Gary Lee Oppenlander, 75, of Junction City, KS, passed away August 7, 2020. Johnson Funeral Home of Junction City is assisting the family with cremation arrangements.
A graveside service will be held at 10:00am on August 28, 2020, at the Kansas Veterans' Cemetery at Fort Riley, 5181 Wildcat Creek Road, Manhattan, KS, with a celebration of life to follow at the American Legion Post #45, 201 E. 4th St., Junction City, KS 66441. Procession from the American Legion to the Kansas Veterans’ Cemetery will begin at 9:30am. Those who choose to join in the procession are advised to arrive at the American Legion at 9:15am.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Geary County Animal Shelter, 2324 N. Jackson St., Junction City, KS 66441, The Junction City Open Door, 136 W. 3rd St., Junction City, KS 66441, and the National Kidney Foundation, 6405 Metcalf Avenue Suite 204, Overland Park, KS 66202.
Gary was born December 15, 1944, in Junction City, Kansas, to Ernest and Joyce (Cogdil) Oppenlander. After graduating from White City High School, he enlisted in the United States Navy Seabees and honorably served for over 20 years. He married Martha Ruth Schiller on April 3, 1968. He and his family lived in many duty stations domestic and abroad, but they ultimately came back home to Junction City, Kansas after his retirement. Gary earned many awards and achievements to include but are not limited to: The National Defense Service Medal, Antarctica Service Medal, M-16 Expert Rifle, Vietnam Service Medal, Navy “E” Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation, RVN M.U.C Civil Actions Medal w/ Palm, RVN M.U.C Gallantry Cross Medal w/ Palm, M-16 Marksman, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, M-16 Sharpshooter, and Good Conduct Medal (5th Award).
Gary had many interests and talents. He was a member of the VFW in Gulfport, Mississippi; The American Legion Post #45 of Junction City, Kansas, and served as the 3 time past worthy president of the Eagles Club of Junction City, Kansas. He called BINGO regularly for the Eagles and American Legion of Junction City. Gary was also an avid outdoorsman. He enjoyed Fishing and bow hunting. Above all, he was a devoted husband, caring father, adoring grandfather, loving great-grandfather, and loyal friend.
Gary is survived by his loving family: daughter Christy Lee (Dave Hill) Smelly; two grandsons Bruce Shannon Broome Jr. and Shannon Michael Smelly Jr.; four great-granddaughters Breanna Broome, Madison Broome, Kayden Wilson, and Bellarose Broome; one great-grandson Owen Broome; one brother Michael Oppenlander; and a host of loving family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his beloved wife Martha, his three brothers Ernest August Jr., Leland LeRoy, and Robert Eugene Oppenlander, and his sister Judith Anne Oppenlander, and one grandson Bradley Broome.
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