Gary Fink, 71

Former P.E. teacher, park commissioner

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Gary Fink, 71, died on Feb. 24, 2017. Born in Elgin to Richard and Mary Lou (nee Harper) Fink on May 25, 1945, he graduated from Barrington High School in 1963 and Carthage College in 1967. He played football as an offensive guard and long snapper, setting records and winning numerous awards. He won the coveted Players' Player Award presented by the late sports announcer Jack Brickhouse, and he also played baseball and basketball. At Carthage, he belonged to Tau Sigma Chi fraternity. 

Mr. Fink taught physical education in Forest Park School District 91 and was elected a park commissioner in Forest Park and later became president of the park board. He also belonged to the local Kiwanis Club. After teaching, he was a manufacturer's representative and a real estate broker. He had many interests in his life — volunteered at "Hoo" Haven, a wildlife rescue sanctuary; Assisi Animal Foundation, a dog and cat shelter; Audubon as a state director; and many other animal groups. He loved photography, spending time with his grandkids, and ballroom dancing with his wife Janet. 

Gary Fink is survived by his wife Janet (nee Bill) of 48 years; their children, Jill May Smentek and her son Kolton, Cory Robert and his wife Angela (nee Del Monte) and their children Hannah and Tyler; and his siblings, Richard Fink, David (Suzanne) Fink, and Rosie (Richard) Dreger. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister-in-law, Deanne Fink. 

After the profound impact Alzheimer's had on his family, they decided to donate his body to science in hopes of medical research finding a cure. 

A memorial gathering will be held Thursday, March 2 from 2 till 8 p.m. at 8302 White Oaks Road, in Wonder Lake. Visitation will be held on Friday, March 3 from 10 a.m., followed by an 11 a.m. celebration of life service at Grace Lutheran Church, 1300 Kishwaukee Valley Road in Woodstock. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Assisi Animal Foundation, P.O. Box 143, Crystal Lake, 60039-0143; "Hoo" Haven, P.O. Box 594, Durand 61024; and the Illinois Police Officers Memorial, 840 S. Spring St., P.O. Box 9347, Springfield 62791-9347.

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