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Gene D. Cwick

Canton – Gene Darral Cwick, 84, of Canton, passed away at 12:46 PM on Tuesday, September 8, 2020 at Graham Hospital in Canton, IL. He was born on November 29, 1935 in Bloomington, IL to John George and Yvonne G. (Sears) Cwick. He married Edith Ann Cleinmark on November 22, 1956 at the Holy Trinity Church in Bloomington, IL. She preceded him in death in 1998. He later married Elizabeth Wheeler on October 5, 2003 at the Chapel of the Trees in Funks Grove, IL. She survives.

Gene is also survived by three children, Ellen D. (Pam Ransom) Cwick of Wauconda, IL; Therese Stevens of El Paso, IL; and Jaynet (Steve) Smith of Flanagan IL; daughter-in-law, Laura (Kim Bond) Cwick of Smyrna, GA; two step-children, Jill (Rhett) Cox and Brent (Mandy) Wheeler; six grandchildren, Allison Cwick, Erin (Will) Caughman, Matt (Ashley Cox) Bauer, Michael Bauer, Eric (Jamie) Smith, and Brent (Albana) Smith; four step-grandchildren, Ryan Cox, Sarah, Allison, and Nick Wheeler; eight great-grandchildren, Mark and Elizabeth Caughman, Kingston Nuding, Nolan, Dylan and Owen Smith, and Brock and Madison Smith.

He is preceded in death by his parents, one son, Mark John Cwick; and one sister, Cheri Cagley.

Gene graduated from Trinity High School, later attending and graduating from ISU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education in 1958, and a Master’s Degree in School Administration in 1966. He taught at El Paso Middle School and retired as a Superintendent of Schools in Gridley, IL. He was a member of the IASA, IRTA, and Knights of Columbus. He is also a past member of Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in El Paso, IL. Gene had many awards, 1975- Yearbook Dedication, 1992- Gridley Community Service Award, 1992 President of the Mclean, Dewitt County Superintendent of Schools Association, 1998- Gridley High School National Honor Society, renamed “The Gene D. Cwick Gridley High School National Honor Society, 2000- Named Honorary Distinguished Alumnus. He loved camping and traveling, visiting all 50 states and parts of Europe. He also loved attending all of his children’s and grandchildren’s events. He will be greatly missed.

Per Gene’s wishes, cremation rites will be accorded through Sedgwick Funeral Homes & Crematory in Canton. A celebration of life service will be held at a later date in Gridley, Illinois. Memorials can be made to El Paso-Gridley Education Foundation or to Extended Care Unit at Graham Hospital in Canton. To leave online condolences please visit



  • Cindy Johnson

    Reply September 9, 2020 2:37 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. I wish you peace and comfort. I’m Betsy’s sorority sister. I had fun times at their beautiful home. I know Gene spent many hours mowing his lawn. It was quite a showplace. I appreciated his love of nature.

  • Jim and Carol London

    Reply September 9, 2020 2:45 pm

    Betsy & family, sending thoughts and prayers to you. Gene has struggled with health issues for the past few years. He is now at peace having lived a life of many accomplishments and awards. May the many wonderful memories give you and family comfort. Deepest sympathy and love.

  • Suzanne VanHootegem Thompson

    Reply September 9, 2020 3:25 pm

    Betsy – My condolences to you and your family at the loss of your husband, Gene. In reading the obituary, Gene achieved much success in his lifetime. I’m so happy you were able to have your years together. You have memories to sustain you. Sending much love, Suzanne

  • Kathleen Stelzner

    Reply September 9, 2020 6:36 pm

    I worked for Ellen at Vernon Hills High School and had the pleasure of meeting her dad. May he rest in Peace.

  • Viola Butler

    Reply September 9, 2020 7:09 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss, Ellen.

  • Keith McNamara

    Reply September 10, 2020 4:50 am

    Thoughts and prayers from the McNamara family during this difficult time. He is a one of a kind with his heart and passion, a special person.

  • Anthony Painter

    Reply September 10, 2020 5:19 am

    So sorry for the loss of your husband Betsy. Sending loving thoughts to you and your family.
    Tony Painter

  • Karen Martin

    Reply September 10, 2020 8:26 am

    My deepest condolences to you and your family. May your memories be a blessing.
    Karen Martin

  • Jim Whittington

    Reply September 10, 2020 8:53 am

    Ellen, I am sorry for your loss. I know you were very close to your dad. You were a wonderful daughter!

