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In loving memory of
Gary Wendell Harnetiaux
  • Passed away on January 10, 2022

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Obituary

Gary Wendell Harnetiaux was born in Smithboro, Illinois, on March 26, 1941, and lost his nearly twenty battle with Parkinson’s Monday, January 10, 2022. He was married to the love of his life, Judy Harnetiaux, for nearly fifty-nine years. He was a loving father to Jonathan Harnetiaux and grandfather to Zane Harnetiaux, who he adored above all else.

Gary was the son of Harold and Mildred (Ulmet) Harnetiaux of Smithboro, Illinois. He graduated from Greenville High School in 1958 and SIUE in 1972. Gary served in the military during the Vietnam War. After his service, he designed and built his home on Idler Lane in Greenville, Illinois, where he lived with his family for over 30 years.

Gary farmed land in Bond County with his father Harold and brother-in-law Ron Grissom for a period that spanned decades of his life.

In 2003 Gary retired from NEVCO after working a thirty-four-year career. During his time at Nevco, he achieved the top sales representative award for a number of consecutive years. He lived his retirement years at Lake of the Ozarks, where he happily spent his days with family and friends. He eventually moved with his wife to The Villages, Florida, in 2019.

Gary was a fun-loving person with a spark in his eye and a dry sense of humor. His hobbies were boating and fishing, and he was known for being a bit of a “gear-head.” In addition, he had a love of automobiles and enjoyed the thrill of speed. Gary could do almost anything from high-finance to fine carpentry and was a highly detailed person. He was the epitome of work-hard, play-hard, fiercely loyal, and dedicated to his family and friends. He wholeheartedly valued and supported his family and was considered the “nicest guy” and a “life-long buddy” to his dearest friends.

To say Gary will be missed by all who knew him and loved him is an understatement.

His loving family survives Gary Harnetiaux: wife, Judith (Haake) Harnetiaux (The Villages, Florida); son, Jonathan Harnetiaux, daughter-in-law, Mary Radcliff-Harnetiaux, and grandson, Zane Harnetiaux (Denver Colorado); brother, Alan Harnetiaux and his wife Darlene (Lewis) Harnetiaux (The Villages, Florida); sister, Linda (Harnetiaux) Grissom and her husband Ron Grissom (Greenville, Il); nephew, Clay Grissom and his wife Lori (Sugg) Grissom (St. Louis, Mo.); nieces, Valerie Grissom and her husband Samu Qureshi (Bethesda, MD), Tiffany Harnetiaux (Beaufort, SC), and Tricia (Harnetiaux) Stephens and her husband, Dan Stephens (Greenville Il).

Gary was also loved and survived by extended family too numerous to mention. He loved them all.


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  1. Sandy & Cal says:
    23 Jan 2022
    Gary was one of those people who always made you feel important. Whether he was talking to me or my 5 year old grandson, he made us feel special. I am so thankful I was not only able to meet him and his loving wife Judy but to live close to them. Our neighborhood hasn't been the same since Gary shot the buzzards off his antenna, causing them to fall and tear off his guttering. Who got the last laugh? Additionally, he was the only one who could get away with dedicating the song "You Talk Too Much" to Judy. We are so blessed to have had Gary and Judy in our lives. Gary was a great friend, neighbor, mentor and just all-around great guy who will be missed.

  2. James Frazier says:
    19 Jan 2022
    Gary you have been my best friend from our freshman year in high school. We had great times. Then we grew up and had families and reconnected. I will remember our great trips with you and Judy. Riding camels by the Great Pyramid, China, Russia, Mexico, Greece, Turkey, Malta and the rest. You and Judy were the best travel buddies. I knew this was coming but I wasn’t ready. We will miss you.
    Jim and Gina

  3. Judy Patterson says:
    18 Jan 2022
    Judy, Jon, Mary & Zane,
    We are sorry to learn of Gary’s passing. He was so fun & we enjoyed his need for speed whenever we went out on the boat with him. We’ve missed you since you moved away & will continue to miss you. Rest In Peace friend.

  4. Tricia Stephens says:
    18 Jan 2022
    Great memories of Uncle Buddy are too many to count! The time he and dad picked me up from VBS in his vintage Corvette Stingray and I walked out of the house of God a bad ass ten year old with a bad haircut, the time in high school I rode with him, Judy, Mom, and Dad on one of Buddy’s reality checks to the Oasis in the dune buggy, and of course my 21st birthday with Gary and Dan mooning us from the bottom deck of the boat. Gary was blessed with a great life and love I wish for everyone!

  5. Jonathan Harnetiaux posted an image:
    17 Jan 2022
    Dad in his iconic "Hemingway" look.
    Dad in his iconic "Hemingway" look.

  6. Jonathan Harnetiaux says:
    17 Jan 2022
    I love you dad. I'll miss my north star.

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