Gary was the guy who could fix anything.  He was always ready to help a friend or family member with a broken appliance or a car that needed repair.  For 39 years I was blessed to never have to pay for a mechanic, an electrician, a plumber, my handyman was always there; all I had to do was ask.  I miss that more than I ever knew I would.

Gary loved animals, and they loved him.  In 2009 we moved to the country hills of Council Bluffs where he fed the deer daily and talked to them like they were pets.  He attached a piece of rain gutter to the fence to serve as a trough and every afternoon he would shout “dinner time” as he filled it with corn and watched them eat.  The deer still stand by the fence and look up at the house waiting for him to come out.

Some of my favorite memories include Gary in his wild Hawaiian print shirts or riding his Goldwing motorcycle.  He loved motorcycles and would take his out any chance he got.  It was sad to watch as his strength failed and he had to admit it was time to give up a treasured hobby.

Our life was filled with fun.  We camped with the kids, traveled all over the country and celebrated holidays with elaborate decorations and costumes.  It’s hard for people to believe that skinny little Gary played professional Santa.   He had pillow vests and padding that plumped him up to where you would never know there was a 130 pound guy inside.

Gary and I created a “his, mine and ours” family.  It was a second marriage for both of us.  I had 2 children, he had 4 and together we added 2 more boys.  Three girls and 5 boys – a wild bunch when they were all together!  He adored his grandchildren and couldn’t pass a cute toy or a garage sale item without bringing it home for their next visit.  He also brought home plenty of little surprises for me.

He was a romantic who never let a holiday go by without buying a card or some little gift.  He loved flowers and would pick up a bouquet every chance he got. For years I believed our plants liked me and thrived because I took such good care of them. Since Gary passed, so have most of the plants.  I now realize it was his green thumb, not mine, that kept them growing.

Gary and I owned an appliance sales and repair business until he retired. It started out as a little operation in our home.  He did the repairs I did the bookkeeping and scheduled calls.  His customer based service built the business into one of the largest repair companies in the Twin Cities.  In 1988 we sold the business and moved to Omaha to be closer to our aging family members.

When I look back, Gary was sick for a long time with stomach and digestive issues and degenerative back problems.  Yet, he kept going.  Always pushing himself, I wish I had realized how sick he really was.  I wish I could tell him how sorry I am for not being more understanding.

Our family will forever be grateful to the Dreamweaver Foundation for coming along side of us in our darkest moment and bringing a little light and joy.  The Carson’s did not know Gary yet their kindness and generosity was above and beyond anything we could have hoped for or imagined.  Saying thank you is so paltry in comparison to the gratitude we will always feel.

God bless you and may the Dreamweaver Foundation flourish so that other families can experience this unforgettable moment of love.