  • Rick Kirkton

    Reply September 10, 2020 10:43 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. Mr. Cwick was my principal, coach, and mentor when I graduated from Gridley HS back in 1975. He was a big reason why I went into teaching and coaching. I am so very thankful that he was in my life.

    Rick Kirkton
    GHS class of 1975

  • Coral Trybus

    Reply September 10, 2020 11:05 am

    Dr. Cwick

    I am so sorry to hear about your Dad’s passing.

    Please accept my heartfelt condolences. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Coral Trybus

  • Denise Zwit

    Reply September 10, 2020 11:20 am


    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family – so very sorry for your loss. I remember your dad from your retirement dinner – what a delight he was!

  • Tom Stevens

    Reply September 10, 2020 11:43 am

    I know how much Gene meant to his wife Betsy and the entire family. I know first hand what family meant to Gene and he will be missed beyond what words could describe. I am deeply sorry for your loss. My deepest sympathy to Betsy and the family.

  • Coral Trybus

    Reply September 10, 2020 7:19 pm

    Dr. Cwick,

    I’m so sorry about the passing of your Dad. Please accept my heartfelt condolences. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Coral Trybus

  • Bill & Cindy Nelson

    Reply September 10, 2020 9:00 pm

    Thoughts and prayers from the Nelson family! RIP Tiger!!

  • Juli Klopfenstein

    Reply September 10, 2020 9:26 pm

    My sympathies to the family. He was truly a special man. I respected him so much as our superintendent at GHS. I also have great memories of him during the time spent at the Cwick household. Prayers and hugs at this time to you all!

  • Donna (French) Butikofer

    Reply September 10, 2020 9:57 pm

    May God comfort your entire family during this difficult time. My thoughts and prayers go out to each of you.

  • Bob and MaryAnne McNamara

    Reply September 11, 2020 5:31 am

    Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this sad time. Gene was a wonderful person.

  • Jacqueline Ahern

    Reply September 11, 2020 5:39 am

    So sorry for your loss Ellen. Such a great man. May he Rest In Peace.

  • Michelle (Hilts) Gabrielse

    Reply September 11, 2020 8:15 am

    Thoughts and Prayers for his family. I learned a lot from him while I was in school, and I take what he taught with me every day.

  • Sandi Smith

    Reply September 11, 2020 8:37 am

    My thoughts & prayers for comfort are with family & friends.

  • Bill Foor

    Reply September 11, 2020 9:55 am

    Very sorry for your loss, Mr. Cwick was a great influence in my life throughout highschool. He always helped me and I have always had a great deal of respect for him as a person and football coach. He was a great man and I am sure you will miss him very much.

  • John and Nancy Hoobler

    Reply September 11, 2020 10:08 am

    Thinking of the family at this sad time and sending caring thoughts of sympathy,

  • Ben Funk

    Reply September 11, 2020 11:26 am

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Cwick family. Gene was a great leader with a real passion for our small, Gridley community. We were blessed to have him at the helm of our schools for so many years. God bless.

  • Alice M Vandegraft

    Reply September 11, 2020 12:18 pm

    So sorry to see this. You are in my prayers. Gene was a wonderful 7&8th grade teacher in El Paso.

  • Cheryl Christopher

    Reply September 11, 2020 1:41 pm

    Mr. Cwick was a good friend to my mom and dad, also to me while I attended Gridley High. He will be missed. Condolences to the family.
    Cheryl (Kellerhals) Christopher

  • Don Sherrill

    Reply September 11, 2020 2:41 pm

    I was so very sorry to hear the news of Gene. Have so many fond memories of the years we worked together at Gridley Schools. He was a wonderful friend and co-worker. The last time I saw Gene we had a wonderful visit at the dedication of the Veteran’s Memorial in Gridley. Our prayers are with you all at this time. Don & LaVonda Sherrill

  • Mary Lou Woodmancy

    Reply September 11, 2020 5:29 pm

    Betsy, We are so sorry for your lost. Gene was a wonderful neighbor here in Lake Camelot. He volunteered to help trim my bushes and spray the bricks on my back yard sidewalk. He was so kind.
    My sincere condolences and love,
    Mary Lou and Lorris Woodmancy

