James 'Jim' Gary, 87, passed away on Sunday, September 27, 2020, at Creekside Villas in Waynesville, North Carolina. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 60 years, Peggy, who passed away in 2016. He is survived by his sons, James Russell Gary of Telico Plains, TN and Jeffrey Thomas Gary (wife, Shelda), of Polk City, FL and his daughter Julie Gary Katt (husband, Harold) of Maggie Valley, NC. He has five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Jim was a Merchant Marine in his younger years and then joined the US Navy. He then transferred to the US Air Force and was a Combat Controller. He served in the Korean War. He did multiple tours of Vietnam. He retired from the US Air Force with over 20 years of decorated service, most of those years as a Combat Controller. He was involved in the Combat Control Association for years after his retirement.
He was a Building Inspector for Polk County and retired as the Chief Building Official. He became the Building Official for the City of Winter Haven and finished his career as a Building Inspector with the City of Auburndale.
He enjoyed Civil War reenacting, camping and traveling.
He attended First Missionary Baptist Church in Auburndale, Fl and sang in the choir for many years.
He loved the mountains of NC and the friends he made there. The family extends warm gratitude to the caregivers at Creekside Villas for the excellent love and care they extended.
There will be a visitation on Thursday, October 1st from 5:00pm-7:00pm at Kersey Funeral Home in Auburndale, FL.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Creekside Villas Activity Fund, c/o Judy Mills, 465 Boyd Avenue, Waynesville, NC 28786.
Published in News-Chief from Sep. 30 to Oct. 1, 2020.