In Memory

Gary Gere

Gary Gere

Fellow Classmates,

As many have read in todays newspaper, Jan 7, 2018, Gary Gere has passed away. I received this notice from Sharon Bratton Friday that he passed away January 3 from bone and lung cancer.

May he Rest in Peace.


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01/07/18 03:42 PM #1    

Robyn (Jane) Cholerton

I followed the link to the funeral home, on the Journal webpage, and found this fuller obituary.  What a lovely write--up!  -- Robyn

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.


01/08/18 07:57 AM #2    

Merl Schafer

I was friends with Gary in the fifth and sixth grade. He lived across the street from Monte Vista. We would stop at his house on the way home. I remember him showing me a gallon jar of steel pennies one time. We drifted apart as friends sometimes do, but I will always remember what a great guy he was, the twinkle in his eyes and his enduring smile. I'm sure he will be sorely missed by friends from his entire lifetime. Rest in peace Gary.

01/08/18 10:44 AM #3    

Chris Krahling

I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of my old friend Gary Gere.  I first met Gary in the third grade at Monte Vista Elementary School and we became fast friends.  We played sports together, spent every summer at YMCA Camp Shaver in the Jemez Mountains together, went to church together at Monte Vista Christian Church, went fishing together, had sleep overs and essentially grew up together sharing many conversations that boys and then young men have dealing with the trials and tribulations of life from the 3rd grade through highschool - everything from girls, to sports, to parents, teachers, other friends, etc.

Gary was a good looking guy with an incredibly outgoing, happy personality, a great smile and a wonderful laugh.  He laughed a lot and always was able to find something funny in whatever we were doing.   As a result Gary was always a very popular guy, not only with girls but with everyone around him and for good reason.  Mostly because he never let his popularity get in his way of caring about others and making everyone feel welcome when they were around him as he was always able to see the best in other people.   He was also very well liked by the adults in his life - his coaches, his teachers and the parents of his friends.  My mom and dad always liked Gary best of all my friends who hung out at our house.

Gary and I had several long, meaningful conversations over the phone during the time Neal was putting together our 50th class reunion.  I could tell from his tone of voice that he was very happy and content with how life treated him over the years.  As we joked and laughed I realized that even though I hadn't seen Gary since his mother's funeral we were always good friends and always would be. 

So wherever you are right now Gary, keep smiling, keep laughing and keep everyone around you feeling good about themselves.  My guess is you are still the most popular guy in the room.

Your Old Friend,

Chris Krahilng





01/09/18 02:35 PM #4    

Sharon Bratton (Beringer)

Although Gary and I divorced , we always remained good friends

Gary was a devoted and very good father to our daughters Bonnie and Sharie

He will be missed by many friends and family. Rest in peace Gary and I know you

are now with our daughter Sharie .

01/23/18 01:11 PM #5    

Kathy (Kathleen) Hayes

I was saddened to learn of Gary's passing.  I always thought a lot of Gary and for those who loved him so much, my heart goes out to each of you.  It sounds like Gary had a great love of family and friends, a gift that each of us wants for ourselves, and was happy and fulfilled.  I know he will be missed by everyone, especially his beloved family.   

01/24/18 08:50 AM #6    

Robert Utter


I remember Gary as a super cool guy. He was always nice.

It’s getting so I m afraid to check the site because I’m afraid

To see who else we lose. So sad to see your classmates pass

But I suppose none of us are getting out of this alive. Maybe

We can all get together in the after life. Wouldn’t that ba a hoot.

Rest In Peace Gary and God bless you all

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