Gary Wayne Matheny

Gary Wayne Matheny, 64, of Sault Ste. Marie passed away at his home on Sunday, September 5, 2021, after a long battle with lung and kidney diseases.

Gary is a proud US Navy veteran who served as a Signalman during Vietnam. Following his time in the service, Gary owned his own excavating business and then was an over-the-road truck driver for a number of years. He then spent over 25 years dedicating his life to helping people battle their addictions while working for LMAS and Great Lakes Recovery Centers, where he retired in 2018. Whether you knew him as Gary, Trailboss, Gare-Bear, Big Guy, Papa, or any of his other many nicknames, one thing was certain: he was loved by all who met him. He was a kind, loving, and caring teddy bear, always at the ready to lift anyone’s spirits. He had a great sense of humor and was always making jokes or making up his own words. He loved fishing and being out in the boat as well as spending his Sundays watching football. He was a fantastic cook and loved our family Christmas cookie baking tradition. He also loved family game nights, with Battleship being his favorite. While we miss him dearly, we take comfort in knowing he is happy now, pain-free, and enjoying a big cup of hot coffee, black, no sugar.

Gary was preceded in death by his father, Jack E. Matheny; mother, Darlene Cork; step-father, Jack Cork; step-brother, Paul Matheny; and granddaughter, Angel Mitchell.

Gary is survived by his wife, Michelle; two daughters, Christy (Simon) Meilstrup and Julie (Allen) Mitchell; Brother, David (Carla) Matheny; Granddaughters, Taylor and Jordan Meilstrupand Ariana Mitchell; and his loving and loyal dog Maggie May. Gary was also blessed to be survived by so many loving friends that were more like family to him.

Gary’s family would like to thank the many nurses and practitioners at the VA and War Memorial Hospital for all of their care over the last few years. We would also like to thank Dr. Haider for taking on the role of overseeing so many of the medical battles Gary was fighting. And a special thank you to Larry Smolinski for all of the extra time and effort you spent helping Gary.

A funeral service will be held at CS Mulder Funeral home on Saturday, September 11, 2021, officiated by Pastor Tom Cash. Visitation will be from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, with the service starting at 12:00pm. Burial will be at Oaklawn Chapel Gardens, with a luncheon to follow at the Dafter Hall. In lieu of flowers, donations may be left to the local American Legion or Disabled American Veterans (DAV).

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