  • Colleen Kennedy Tucker

    Reply September 11, 2020 6:39 pm

    Your dad was such an awesome man. We’ve talked about him many, many times over the years. He had the best laugh, the biggest personality and the most handsome face. He was always so kind to all the Kennedy’s and your family has always held a special place in our hearts and memories. In fact, none of us would be here if not for your parents because they set up ‘ol Gary and Teesie! May God bless you and bring you peace at this difficult time. You’re all in my thoughts and prayers and I’m sending you love and light.

  • Barbara Wahls

    Reply September 11, 2020 8:28 pm

    To the Cwick Family,
    I’m sorry to learn of Mr. Cwick’s passing — I couldn’t bring myself to refer to him as “Gene” out of respect for him since he was my 7th and 8th grade Social Studies and History teacher at ElPaso. He had all the qualities of a great educator and I feel lucky to have learned from him — and I passed my Constitution test!
    Many years later, his daughter, Therese, and I became co-workers and great friends. It is fun sharing stories about my days as a student of her dad and her regaling me with stories about their family vacations to historical battlegrounds.
    Please accept my sympathy at this sad time. Wishing you all peaceful hearts.

    Barb Volz Wahls

  • Jeane Ossman

    Reply September 11, 2020 9:44 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss ,Betsy. I knew he wasn’t his best the day I saw you at Dr. Fishkin’s office. You take care and I hope to visit with you when all of this Covid gets straightened out. Jeane

  • Brian Dunahee

    Reply September 11, 2020 10:02 pm

    Ellen, sorry for the loss of your dad.

  • Carolyn Gray

    Reply September 12, 2020 12:07 pm

    Our world has lost a sweetheart! I had the privilege of going through grade school and high school with Gene. Everyone loved him! He was the epitome of a good and Godly, generously kind and gentle man. I cherich the memroies I have of our early years and as the years went on, he would be the one to initiate a gathering of classmates. We all have such fond memories of Gene. He was a very special kind of guy….a cut above! I pray for his famiies as they mourn. Jim and I will misss him dearly.

  • Terri Spiak

    Reply September 12, 2020 12:57 pm

    Ellen – I was Terri McHugh and knew you in elementary school. I’m sorry for your loss – of both of your parents. We’ve never stayed in touch but when I saw your dad’s name it reminded me of visiting at your house one time so long ago and what a nice family you had. I hope you and your family have peace and comfort during this sad time.

  • John Hankey

    Reply September 12, 2020 4:34 pm

    My prayers are with your family. I fondly recall Mr. Cwick as one of the best teachers and coaches at Centennial and EPHS in the early to mid 1960’s.

  • Carolyn Donaldson

    Reply September 12, 2020 10:33 pm

    To Mrs. Cwick and Family,
    I was saddened to learn of Mr. Cwick’s passing. He had been my History teacher in 7th and 8th grade at ElPaso Grade School.
    I had great respect for Mr. Cwick as an educator and I feel fortunate to have had him as a teacher and mentor.
    May special memories bring you, your family and friends peace and comfort.
    Prayers and blessings.

  • Mary Lou Bevers

    Reply September 13, 2020 9:40 am

    My sympathy to the Cwick family. He was the first principal I had as a new business teacher at Gridley High School from 1978-1981. I have always had the utmost respect for Mr. Cwick and have many fond memories of my years there. He was knowledgeable, encouraging, supportive, approachable, and honorable. He will be greatly missed and always.

  • Carl Brown

    Reply September 17, 2020 2:21 pm

    Hi Betsy and family,
    Just a note to let you know we were sorry to hear about Gene.
    Our thoughts and prayers to you and your family.
    Carl and Marianne

  • Paul & Susan Laiming

    Reply September 19, 2020 2:31 pm

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all during the loss of Gene! He was an amazing remarkable man and leader in our community. He was a great Superintendent for the Gridley School District. Recently I enjoyed working with him on the Veterans Memorial Project in GRIDLEY. He had a vision for it and spurred us on to complete it! He was always like that! When he had something in mind, he got it done. Paul and I always admired him.

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