Gary Reginald Rich, a beloved father, grandfather, and friend, loving brother and uncle, passed away peacefully on May 18, 2023, surrounded by his loving family.
Gary was Born on July 19,1945 in Deckerville, Michigan. He was the son of the late Harry and Verlee (Phillips) Rich.
Gary was raised in Deckerville, Michigan. He graduated from Hurley School of Nursing in 1966. Gary enlisted in the Army Nurse Corps and served at Fitzsimmons Hospital in Denver, Colorado, as well as the 31st Field Hospital in Korat, Thailand during the Vietnam War. Gary was a graduate of the Hurley School of Anesthesia in 1970 and practiced as a proud Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist at Alpena General Hospital for 40 years. He also served at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. as a nurse anesthetist during Desert Storm. He is remembered as a skilled, kind and compassionate practitioner.
Gary was a member of Grace Lutheran Church where he was active for many years. He was very involved with his daughters’ activities including coaching, youth group leader and school activities. He was a proud member of the VFW and Patriot Guard. Gary enjoyed the great outdoors including camping, skiing, volleyball, scuba diving, pickleball, driving his convertible Mustang, riding his Harley and traveling. His greatest joy was spending time with his children and grandchildren.
On July 23, 1966, Gary married Joelyn Snyder Rich. Together they raised a beautiful family which includes their children, Kristin (Mary) Rich, Nicole (Rodney) Wesley and Andrea (Ben) Seguin. Gary is also survived by his four grandchildren, Alexandra Wesley, Elise Wesley, Aaron Wesley and Jackson Seguin; as well as his siblings, Dennis (Karen) Rich and Diane (Rick) Alexander and a host of cousins, nieces and nephews, and dear friends.
Gary leaves a legacy built on kindness, gentleness, and a passion for acceptance of ALL people.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made in Gary’s name to Grace Lutheran Church, Vietnam Veterans Chapter 583 (Alpena), or the Human Rights Campaign. Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, June 8, 2023 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at McWilliams Funeral Home in Alpena, Michigan with the Nurses Honor Guard presentation. A memorial service will take place at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 9, 2023 with Pastor Tom Orth officiating at Grace Lutheran Church, 119 W. Dunbar Alpena, Michigan. Visitation will also be held at the church, one hour prior to the service, beginning at 10 a.m. Full military honors will be accorded by the VFW. Inurnment will be at Downington Cemetery in Deckerville, Michigan.