Gary Dean Littrell was born February 28, 1946, in Hardin County, Illinois. He was the youngest of five children: Bill and Glendon Douglas, both deceased; Brenda and LaDon Littrell, both of whom reside locally; His mother, Novella Littrell, a widowed mother, did her best to bring up the family in an atmosphere of love and caring despite any financial privations. Gary spent much of his childhood playing and roughhousing with his older brother LaDon and the beloved family dog, Rex, who lived an incredible 23 years.
Gary attended Martin Grade School, Shewmaker Elementary School and Cave In Rock High School where he finally passed his math classes thanks to good friends such as Judy Lanham.
After graduation from high school, Gary began working at Minerva Oil Company where he remained until he received a “greetings and invitation” letter from Uncle Sam that was impossible to refuse. The Vietnam War profoundly affected the rest of Gary’s life. As in the case of so many of these veterans, the war made an indelible impression. During that time, no one understood Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, so he, like others, struggled with his memories.
Gary was a lifelong workaholic and a noted “tightwad”. As his once father in law, Deneen Mott once remarked, “No matter how deep the ditch was, Gary was there to dig.” In 1975, after the closing of Minerva Mining Company, Gary relocated to Green River, Wyoming, where he was employed by Allied Chemical, which later became General Chemical. After retirement in 1998, Gary began dividing his time between his adopted Wyoming and the home, family and friends he loved in Hardin County.
Gary was noted for his quick wit and caustic sense of humor. He enjoyed participation in events such as the 70’s Frontier Days Saloon Show, where he portrayed a memorable card-playing drunk. He thrived on being the center of attention and never lost his edge for competition.
Gary was always accident prone. From the time he flipped a Harley sportster in his 20’s to his unfortunate meeting with a tree decades later, he still managed to bounce back and keep going, overcoming many job-related injuries and joint replacements.
Gary is survived by his daughter, Tahnee Littrell, grandchildren Kayren Vinyard and Dalton Vinyard, and great grandbaby Robert Deneen.
He is also survived by four siblings, Brenda Birch of Rosiclare and Virgil LaDon (Midge) Littrell of Cave In Rock and Jan Angel of Charleston and Pat Polote. Two brothers, Bill and Glendon Douglas, and his mother Novella are deceased.
His Wyoming family include wife Birdie Lorene, whom he married on May 18, 1998, and two sons, Mike (Tammy) Register of Green River, Wyoming, and Frank (Tracy) Register of Captain Cook, Hawaii, grandchildren Mat (Sarah) Register, Tobey (Chris) Zicopula, Veronica (Mike) Register, Cherish (Conall) Ravenscraft, Noel (Aaron) Register and one great- granddaughter, Rowyn Grace Register, and his beloved cat D.D.
Gary passed away on Thursday, June 8, 2017, at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, Indiana. He was 71 years old. He leaves numerous friends and acquaintances whose lives were enriched through their friendship with Gary Dean. Gary enjoyed life and lived it to the fullest. As he always said instead of goodbye, “I’ll see you later, Sugar.”