Of the Wisconsin Veterans Home, age 80, passed away on Wednesday, September 18, 2019. He was born on October 29, 1938 to Orlo and Violet Smith in Iron Mountain, MI.
He spent most of his childhood with his brother and sister, Dale and Josephine (Ghera), and cousins, Harold and Elmer “Gus” in Beecher WI. Gary graduated from Pembine High School in 1956. He spent four years in the US Army, serving most of the time in Germany. Gary graduated Marinette Normal School in 1964. He started teaching eighth grade that same year in Pembine. He taught one year in White Lake and coached the football program, returning to Pembine the following year. Gary graduated Wisconsin School University at Oshkosh in Upper Elementary Education in 1971.
He started a cross country mile canoe trip on the “Spirit of Pembine” in 1975 with Mark McCorkle, also of Pembine, and was mentioned in the book “3000 Miles by Canoe”.
Gary was an avid Wisconsin Sports fan, Brewers, Badgers, and Packers, along with the Pembine High School Panthers teams.
He is survived by three nephews: Dale Jr. of Fond du Lac; Brian of Oshkosh; and Peter of Kenosha; two nieces: Paula and Karen both of Kenosha.
Gary retired from teaching, mostly 6th grade in Pembine, in 1994 and helped his nephew, Dale Jr. move to Kansas to start his teaching career. He later helped him move back to Fond du Lac, WI in 1998. He lived most of his life at the end of Smith Lane, until 2014, when he moved to the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King.