Gary R. Layde

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Gary Robert Layde, 82, returned to his heavenly home on Friday, April 22, 2022. 

Gary was born on Feb. 20, 1940, in Prairie du Chien, son of the late Fred and Inez Hill. His devotion to his family and his faith in God supported him in his courageous battle with cancer and ultimately gave him peace. Gary was raised in Ferryville, where he enjoyed fishing with his parents and friends on the Mississippi River. He was a 1957 graduate of De Soto High School  and then attended La Crosse College. Gary proudly served his country in the United States Army from 1959 until 1962, before entering into his life-long career of 55 years in retail management. Gary was very patriotic and loved flying the American flag throughout his life. While working with the public, he never met a stranger and always shared his positive outlook on life with everyone he came into contact with.  His life philosophy was to “Enjoy.” Gary was blessed with a loving family. He met his wife, Sarah, in South Georgia while serving in the Army. Together, they raised their three children in Columbus, Ga. He was a Pop Warner football coach for several years and loved attending many band and athletic events with his children, wife and grandchildren. He was always a source of encouragement to his family. Gary led an active life after retirement.  He loved being outside working in his yard as well as caring for animals and nature. He continued to work out to keep his physical strength up until the end of his battle. He also enjoyed reading and began woodworking, which soon became his favorite hobby.  He would make small pieces of furniture, walking canes and staffs (donated to churches, nursing homes, and veterans organizations), and birdhouses. He loved giving pieces of his work away to family, friends or anyone in need. Gary treasured celebrating holidays with his family and adored the fellowship, music, dancing and dinners.

Gary is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Sarah O’Quinn Layde; daughters, Rhonda (David) Stephenson and Kelly (David) Walsh; son, Garrett (Laura) Layde; grandchildren, Emily (Trevor) Johnson, Morgan (Jamie) Gleeson, Maggie Layde, Tyler (Carlyn) Stephenson, Garrett Hill Layde and Molly Layde; brother, William (Vickie) Layde; sister, Mary (Richard) Buffington; and a host of nieces, nephews and cousins.

A private service for the family was held on April 23, at Owen Funeral Home, in Cartersville, Ga. A Celebration of Life for Gary will be held on Saturday, June 18, at the Carlton Room in Cartersville, Ga. Gary loved life and wanted his family and friends to honor his life with a big party. He was truly a blessing and a miracle to his family. As he fought his battle with cancer, he was known as Superman and a Miracle Man; the Lord blessed him with quality of life. He continued to affirm others with his optimism and joy on a daily basis. Gary’s final resting place will be at South Georgia Antioch Congregational Christian Church Cemetery, Appling County. He loved his time in South Georgia, away from the big city. 

The family extends much gratitude to the following teams for their compassion, sensitivity and excellent care of Gary and his family during his illness: Northwest Georgia Oncology, Northwest Georgia Radiation Oncology, and Lotus Blossom Hospice and Palliative Care. 

If you would like to honor Gary, you may make donations in his name to the Pancreatic Foundation (panfoundation.org/get-help/file-a-claim/); Lotus Blossom Hospice and Palliative Care (lotusblossomhospice.com) or Samaritan’s Purse (samaritanspurse.org). Please visit owenfunerals.com to post tributes and sign the online register book.

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