Remembering Dr. George Bark

July 27, 2017


With heavy hearts and deepest sympathy Gibson Area Hospital & Health Services mourn the loss of Dr. George Bark. Dr. Bark was instrumental in the healthcare system by delivering quality service at the Paxton Clinic.  Below you will read a multitude of accomplishments of Dr. Bark, but we could not even attempt to capture all that he was to so many and what he stood for. Dr. Bark was a friend, teacher, mentor, and above all, a team leader. The depth of his generosity could never be measured because he was always giving. He always put patient care and safety first, and in Dr. Bark's eyes his extended family also included his patients. Gibson Area Hospital is a family, and we will never forget our family member and the service Dr. Bark provided to his patients, colleagues, co-workers, and to our communities. GAHHS vows to continue the quality care that he provided and would expect for each and every one of his patients. 


George Allen Bark, M.D., Ph.D., 57, of Paxton passed away at 8:08 p.m. Monday (July 24, 2017) at Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana.


Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 29, at Engelbrecht Farms, 275 N. 1400 East, Paxton, with Pastor Debra Domeier officiating. Burial will be in Mount Olive Cemetery, Mayview. A celebration of life gathering will take place from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Railside Golf Course Clubhouse, 120 W. 19th St, Gibson City. Visitation will be 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 28, at First Lutheran Church, 301 S. College St., Paxton.

Baier Family Funeral Services, Paxton, is handling arrangements.


George was born on Aug. 17, 1959, in Harvey, the fourth of six children of Ralph Bark and Irene (Devert) Bark.


He is survived by his fiancée, Denice A. Wells of Ogden, and her children, Ryan (Kasey) Wells of Sidney, Corey (Rebecca) Wells of Champaign, and Amy (Jacob) Wozniak of Fithian; five grandchildren, Kolten and Kadince Wells, Aiden and Elijah Wells, and Ella Wozniak; two brothers, Charlie (Cherie Herring) Bark of Marengo and David (Deborah) Bark of Pecatonica; two sisters, Ruth (Brian) Carus of Spring Grove and Lisa (John) Bakunowicz of McFarland, Wis.; sister-in-law, Dixie Bark; nieces and nephews, including Donna (Bark) Laboda, David Bark Jr., Randy Bark, Brad Bark, Kelly Bark, Amanda Carus, Jacob Carus, Andrea (Bakunowicz) Reinholtz, Nick Bakunowicz and Barry Bakunowicz; and several great-nieces and great-nephews.


He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Robert Bark, all of Rockford.

George earned his pre-professional A.S. degree from Rock Valley College in Rockford in May 1979. He then attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 1979-1994, earning his B.S. in biology in May 1981, M.S. in biology in May 1983, Ph.D. in nutritional sciences in May 1993 and M.D. in May 1994. His M.D./Ph.D. degrees were earned simultaneously while being enrolled in the Medical Scholars Program (a dual degree program).


George entered into a three-year Family Practice (Rural) Residency Program at Union Hospital in Terre Haute, Ind., in 1994, serving as chief resident in his final year. He became board-certified in family practice in 1997.


His career choice brought him back to the area he loved the most in selecting to serve in Paxton as a small hometown doc, beginning in 1997 for Christie Clinic, followed by Provena Covenant Family Care Network and eventually working for the best employer ever, Gibson Area Hospital, in their Paxton Clinic. George loved Gibson Area Hospital because they stood behind their motto of "Gibson Gets It."


While serving the Paxton community as a physician, George returned to the academic world once again by becoming a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign faculty member in the College of Medicine as a clinical instructor in family medicine beginning in February 2003. He was promoted to clinical assistant professor in August 2007. He talked of submitting paperwork for a promotion to clinical associate professor but "hadn't gotten around to it" yet.

His greatest passion in his career were his patients, first and foremost, followed by teaching medical students who selected him to complete their family practice clerkship requirements.

George had numerous personal interests which included hunting, fishing, golfing, and competition barbecuing. He was a big supporter of the Fighting Illini as a season ticket holder in football and basketball and served as Gibson Area Hospital's representative for the Fighting Illini golf team.


George became a Cubs fan 25 years ago because of Denice and her family. In May 2016 he organized a Cubs outing for 50 family and friends. He got his chance to see the future World Series champions beat the Phillies that day!


Memorial contributions can be made to Gibson Area Hospital Foundation in memory of Dr. George Bark. These contributions will be used for rural medicine students.

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