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In loving memory of
Gary Williamson
  • January 05, 1943
  • -
  • September 20, 2018

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Obituary

Gary George Williamson, 75, of Howey-in-the-Hills, FL, passed away on Thursday, September 20, 2018. Gary was born on January 5, 1943 in Binghamton, NY. He was on the varsity football team at Vestal High School and graduated from there in 1960. He went on to graduate from State University of New York at Oswego in 1964, where he was an avid wrestler. After college, Gary taught Industrial Arts in Mexico, NY, for almost 20 years and stayed involved in wrestling as a coach and referee. While in college, he married Joyce and they had one son, Don. He also tried to find happiness with his second wife, Linda.

In 1983, Gary moved to Florida to be near his family.  He married his forever wife, Jackie, in 1986. They lived and worked in Palm Beach County for 20 years, enjoying the South Florida lifestyle, especially boating. They bought a house on a canal off the Intracoastal Waterway so they’d have “a home for the boat”, a 34 foot sport fisherman appropriately named “Nest Egg” that they often took to the Bahamas.

Upon their retirement in 2003, Gary and Jackie wanted a quieter lifestyle, so they sold the boat and bought a house and 9 acres in quiet and peaceful Howey-in-the-Hills. They soon discovered the Mt. Dora Lawn Bowling Club and Gary found his sport for retirement. He became passionate about it, playing in and winning tournaments at the local, divisional and National levels. People loved to bowl on his team because he was so patient and encouraging. He was an umpire at the Mt. Dora club and a Councilor for the SE Division.

Gary also loved travelling. He and Jackie traveled extensively both in the US and abroad. He was also an excellent card player and he loved Pepper nights with Tom and Gail. Gary was a member of several community organizations, including the Elks, Moose and the Sons of the American Legion.

Gary’s illness began in January 2018. He was hospitalized with low hemoglobin and the testing began. In May, he was diagnosed with MDS – Myelodysplastic Syndrome, a cancer of the blood, and after consulting a doctor at the Bone Marrow Center at Shands Hospital, University of FL Gainesville, he began drug therapy/chemo. He was told it would take 4 rounds of treatment (4 months) to know if the treatment would work. Just as he completed the 4th round and it seemed that it might work, he developed sepsis, a staph infection in the bloodstream. He was hospitalized for 3 weeks while they treated the infection with antibiotics that affected his already low blood counts. He fought valiantly, he so wanted to get better, but he was fighting a losing battle.

Gary is predeceased by his parents, Donald and Zelda Williamson, and several beloved rescue dogs, Ginger, Scooter, and Beau. He is survived by his wife Jackie, son Don, brother Ron, nieces Michele and Megan, nephews Chip and Steve and several cousins.

Those who knew Gary know that he was a very private person so it should be no surprise that he requested privacy in death. In accordance with his wishes, there will be no public services, memorials or gatherings; the family will grieve in private.

Gary was above all a good man – kind, intelligent and soft-spoken. May he rest in peace.

Donations may be made in Gary’s memory to Cornerstone Hospice or the MDS Foundation.

 


Tribute Wall

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  1. Sompit says:
    24 Nov 2018
    Jackie, I am so sorry to hear about your loss.
    Gary was a kindest man I knew. I will always remember his sweet smile. May you find comfort and peace at this difficult time.

    Sompit, Randy and Toby

  2. Marita Nierth lit a candle:
    06 Oct 2018
    Lit since October 6, 2018 at 10:52:49 AM

  3. THERESA VAN VLIET says:
    05 Oct 2018
    Jackie and Donny

    Dale and I were so saddened at the news of Gary’s passing. Our deepest condolences to you and all who mourn the loss of a man whose life was well, and truly, lived.

  4. Ann VanVliet Malani says:
    02 Oct 2018
    Dear Jackie and Family , My Sincere Sympathy and Love

  5. Ann Van Vliet Malani lit a candle:
    02 Oct 2018
    Lit since October 2, 2018 at 10:16:09 AM

  6. Larry and Judy Hanks says:
    28 Sep 2018
    Quiet, strong, kind, and helpful is how I remember Gary.
    Interestingly, Gary and Jackie were the first "pairs" team my partner, Alice Dunkley and I faced at a tournament in Clearwater. Gary and Jackie easily bested us by about 10 shots that day-after my first match, Gary ever the gentlemen, but keeping his typical stoic demeanor shook my hand, quietly said "good match". Jackie said so as well...
    I replied, " yeah Gary, fun match...but I added..."sorta of" with a very sad face....
    I got him and Jackie to laugh.
    Three years later, I had the privilege to bowl as lead with Gary playing skip at last years US Open in Sun City. It was a fun experience, and we held our own,
    but the pairs team from N Ireland ousted us that day. I have very fond and special memories of bowling with Gary at the Open....
    What a great guy...going to miss him seeing him...
    Sending love, peace and prayers to his family....
    Larry and Judy Hanks
    Indian Rocks Beach, Fl.

