Gary Hamilton GereJanuary 15, 1945 ~ January 3, 2018 (age 72)
Gary Hamilton Gere, 72, of Lake Waukomis, Missouri, passed away peacefully surrounded by family members and the love of his life, his wife of 23 years, Janet Tripp Gere, at North Kansas City Hospice House. Gary fought a valiant battle against end stage lung cancer, which was diagnosed in April 2017. His pain and suffering ended on January 3, 2018.
Gary was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He graduated from Highland High School in 1963 and attended college at Highlands University in Las Vegas, New Mexico, where he roomed with his lifetime friend, Jim Howden.
Gary began his love for grocery stores in high school while working for Lucky’s Grocery Store in Albuquerque. He moved to Kansas City in 1965 with plans to attend dental school. He joined the Army National Guard in December 1965 for a six-year tour of enlistment as a track vehicle mechanic. He was called up twice for active duty to assist in riot control. Gary had two daughters, Bonnie and Sharie, with his first wife, Sharon Bratton. In 1968, he began work as a reservation analyst for TWA and transferred to Glendale, California, for a short time. He was honorably discharged from the Army National Guard in December of 1971. In 1972, he moved back to New Mexico and bought a coin-operated car wash in Moriarity, but returned to Kansas City in 1973 to work once again for TWA as a reservation analyst. He began work as a senior product analyst for Worldspan in 1987 where he continued to work until his retirement in 2004. In 1993, Gary reunited with high school friend, Janet Tripp, and less than a year later they were married and spent over two decades living and loving each other with deep devotion.
Gary was a gentle soul, with a smile no one could forget. He was a devoted husband and a tenderhearted and loving father. He was a man of principle and conviction. He was kind and compassionate, with an affinity for every living thing. He loved the birds and kept a record of each and every one he spotted in his Audubon Society North American Bird book, and even honked the horn if a bird should land in the street. His love extended to the many dogs he had throughout the years. He treasured each and every one. Gary loved fishing, piloting the pontoon boat, and driving the golf cart around the lake. He will be missed and remembered by many as the “nicest guy you’d ever meet.”
He was preceded in death by his father Russell Steffan Gere, his mother Dorothy Strong Gere, his sister Gail Mortensen, and his daughter Sharie Gere. He is survived by his loving wife Janet, his beloved daughter Bonnie Cameron and husband Steve, his stepson Keith Ellis, his stepdaughter Karli Venable and husband Stephen; his seven grandchildren: Codey McDowell and wife Nikki, Cameron McDowell, Christopher Cameron, Carah McDowell, Melaina Cameron, Noah Venable, and Ephraim Venable; his six great grandchildren: Alli McDowell, Anna McDowell, Emilee McDowell, June McDowell, Kaylyn McDowell, and Aleeah Wolf; his sister Barbara Brooks and husband Robert (Moe), brother Frank Gere, brother-in-law Gene Mortensen, sisters-in-law Judy Tripp and Jennifer Zillich; his four nephews: Larry Mortensen, Russ Mortensen, Dean Mortensen, and Kent Mortensen; and his five nieces: Debbie Katko, Lynn Burress, Tammy Quillman, Samantha Zillich, and Leann Zillich; and his treasured dog Madie.
A celebration of life will be held at Terrace Park Funeral Home and Cemetery at 801 NW 108th Street, Kansas City, Missouri, on Wednesday, January 10, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. Memorial contributions may be donated to the American Cancer Society.