Cover photo for Donald Eberly's Obituary
Donald Eberly Profile Photo

Donald Eberly

d. September 9, 2021

Donald Eberly passed away on Thursday, September 9, 2021 at Gibson Area Hospital with his wife Sallie at his side. Don was born in Dixon, Illinois on October 4, 1933 to Isabelle Eberly. He graduated from Dixon High School in 1951.

Don attended Carthage College in Carthage, Illinois and, after an interruption of three years to complete his military service in the Army, received a B.S. in Education. Later, he attended Northwestern University in summer sessions and earned his M.S. in Education.

While attending college, Don worked at a local restaurant with his future wife, Nadine McClanahan. They were married on October 10, 1954, and had two children, Jon (deceased) and Lori (Karen), of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. Nadine preceded him in death after 61 years of marriage. Don lived in the Gibson City/Champaign area from the early 1960s until his death.  On March 18, 2017, Don and Sallie Hutton married and their family includes Sallie’s daughters Kathy (Alan) Thomas of Champaign, Laura (Brian) McCranner of Holland, Michigan, and grandchildren Scott McCranner and Molly McCranner.

Don’s first profession was teaching. He worked 20 years at Gibson City High School as the primary teacher for Algebra, Geometry and Trigonometry. The advent of computer technology made him change directions; at nearly 50, he decided to embark on a new career and worked at Eastern Illinois University and later University of Illinois as a computer programmer and system analyst.

Don was an avid gardener, growing his own fruit and vegetables, researching the best varieties and hybrids for the tastiest crop. Later in life he started woodworking and made many beautiful items for his home and family. He was also passionate about photography and enjoyed the quest for the perfect shot of scenery. Don was a member of the First Christian Church of Gibson City for over 60 years, serving at different times as Treasurer, Elder, and church board member. Don and Nadine were heavily involved in church activities and enjoyed traveling throughout the country, especially to National Parks. Bridge was another shared passion, playing with friends and for the Gibson Area Hospital marathon, and they square danced with the Shufflin’ Shoes club of Gibson City.

Don and Sallie traveled and he was delighted to visit new, interesting places including Canada, Pakistan, and Maine. They enjoyed their church group events and outings with Sallie’s social groups, the Traveling Gourmet, Wine Club and Tailgate group.

Don was preceded in death by his wife Nadine and son. He is survived by his wife Sallie, sister Martha Henley of Amboy, daughter and stepdaughters Kathy, Laura, and Lori.

Visitation will be held at Rosenbaum Funeral Home, Gibson City on Monday September 13, 2021 from 5:30-7:30 pm. A memorial service will be held at First Christian Church, Gibson City on Tuesday September 14, 2021 at 11:00 am. A lunch at the church will be followed by burial at Drummer Township cemetery. A reception at First Presbyterian Church, Champaign will be held on Tuesday September 14, 2021 at 3:30 pm


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Donald Eberly, please visit our floral store.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Donald Eberly, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, September 13, 2021

5:30 - 7:30pm (Eastern time)

Rosenbaum Funeral Home

925 IL-47, Gibson City, IL 60936

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Memorial Service

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Starts at 11:00am (Eastern time)

First Christian Church (Gibson City)


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Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Starts at 3:30pm (Eastern time)

First Presbyterian Church (Champaign)


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