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We Remember Gary Howell

Note: Gary Howell Memorial Service and Celebration of Life at the Legion Building will be held at the Legion Building on December 20, at 1 pm. Everyone Invited

We are especially sad today with the news that another, very special member of our group has passed away. 

Gary Howell surprised us a month or so ago, saying that he wouldn't be leading our Tuesday activities for a while as he fought for his life against a bout with cancer. We were shocked and saddened and found it hard to believe that such a vibrant and vital person (and, yes, personality) could be taken from us.

Yesterday, on Tuesday, he lost his fight.

Gary has been a part of the senior center since our reopening on the side of the mountain in 2010. He first put together the lending library that now stands in the lobby of the Legion Building. He brought the shelves, many books, and a lending method (Take any book you want, keep it as long as you want, bring any additional book you want to give). More important, he brought a vigorous, idea-filled, initiative to the center that is still there today.

He helped with the move to the Legion Building. He volunteered to take control of the Tuesday activities; opening the building, brewing the coffee, greeting Tuesday''s participants, being ready to help with any chore. "I don't play dominoes." He would say. "But I will take a place at the table until someone who does play shows up." And he played with his partner proudly. As the day wound down, he would tune up with the karaoke machine and share his beautiful voice with us as we finished our chores.

He couldn't come to the Monday Pot Luck Supper because he sang with the Southwest Pride Barbershop Chorus, and they practiced on Monday Nights. But he DID bring the group to entertain us before one of their concerts one Monday night a year or so ago. 

He tirelessly, with "nary a complaint," helped with the Indian Taco Sale, doing everything from manning the deep-fat fryer and washing the mountain of dirty dishes, to taking out the heavy containers of garbage. 

He will be sorely missed.

But missing his help and role at the center is minor when compared to the way we will miss him being with us. His friendliness, his wonderful good nature, the eggs from his productive chickens, his very nature and presence being left as only a memory, leaves a emptiness in our heart. He takes a good portion of our love with him.

Our hearts and prayers go to Ruth Ann and the family.