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Donald “Gale” Courson, 85, Farina

Donald Courson

Donald “Gale” Courson, 85, of Farina, passed away Saturday, May 6, 2023.

Gale was born on August 12, 1937 in Centralia, IL, the son of Gerald and Lenora (VonBehren) Courson. He married Charlene E. Schnake in St. Peter, Illinois on August 19, 1956.

He graduated from LaGrove High School, Farina, Illinois in 1955. Following high school graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. He was stationed in Tampa, Florida as an airplane electrician. After his service in the Air Force, Gale and Charlene returned home to Farina, where he farmed with his father. During his initial years in farming, he also worked as a carpenter during the winter months. Gale was very active in his community and never knew a stranger. He served by volunteering for the Farina Ambulance Service and Fire Department, where he was Fire Chief. He served as elder for St. Peter Lutheran Church and as a school board member for the LaGrove School System. Gale farmed for over 60 years and retired from farming in 2017. He and Charlene wintered in Florida and he enjoyed spending the rest of the seasons helping his son-in-law and grandsons farm. In his spare time, he enjoyed building equipment. Over the years, he enjoyed following his grandons’s sporting events as they grew and rarely missed any any of their activities. The last several years, he was able to follow his great-grandchildren’s activities.

He is survived by his wife: Charlene; daughter: Lori Johnson and husband Mark; grandsons: Mitch Johnson and wife Sarah and Marty Johnson and wife Kinzie; great-grandchildren: Mason, Hayden, Savannah, Hallie, Gavin, and Maddox; sister: Janet (Courson) Reinhardt and husband John; and brother: David Courson and wife Diane.

He was preceded in death by his parents: Gerald and Lenora Courson and grandson: Brady Johnson.

Funeral Services will be held Wednesday, May 10, 2023 at 11:00 AM at the St. Peter Lutheran Church in St. Peter, Illinois with Rev. Ryan Meyer officiating. Visitation will be held Wednesday mroning from 10:00 AM until the time of service at the church. Burial will follow at Farina Cemetery in Farina, Illinois. Military Honors will be accorded at the gravesite by the Farnia American Legion Post 411. Memorial Donations may be made to the Donor’s Choice adn will be accepted at the Sutherland-Rankin Funeral Home at 310 North Broadway/ P.O. Box 97 Salem, Illinois 62881, (618)548-1234, who is honored to be of service to the Courson Family. Online condolences may be made to the family by visiting and the Sutherland Funeral Home Facebook Page.