Gary W. Harrell, 81, passed away on Thursday, January 31, 2019. Gary grew up in south Louisiana and enlisted in the US Navy as a reservist while in high school in 1955. He entered the Naval Aviation Cadet Program in Pensacola, FL. in 1960, earning Naval Aviation Wings & Commission in 1961. Gary was a fighter pilot in both the F-8 Crusader and F-4 Phantom. His service included deployments in SE Asia on the USS Hancock as well as the Franklin D Roosevelt. After retiring from the Navy in 1980, Gary earned an MBA in Management in 1983. This was followed by careers in real estate and logistics management, most notably working with his cherished friend Don “Dink” Tillman at Ply-Bond Chemical.
As a member of King’s Grant Presbyterian church, Gary served as an elder and visitation deacon, collections treasurer, finance and property committee member, Prayer Breakfast leader and on the Pastor Nominating Committee. He enjoyed his time with church friends in their breakfast club and bible study classes. His world-famous deviled eggs were an unrivaled crowd favorite at family and church gatherings.
Gary is survived by his high school sweetheart and wife of 57 years, Gwendolyn Amis Harrell; daughter, Victoria Buckley and husband, John; daughter, Shellie Niederstadt and husband, William; grandchildren Alexandra Greene (Nicholas), Caroline Buckley, Tyler Niederstadt, Sarah Niederstadt, Hailey Niederstadt; and great-granddaughter, Isabelle Riner.
The family wishes to extend heartfelt thanks to his nurse Jackie and respiratory therapist Pamela at VBGH for their love and devotion in caring for Gary.
The service will be held on Saturday, February 9th at 11:00 am at King’s Grant Presbyterian Church. Reception to follow.