Gary Harris, of Preble, passed away on May 5th, 2022, at the age of 78.
He was predeceased by his wife, Carole Galutz Harris, his parents, Edward and Doris Harris, his brother, William Harris, and sister-in-law, Joyce Harris.
Gary is survived by his two daughters, Annemarie (Adam) Gosser and Stephanie (Thomas) Dunn, along with his three stepsons, Judah (Ann) Currie, Charles Currie, and Michael Currie. He is also survived by thirteen grandchildren; Seth Gosser, Mitchell Gosser, Olivia Gosser, Liam Dunn, Carson Dunn, Jeremy Currie, Andrew Schrauben, Mark Currie, Colin Currie, Cianna Currie, Hunter Currie, Cole Currie, Dalton Currie, and three great-grandchildren, Gavin Currie, Dakota Currie, and Mackenzie Currie-Sherman. He is also survived by his sister, Patricia Tice, several cousins, and nieces.
Gary was born on December 30th, 1943 in Cortland, NY. He attended Truxton Central School, class of 1962, where he participated in many activities, including, basketball, baseball, soccer, track, bowling, ping pong, and the senior class play. Throughout high school, he worked with Otis Young Jr. at Sunset Young Farm, later named Trinity Valley. A few years after graduating, he began working at Sealtest Milk Plant in Homer, NY. Gary later had the opportunity to attend National Tractor Trailer School, something that he had wanted to do for a long time. After attending NTTS, he worked with Cortland Asphalt Products Corp., later known as Suit-Kote.
In November 1966, Gary was drafted into the U.S. Army for the ongoing war in Vietnam. He completed basic training at Fort Dix, N.J. He was stationed at Fort Gordon, G.A in the motor pool and then completed training for overseas duty at Fort Lee, V.A. On June 6th, 1967, Gary left for Vietnam. He was stationed at Pleiku and served with the 4th Engineer Battalion as a heavy truck driver. He returned home in June of 1968. He wrote a few letters to his family back home, but unfortunately, he was “not much of a letter writer” (June 30th and December 2nd, 1967, both addressed to his mother). From his letters, you can see that he took pride in his truck, named “Kim”, after his niece. During his service, he received the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, and the Army Commendation Medal.
After returning home, he continued working with Cortland Asphalt in the summer. He also began working with Matlack Systems INC, in the colder months. Along with his first wife, Linda Lockwood Zubal, he had two daughters, Anne and Steph. Together they moved to Preble, NY, in 1971, where he resided until his passing. On March 30th, 1985, he married Carole Galutz, and in return gained three stepsons, Jay, Chuck, and Mike. He continued to work for Matlack until he retired from disability in December of 1993.
After retiring, Gary made sure he kept busy. As a couple, he and his wife enjoyed going on senior citizen trips. Together they also delighted in rescuing dogs, and “dog sitting” a family friend's dog, Mila. He enjoyed spending his time collecting tractors and Craftsman tools. In fact, he was a member of the Craftsman Club. Gary and Carole also enjoyed hosting their growing family for many things like Easter, The Preble Memorial Day Parade, and Thanksgiving.
On September 30th, 2021, his beloved wife, Carole, passed away unexpectedly.
On March 30th, 2022, after an extended hospital stay, he began staying with his daughter, Anne, and her husband and daughter, Adam and Olivia. After another hospital stay, Gary was placed in hospice. He spent his last two weeks surrounded by his family. In the early morning on Thursday, May 5th, he passed away.
Visitation was from 10 to 10:45 a.m. with a service at 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 12th, at Wright-Beard Funeral Home of Cortland. After the service, he was buried beside his cherished wife at Elmwood Cemetery in Preble, N.Y.
Gary was a man of few words. He showed his love and affection through his many actions, something that friends and family will always remember him for. He will be dearly missed.