"I'm 'Beef' Quillen and you're crazy about me."
Those were Gary "Beef" Quillen's first words to his future wife, Jennifer Porter. Gary was born to June and Clifford Quillen in Ashland, Kentucky on 17 March, 1947. He grew up leaving a strong impression on everyone he met. Beef was known to all because of his wit, his enthusiasm for people, and his wild tendencies at a young age. He loved his family, his country, and his community, and devoted his life to each.
Gary and Jennifer were married the weekend of her high school graduation in Ashland on 23 May, 1968. He enlisted in the Air Force and their first assignment was in Italy. While in Italy, missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints knocked on their door. They were invited in and Gary kindly offered them a beer. After months of prayer, thorough research, and kicking a smoking/drinking habit, Gary and Jennifer were baptized. They were sealed in the Logan temple in 1974.
Gary's career took them across the country and across oceans. In Ashland they owned a fence company as well as the Putt-Putt mini-golf. They had 8 children, Candace, Mark, Seth, Jared, Alicia, Rachel, Clifford and Joseph. They made their home a hub for their children's friends, welcoming people from all walks of life. Visitors were always enthralled with Beef's stories.
Gary served a total of 26 years in the military. He retired as a Master Sergeant from the Air Force in 1997 and moved with 6 of their children to Logan, Utah. Gary then provided for his family as a truck driver until his retirement in 2021. He could drive to any major city in the US without peeking at a map. He drove 3 million miles and drove through the COVID pandemic, despite the risks, because he felt it was his duty to provide for the American people. Beef tried out hundreds of restaurants through the USA, taking particular interest in BBQ joints, wishing one day to open his own. He knows the best BBQ spots in dozens of states, and was regularly given tours by restaurant owners.
Gary was always a sports fan. He attended all the Paul Blazer High School games, and was even welcome to ride on the team bus. He played any sport he could, and ran the Ragnar Relay at the age of 69. He passed his love of the Kentucky Wildcats to his children, often gathering as a family on gamedays. Beef said the 60s was the greatest decade for music. He especially loved The Four Tops, The Rolling Stones, Creedence Clearwater Revival, as well as George Strait and Johnny Cash. He taught his kids to work. "Make yourself the most valuable person in your position." He always said "Being on time is the easiest part of your job! It takes no specials skills or knowledge." Beef was an ambitious gardener, growing far more than needed so that they could share with friends and family. As a skilled woodworker Gary built what he called "The Taj Mahal of chicken coops." He adopted a wild donkey, Luella, and treated her with so much love. He was allergic to cats, but had them anyway because they brought him such joy.
Gary loved cozying up with Jennifer with some popcorn or ice cream to watch one western after another. He especially loved the Lonesome Dove Series. They held Sunday dinner every week for decades. He loved listening to his family's struggles, successes, and hilarious mishaps. He's the finest man any of us ever knew. He devoted his life to providing for his family. Gary was a devout student of The Gospel and each of his four sons served missions.
In 2021 he finally bought a Dodge pick-up truck. He got it repainted and he looked great driving it.
Gary had multiple joint replacements, cancer, COVID, and other ailments that he would always recover from well ahead of doctor expectations. He was recently hospitalized due to complications from a prior surgery. He was released from the hospital on Thanksgiving Day because he wanted to be with his family, and even wanted to drive himself home. He died in his sleep on November 28th. He is survived by his lovely wife, his grown children, and 17 grandchildren.
He's "Beef" Quillen, and we're crazy about him.
The funeral service will be on Saturday December 4th, 2021 at 12:00PM at the LDS Church at 645 Trail Circle, Logan, UT. There will be a viewing at White Pine Funeral Services on Friday December 3rd from 6-8 pm, and at the LDS church from 10:30-11:30AM on December 4th, immediately preceding the funeral service. Interment at Logan Cemetery. Those who are unable to attend the funeral can attend virtually via zoom link at whitepinefunerals.com/obituaries or at the following link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82004519490