Robert (Bob) Joseph Gagnon Jr., 76, of Catlin, passed away peacefully on July 7, 2017. Bob was born on Sept. 13, 1940, in Woodsville N.H., to Robert and Phyliss (Newton) Gagnon. On Dec. 31, 2002, Bob married the love of his life, Mary Morrison, at the Vermilion Regional Airport. Bob served in the United States Marine Corps for 23 years and retired as a Master Sergeant. His favorite part of being in the Marines was being stationed at Camp Pendleton where he served as a Drill Sergeant. After retiring from the Marine Corps, Bob earned a degree in Aviation Administration from Southern Illinois University and went on to serve as airport manager of two different airports before becoming manager of Vermilion Regional Airport, his second home. He retired at the age of 75 after serving the community for 32 years.
Bob loved nothing more than spending time with his friends and family, whether it was singing karaoke, having a glass of scotch or trading classic stories. He loved his community and the community loved him. He always stole the show during the Christmas Parades with his spectacular airport floats. If there were ever a dog or cat nearby, you could find Bob, he had a soft spot for animals. Travelling with his wife was one of his favorite things in the world, he was always an explorer. Bob is considered the "Godfather of Ballooning." He was instrumental in creating the Balloon Classic in Vermilion County. Bob was truly the most interesting man in the world.
Bob is preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Reggie and Ty Gagnon; and his daughter, Robin Gagnon. Bob is survived by his loving and caring wife, Mary Morrison; his children, Dale (Kim) Gagnon, Scott Gagnon, Shawn (Lauri) Gagnon, Annette Enkhorn, Kelly (David) Boswell, Dave Gagnon, Dan (Tammy) Gagnon and Alex (Brock) Gale; his brother, Bill (Shirley) Gagnon; and his sisters, Teri (Frank) Papp and Kathleen Gagnon. Bob had many grandchildren, several great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews whom he loved dearly.
There will be a procession leaving from Vermilion Regional Airport at 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 12, 2017, with a full military burial taking place at the National Cemetery in Danville at 2 p.m. A memorial reception will take place immediately following at the Catlin American Legion. Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center has been entrusted with Bob's arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Bob's memory can be made to the Crosspoint Women's Shelter in Danville, Vermilion County Animal Shelter Foundation and the Marine Corps Toys for Tots. All of these organizations were very dear to Bob and close to his heart.
Please join Bob's family in sharing video, pictures and memories on his tribute wall at www.sunsetfuneralhome.com.
Published on July 8, 2017