  7. Michele, Glenn, Zach, Katie, Dani & Nick lit a candle:
    27 Sep 2018
    Lit since September 27, 2018 at 9:42:30 PM

  8. Bernie and Jim Gingrich lit a candle:
    27 Sep 2018
    Lit since September 27, 2018 at 9:54:45 PM

  9. Dottie & Bob Fladung says:
    26 Sep 2018
    We can't imagine what you must be feeling right now, please accept our condolences and don't hesitate to reach out for help and comfort. Gary will be sincerely missed in the lawn bowling community.

  10. Elwell Bobbi lit a candle:
    26 Sep 2018
    Lit since September 26, 2018 at 9:37:22 PM

  11. David James Gray posted an image:
    26 Sep 2018
    Gary was always at bringing out the best of average players. I enjoyed two wins<br />
with him as skip. Look at the big smile in the picture this year
    Gary was always at bringing out the best of average players. I enjoyed two wins
    with him as skip. Look at the big smile in the picture this year

  12. Cindy and Garry Higgins says:
    26 Sep 2018
    Our deepest sympathy Jackie.
    Gary was a wonderful ambassador for our sport of lawn bowling. He will be missed.
    I'm sorry the 4 of us never got to play Pepper together.
    May all the good memories of your lives together give you strength and comfort.

  13. Pom van Grondelle lit a candle:
    26 Sep 2018
    Lit since September 26, 2018 at 9:26:15 AM

  14. Jackie & George Tucker lit a candle:
    26 Sep 2018
    Lit since September 26, 2018 at 9:17:20 AM

  15. Jackie & George Tucker lit a candle:
    26 Sep 2018
    Lit since September 26, 2018 at 9:16:16 AM

  16. Hans and Wilma Momkes lit a candle:
    25 Sep 2018
    Lit since September 25, 2018 at 9:31:10 PM

  17. Hans and Wilma Momkes says:
    25 Sep 2018
    Our heartfelt condolences, Jackie. I'll miss lawn bowling with Gary. Won't be the same without him.
    Hans and Wilma Momkes

  18. Karen Laney and Family lit a candle:
    25 Sep 2018
    Lit since September 25, 2018 at 9:54:28 PM

  19. Martha Nilsen says:
    25 Sep 2018
    Jackie, I am so very sorry to hear that Gary lost his battle against cancer, but I've no doubt he gave his all as he gave his all to so many other things in his life, like lawn bowls and most especially to you. While I didn't know Gary well, I sensed he was passionate about the integrity of the game which he grew to love and so went on to serve the SED and BowlsUSA in numerous ways for which I, as a lawn bowler, am grateful. When I see you on the lawn bowls green in FL, I will miss seeing him there with you.
    With deepest sympathy, Martha

  20. Roy & Shelley McCartney lit a candle:
    25 Sep 2018
    Lit since September 25, 2018 at 9:57:42 PM

  21. Burl Roller says:
    25 Sep 2018
    Fortunately for me, we played some tournaments together. I regret that we didn’t find a path to regular partnership. He was a fine partner and a delightful man.

  22. Gary & Christine Heller lit a candle:
    25 Sep 2018
    Lit since September 25, 2018 at 9:53:29 AM

  23. Cassie Krowl lit a candle:
    25 Sep 2018
    Lit since September 25, 2018 at 9:14:34 AM

  24. Tom and Gail Heneghan says:
    25 Sep 2018
    So many pleasant memories of evenings playing cards and sharing life conversations around our dinner tables. During those frequent gatherings over at least seven years, we became good friends and always enjoyed resuming our get-togethers after our travels. Card night with Gary and Jackie was a steady ritual in our lives and we could always count on Gary to pull out a bold play, blast us away with a one-card Pepper or even astound us with a rare Natural! His quiet grin during those times was priceless! You go, Gary!
    Tom and Gail Heneghan

