Gary L. Tribble
8/16/1953 - 1/10/2014

PEKIN ~ Gary Lee Tribble, 60, of Pekin, passed away at 2:06 a.m. Friday, January 10, 2014 at Pekin Hospital.

Born August 16, 1953 in Pekin to Jesse and Helen (Cornwell) Tribble, he married Dawn Lee Snow on December 23, 1975 in Springfield.  She survives.

Also surviving are two sons, Jesse (Brittney) Tribble and Devin Tribble, both of Pekin; two brothers, Rick (Sheryl) Tribble of South Bend, Indiana and Steve (Marea) Tribble of Kentucky; two sisters, Jeanne (Brian) Lang and Carol Berger, both of Pekin; and many nieces and nephews.  He also leaves behind his two dogs, Charlie and Mick.

Gary worked at Caterpillar, Inc for 35 years, retiring in 2007 as a machinist at the Mossville Engine Plant.

He was a member of the United Autoworkers Local 974.

Gary had played the guitar and sang vocals in several area bands including Stages and Pearl.  He loved music and classic cars, and was a big Beatles fan.

His visitation will be from 2 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin.  A service celebrating his life will follow at 3 p.m. led by George Herbst.  Cremation will be accorded after the service.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Tazewell Animal Protective Society, 100 TAPS Lane, Pekin, IL 61554.

It was 1964. Gary and Steve and I were all the same age. I felt a little jealous of the fact that at that point Gary had a cooler pair of high top Beatle boots than me, and I admit I felt a little jealous at how close he and Steve were as the three of us repaired to the bedroom where Steve and I had been reveling in Beatle records and guitars. But I could see straight away that Gary was a lot like me in some ways. He wasn't afraid to be goofy and he seemed to have little care about anything other than having fun. He had a stack of 45 rpm records in his hands, and as he made it to within a few feet of Steve's bed, he cavalierly tossed the records those few feet onto Steve's bed saying "Here, put some of these on!" Steve and I were shocked at how careless Gary was with his records, since we were both careful in the extreme with our few precious Beatles records. "Man Gary, you should be careful! You could scratch those 45's up bad like that." Steve admonished Gary, but Gary twisted his face into the impish grin we'll both always remember and said in a cartoonish voice "Ah, who cares - they're just records!" Like I said, Gary just wanted to have fun.

Gary could sing too, and that's where even more jealousy set in for me when Steve's mom went on and on about how talented Gary was. But somehow that didn't matter because I thought Gary was cool, and from that very first meeting we were friends.

Gary and I really became close our junior year in high school, since we had gym class together. Until then, you would have had a tough time convincing me that gym class could be a riot, but when Gary and I teamed up that year the laughs were endless - and I mean falling down laughing out loud laughs. We developed a trick serve for volley ball where we would hold the ball with our left hand, swing furiously at it with our right hand making it look like an 'out of the park' kind of serve. But we actually barely touched the ball with our right hand and just lightly tossed it over the net with our left. It was hilarious to watch. So hilarious we were falling down cracking up - especially since the other team never did figure out what we were doing. It worked every time. The other team was pissed off bad, and that made it even funnier. Gym class was something to look forward to then.

Gary's love of music as well as fun turned him into a rock and roll guitar freak like me and Steve. Gary played in a lot of bands. He loved to jam, and got into hard rock and country rock - he loved twin guitar leads and Marshall stacks.

Gary was a tall lanky lovable nut, naturally funny and pretty much always smiling, because the 'fiend of fun' in him didn't have an off switch. Much like a well known rabbit of commercial fame, Gary was the Ever-ready Funny. We shared many memories and had some outstandingly hilarious times. And now, once again death has come to call, and has taken Gary from us. Steve and I were shocked to hear the news today. I'd known Gary for 50 years and I know Steve knew him even longer. There are the 'I was gonna call him, we haven't talked in quite a while' regrets, and the disbelief that he left without warning. It's still setting in that he's gone. Steve and I loved Gary, and that image of his naturally rubbery face and that nose that rivaled Pete Townsend's will forever be burned into my memory. Such a funny, sweet cat.

Rest in peace Gary. One day we'll meet up again. I hope they have volley ball in Heaven.