WEST FRANKFORT -- Gail Leslie Borton, 85, formerly of West Frankfort, Illinois passed away on August 8, 2017, in Savoy, Illinois. He was born on June 8, 1932, the youngest of four children of Gail Leslie Borton, Sr. and Pearl Bennett Borton and grew up on the family farm near Tower Hill, Illinois.
Upon graduation from high school, Gail attended one year of college at the University of Illinois before transferring to Eastern Illinois University where he received a B.S. in Education. He enlisted in the U.S.Army and served two years as a communications specialist in Okinawa. After completing military service he continued his studies at EIU earning a M.S. in Education and later was the first person in the school's history to receive a Specialist Degree in Education Administration.
He was married to Rosalie Ann McKittrick on August 12, 1956. They were married for 54 wonderful years be-fore she passed away. They had three children, Karen, Connie and Jon. Gail was a member of the United Methodist Church for 72 years, with the past 45 being at Trinity United Methodist Church in West Frankfort.
Gail worked for 36 years in school administration. His first professional job was as a high school history teacher at Charleston High School in Charleston, Illinois where he was also the school's football, basketball and track coach. He later served as the Charleston High School principal. In 1971 he became the principal of Frankfort Community High School in West Frankfort and retired as the principal of Central Junior High School in 1992. In addition to his duties as principal, he was also was involved with the Illinois High School Association, serving on the IHSA Board of Directors for eight years.
He was very involved in high school athletics across Illinois, serving as an official and clinician for football, volleyball and track and a rules interpreter for football for over 50 years. He also served as an observer of football officials at the collegiate level.
In 2005, Gail was named West Frankfort Citizen of the Year and in 2008 was inducted into the Frankfort Community High School Hall of Fame. In retirement, he became involved in numerous civic activities including serving as President of the West Frankfort Chamber of Commerce, and service on the boards of the West Frankfort City Planning Commission, Franklin County Tourism Board, Illinois Retired Teachers Association, Franklin County Retired Teachers Association, West Frankfort Kiwanis Club, and the Egyptian Area on Aging, Inc. He will best be remembered for his dedicated service as President and an active member of Helping Hands, the Franklin County Chapter of Habitat for Humanity. His service touched many lives throughout the state of Illinois both personally and professionally.
He is survived by: daughters Karen (Chuck) Daniels, Annandale, Virginia; Connie (Rob) Finney, Champaign, son Jon (Denise) Borton, Lincoln, Nebraska; nine grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by wife Rosalie, parents, one brother, Robert Borton and two sisters.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday August 12, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. in Trinity United Methodist Church – West Frankfort, Illinois with Pastor Joey Dunning officiating. Burial will be in the Tower Hill Cemetery – Tower Hill, Illinois. Visitation will be held from 9:00-11:00 a.m. on Saturday August 12, 2017 at the church prior to the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to either Helping Hands, the Franklin County Chapter of Habitat for Humanity or Trinity United Methodist Church in West Frankfort. Envelopes will be available and accepted at the church or funeral home.
Union Funeral Home – West Frankfort, Illinois is in charge of arrangements.
Online condolences of sympathy may be made at www.unionfh.com.