Augustine Fu Li, 93, of Marion passed away peacefully at 1:54 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, at Barnes-Jewish Hospital of St. Louis, Mo.
He was born on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 1929, in Tietsin, China, the son of Joseph and Anna Li.
Gus converted to Catholicism in his youth and attended a Catholic missionary school. When the Communists took over China, the government ejected all the missionaries and Augustine left China and went to the Philippines, where he worked as a professor of biology at Collegio de San Jose while continuing his education to become a physician.
While teaching at the two colleges in Cebu City, he met his wife to be, while she was a student in both schools. Their relationship grew and four years later they were married on Dec. 4, 1965, in Cebu City, and together they shared over 52 happy years of marriage until her passing Friday, July 27, 2018.
When Ferdinand Marcos became president and declared martial law, Gus worried about his family and decided to emigrate to the United States of America as a medical missionary to the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. While in South Dakota, he passed the examination for Foreign Medical Graduates and after completing his residency in Minot, ND, moved to Mandan, North Dakota to open his own medical practice. He made the decision to join the United States Air Force in 1984 and served for 12 years, first at Chanute AFB in Illinois, followed by Kadena AFB in Okinawa, Japan, Osan AB in Korea, Clark AFB in the Philippines, Lindsey Air Station in Germany, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and was last stationed and honorably discharged on Feb. 6, 1996 at Scott AFB in Illinois. During his travels he recorded crossing the equator 27 times.
Augustine continued his federal career by training for a position with the Bureau of Prisons at Quantico, Virginia and while there he was sent to the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia to serve as extra security due to the bomb threat. He retired in 2004 as the Medical Director at the Federal Penitentiary in Marion, IL.
Gus was an active member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Marion and was a member of the church choir and the RCIA program (Rights of Christian Initiation).
Gus enjoyed life and found contentment in gardening, fishing, reading, writing, photography and was a talented artist and sculptor and was a certified Master Gardeners by the University of Illinois Extension Program.
He will be missed by all who knew and loved him, and they will cherish their many happy memories.
He is survived by his two daughters, Theresa Shively and husband Mark and Mary Jean Li, all of Marion; two grandsons, Jeffrey Shively and his wife, Andrea, and Erik Shively, all of Marion; other extended family, and many friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, wife "Bella" one brother and one sister.
Arrangements for Augustine F. "Gus" Li have been entrusted to Wilson-McReynolds Funeral Home, 900 N. Court St., Marion.
The visitation was from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, at the funeral home.
The funeral mass was at 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, at St. Joseph Catholic Church with Rev. Father Brian Barker presiding.
Military honors will be accorded at the church by members of Marion V.F.W. Heyde Pillow Post No. 1301 Funeral Honors Detail and members of the United States Air Force Funeral Honors Detail.
For those who prefer, memorial contributions may be made to "Marion Ministerial Alliance Food Pantry", and mailed in care of Wilson-McReynolds Funeral Home, 900 N. Court St., Marion, IL 62959. Memorial envelopes will be available at the funeral home and the church.
For additional information, complete family information or to leave an online condolence of memory please visit our website at wilsonmcreynolds.com or call the funeral home at 618-993-2131.