Gary James Van Gilst, 81, of Newton, died on Sunday, August 7, 2022, at his home. A private family burial will be held at a later date. Memorials in Gary’s name (checks made payable to Lesa Chedester) may be left at the Wallace Family Funeral Home.
Gary, the son of J. Clair and Vera (Welch) Van Gilst, was born on August 2, 1941, in Newton, Iowa. He graduated from Newton High School in 1959. Gary worked as a truck driver and mechanic. Gary was a member of the Newton Elks Lodge 1270, a Mason, and enjoyed all forms of motor sports.
Gary is survived by his daughters, Lesa (Steve) Chedester of Newton and Jeni Wickliff (Dave Thomasson) of Newton; step-children, Paula (Zane) Thompson of Grinnell and Brian (Danielle) Cool of Leawood, Kansas; sister, Serana Means (Michael Thompson) of Killduff; partner, Ada Cormeny of Newton; seven grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and close friend, Bill Udelhoven of Newton. Gary was preceded in death by his parents; grandson, Brice Udelhoven in 2020; wife, Karen Van Gilst in February 2011; and brother-in-law, Ben Means in 2002.