Gary was born on May 2, 1930. His parents were Francis B. and Frances (nee Adams) Walmsley of Detroit MI. He graduated high school from Henry Ford Trade School in January 1947. After graduation he entered the United States Marine Corps. He was assigned to sea duty aboard the USS Missouri “Mighty MO”. He spent his entire enlistment as a bodyguard to the ship’s Captain, and had many ports of call that took him around the world. Some of his fondest memories were at sea.
After being honorably discharged in May, 1950, he married the “love of his life”, Mary Katherine Converse in Pontiac, MI. They had four children that they instilled the following ideals: keeping their faith and belief strong in God; a strong work ethic; and to always look for the silver lining in whatever comes your way.
Gary received a diploma in Industrial Management from Oakland University. He retired from General Motors with nearly 44 years as a Group Leader Tool and Die Designer in 1994. He then moved with his wife to Oscoda, MI where he bought a “little house on the lake”.
In 1996, his wife passed away unexpectedly. In 1997, Gary met and married Mary J. McDonald of Oscoda, MI, who passed away in 2018. In 2019, Gary moved to Troy, to be closer to his family.
Gary always had a lifelong passion for learning and music, i.e. in his youth he sang tenor in quartets, and later sang and played the “spoons” in the senior band. Gary was a talented woodworker making furniture, carving rifle wood stocks, and making wooden toys for his grandchildren. He is a published author of seven novels, and dabbled in poetry. He was a great storyteller and “prankster”, and known by many as giving the best bear hugs. In addition, he was a man of contrasts: holding a black belt in Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do Korean Karate, and a wonderful baker.
Gary is survived by his four children, Sue (Gary) Mersinger, Michael (Maureen) Walmsley, Mary B. Walmsley and Kirby (D’Ann) Walmsley; fourteen grandchildren; twenty-five great-grandchildren; six stepchildren, Mike (Mary) Corrigan, Paul (Mary Ann) Corrigan, Annette (Jack) Aronson, Janet MacDonald and Brian (Sherry) MacDonald; 11 step grandchildren and 26 step great-grandchildren.
In addition, he is survived by his sister-in-law Eleanor (Jim) Walmsley and many nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made to St. John the Baptist Cemetery, 511 S. Main Street, Troy, IL 62294. Online expressions of sympathy may be made at www.Richesonfh.com
Funeral mass will be held 11 am Friday, May 13, 2022. Christian burial with military honors will follow at St. John the Baptist Cemetery, Troy, IL.