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Charles E. "Chuck" Gilkerson

May 26, 1927 January 14, 2022
Charles E. "Chuck" Gilkerson
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Obituary for Charles E. "Chuck" Gilkerson
Charles E. “Chuck” Gilkerson, 94, of Mount Carmel, Illinois, passed away on Friday, January 14, 2022 at Deaconess Midtown Hospital in Evansville, Indiana. Chuck was born on May 26, 1927 in Marengo, Illinois, the son of Harry C. and Fern G. (Goodrich) Gilkerson. He graduated High School in Fairfield, IL where he served as President of his Senior Class. Three Days following his high school graduation, Chuck enlisted in the United States Navy and was called to duty one day after his eighteenth birthday, where he served during World War II. While enlisted, he held rank as a Hospital Apprentice caring for over forty-five men; a time that Chuck referred to as long hours and tough times.

Chuck married Mary Joan Gaines on June 4, 1953 in Grayville, Illinois. In 1953, Chuck and Joan started Gilkerson Cleaners, a dry-cleaning store in Mount Carmel. From a young age, Chuck worked in his grandfather’s laundry and cleaning service where he learned to press. Chuck was proud of his community and had a desire to serve. In 1962, he joined Civil Defense in the county and was later appointed Deputy Director of Civil Defense in Wabash County. He was very proud to receive an award for a human relations talk after taking Dale Carnegie Training. Chief Gilkerson worked for Mt. Carmel Police Department from 1967-1988 and took great pride in our community while serving with dedication and professionalism. In 1969, Chuck attended University of Evansville Law Enforcement and also Wabash Valley College. Chuck also served as Detective for the City and County and was known for his attention to detail and was always thorough in his investigation work. Chuck earned a certificate from Midwest Investigative Hypnosis Institute as a Hypno-Investigator and this skill was often used to break cases.

Chuck was very proud of his family especially his grandson, Chase. He always treasured time spent with family. Among Chuck’s hobbies, he enjoyed building scale model radio control boats by scratch and was proud of his collection. Chuck was baptized of Christian faith and attended the Christian Church in Grayville and later attended First Church of God in Mount Carmel.

Chuck will be remembered by his loving wife, Joan Gilkerson of Mount Carmel; daughter, Beth Neely and husband, Paul of Allendale; grandson, Chase Neely and fiancé, Emily Snyder; great grandchildren, Kynzleigh Ann, Kayleigh Alyn, Benjamin Martin, Gracelyn Marie and Claire Mayson whom he was looking forward to welcoming in May. Chuck was preceded in death by his parents; sister and brother-in-law, Betty (Bob) Johnston.

A Graveside Service with Full Military Honors will be held at 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 18th, 2022 at Highland Memorial Cemetery with Brother Bill Reed officiating. Mount Carmel Police Department and the Wabash County Sheriff’s Department will also be in attendance to honor Chuck’s faithful service to our community with a Last Call. A private family visitation will be held prior to the service.

Social distancing, wearing of face coverings and use of hand sanitizer is recommended.

Memorial contributions may be made in Chuck’s memory to Wabash County Crimestoppers or the Wabash County Animal Shelter Buddies. Envelopes will be at the graveside service or can be mailed to Keepes Funeral Home, 1500 N. Cherry Street, Mount Carmel, IL 62863.

Keepes Funeral Home is serving the family with the arrangements. To view Chuck’s tribute wall, leave condolences and purchase flowers for the Gilkerson family, please visit
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1:00 PM 1/18/2022 1:00:00 PM
Highland Memorial Cemetery

college drive
Mount Carmel, il 62863

Highland Memorial Cemetery
college drive Mount Carmel 62863 il
United States

Cemetery Details


Highland Memorial Cemetery Final Resting Place

college drive
Mount Carmel, il 62863

college drive Mount Carmel 62863 il
United States

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