Galen was born on January 09, 1926, the third son to Arthur and Ella, nee Bracke, Eschman of Belleville, Illinois. He served in WWII as a Signalman 2nd Class in the United States Navy from 1944 – 1946. When he returned home, he went to work at the Hagar Hinge Company in St. Louis, Missouri – a job from which he retired after 48 years of service in 1991. He was a member of St. Henry’s Catholic Church in Belleville, Illinois, and St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Bartonville, Illinois.
Galen was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers, Elbert O. and Cordell E., both of Belleville, Illinois.
Surviving are his wife of 58 years, Ruby, nee Bann, Eschman, whom he married on May 30, 1963 at St. Mary’s Church in Belleville, Illinois; a daughter, Yvonne Meyer of Peoria, Illinois; a son, Robert (Stephanie) of Tulsa, Oklahoma; and a daughter Janice (Michael) Bonneville of Bloomington, Illinois; six grandchildren, Cody (Olivia) Bonneville, John (Christi) Bonneville, Jennifer (William) Snyder, Mackenzie Bonneville, Micaela Eschman and Patrick Eschman; and four great-grandchildren, Zachary, Jack and Michael Snyder and Luna Bonneville.
He was a life member of Moose Lodge 1221 in Swansea, Illinois, and was the oldest living Governor, having served his term from 1963 – 1965. Galen was a life member of the Belleville Sister Cities and of American Legion Post 979, Bartonville, Illinois and a member of VFW Post 3883, Bartonville, Illinois.
More than anything, Galen was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He was an avid (likely an understatement) St. Louis Cardinal fan, following them from Sportsman’s Park to old Busch, to new Busch, with a beer in one hand and a scorecard in the other, and a sneaky card player, tricking us all until the last hand.
In his final days, Galen was cared for by the loving and supportive staff at Farmington Country Manor in Farmington, Illinois.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in the form of a mass in Galen’s name or in a monetary donation to Farmington Country Manor, 701 S Main Street, Farmington, Illinois, 61531. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.
Visitation: Friends may visit from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, 2022, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL. A Belleville/Swansea Moose Lodge ritual will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Visitation will also be held from 9 to 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 20, 2022, at St. Henry’s Catholic Church, Belleville, IL.
Funeral: A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 20, 2022, at St. Henry’s Catholic Church, Belleville, IL, with Rev. Kenneth York officiating.
Burial with military honors will be at Green Mount Catholic Cemetery, Belleville, IL.
Memorial Celebration: A memorial celebration will be held at St. Anthony’s parish in Bartonville, Illinois, at a later date.