  25. Glenda & Paul Courtice lit a candle:
    25 Sep 2018
    Lit since September 25, 2018 at 9:23:48 AM

  26. Heather Stewart lit a candle:
    25 Sep 2018
    Lit since September 25, 2018 at 9:16:16 AM

  27. Heather Stewart lit a candle:
    25 Sep 2018
    Lit since September 25, 2018 at 9:15:31 AM

  28. Bud & Jackie Ricucci lit a candle:
    24 Sep 2018
    Lit since September 24, 2018 at 9:47:34 PM

  29. Bud & Jackie Ricucci says:
    24 Sep 2018
    I always enjoyed playing with Gary. He was a true gentleman in every sense of the word. Jackie and I are very sorry for your loss.

  30. Kerry and Scott Strickland lit a candle:
    24 Sep 2018
    Lit since September 24, 2018 at 9:23:15 PM

  31. Nancy and Fred Cestare says:
    24 Sep 2018
    Jackie,
    Gary was such a good and decent man. Our prayers and thoughts are with you. Take care of yourself.
    Nancy and Fred Cestare

  32. John and Jean Adams says:
    24 Sep 2018
    Dear Jackie,
    We will miss Gary as the gentleman and as the excellent lawn bowler that he was. You always knew he could roll that last bowl and either save you or defeat you.
    Our prayers are with you and your family.

  33. Jane Keneipp says:
    24 Sep 2018
    Jackie, Please accept my deepest and most heartfelt condolences on your loss of Gary. He was a kind, quiet gentleman whom I respected. Peace, Jane Keneipp

  34. Brian and Jenny Myers lit a candle:
    24 Sep 2018
    Lit since September 24, 2018 at 9:06:45 PM

  35. Barbara Roller says:
    24 Sep 2018
    Our thoughts are with you and our memories are warm.
    Cheers to the man whose eyes twinkled when he smiled and whose grilled crab legs were the best ever.
    Gary will be missed by all of us.

  36. Glorianne Mather lit a candle:
    24 Sep 2018
    Lit since September 24, 2018 at 9:03:49 PM

  37. Debbie Tupper says:
    24 Sep 2018
    Jackie I'm so glad you and Gary were able to come bowl in Oregon with me a couple years ago. So enjoyed being your chauffeur and getting to know Gary better. Thoughts are with you.

  38. Bruce Miller says:
    24 Sep 2018
    Gary was a great person. I will miss his smile and his kindess. You are in my prayers, Jackie.

  39. John Williams says:
    24 Sep 2018
    I am so sorry for your loss, Jackie. I, too, will miss my friend.

  40. Joyce Williamson lit a candle:
    24 Sep 2018
    Lit since September 24, 2018 at 9:43:37 PM

  41. Bob & Tracy Wulbrecht says:
    24 Sep 2018
    Gary will be dearly missed by Bob and I. He was a gentle guy with a big, bashful smile. I enjoyed bowling with him, he never had an unkind word to say. May God look after him and Jackie.

  42. Linda Balducci says:
    24 Sep 2018
    Dear Jackie & Don,
    Prayers to you both and to the entire Williamson family.
    May Gary finally rest in peace.
    Linda Balducci

  43. Al and Sharon Minter lit a candle:
    24 Sep 2018
    Lit since September 24, 2018 at 9:39:59 PM

  44. Ed and Laurie Tillett says:
    24 Sep 2018
    We both have fond memories of Gary. Always a ready smile and a kind word. You are in our thoughts.

  45. Ed and Laurie Tillett lit a candle:
    24 Sep 2018
    Lit since September 24, 2018 at 9:32:39 PM

  46. Fae & Athie says:
    24 Sep 2018
    Our sincere condolences to you Jackie.

  47. Ron Ridley lit a candle:
    24 Sep 2018
    Lit since September 24, 2018 at 9:15:18 PM

  48. Ed and Mary Rooney lit a candle:
    24 Sep 2018
    Lit since September 24, 2018 at 9:10:42 PM

  49. Sue Roberts says:
    24 Sep 2018
    Jackie,
    Gary was a delight to bowl with or against. We will all miss him.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Sue

  50. Dee McSparran lit a candle:
    24 Sep 2018
    Lit since September 24, 2018 at 9:57:56 PM

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