI Bill, Les attended Illinois State Normal University from 1946 to 1949 where Les met the love of his life, Norma Gregory. They were married on August 13, 1949, in Decatur, Illinois. Les and Norma had five children.
Les taught and coached at Atwood and Monticello High Schools, retiring in 1986.
Les is survived by his wife of 70 years, Norma Gadbury of Monticello and their five children: Greg (Linda) Gadbury of Champaign IL; Gaye (Ron) Kulenkamp of Clarkston MI; Gloria (Mike) Cardoni of Monticello IL; Gwen (Jackie) Donnals of Champaign IL; and Gary (Carol) Gadbury of Manhatten KS, two nieces, one nephew, 12 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren.
Les was preceded in death by his parents, 2 brothers, 5 sisters, and 2 grandchildren.
Les was a member of the Monticello United Methodist Church and a lifetime member of the American Legion and the VFW Piatt County Post 5346.
Les’s enjoyed nature, camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, and searching for mushrooms and arrowheads. Les also enjoyed hosting Sunday dinners in his home.
Les was truly grateful for such a long life with his wife and family. He was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend to all who met him. He had an uncanny memory and could recall in detail events and people from his youth and throughout his life.
Memorials may be given to the Monticello United Methodist Church, the American Legion of Monticello, or the Monticello VFW.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.makcey-wrightfuneralhome.com.