Gary, it has taken a long time for me to write this as I guess i didnt want to want to face the reality. You are truly missed. You were truly an inspiration for me and mentored me from the beginning. When i first came to Florida you were like a father to me and guided me through both professional and personal issues. You were a class act no matter what the situation and many aspired to be like you, but there was only one you..and that was one of the most kindest, professional, caring persons i have ever known. Ill never forget the road trips where we worked hard, laughed and learned so much...Melody and family of Gary's im terribly sorry for your loss...
It has taken awhile for me to write in this guest book, everytime I start to I begin to cry again. You were the kindest person I have ever known and I cannot imagine ever meeting anyone as special as you Dad. I have so many memories of you teaching me to drive when I was 8 yrs old, poking me in my side w/your elbow or you tickling us til we cried. I can hear your contagious laugh now, boy I miss that laugh. It was so special seeing you in September and meeting Autumn, times I will never forget.(She is one special lady)I always loved this time of year as a family because you didn't travel as much and you were home more. You taught me so many things through the years and I was still learning things from you when the Lord took you home. Thank you for helping me through some real tough times. I sure do miss you and will forever hold all of the memories in my heart. I love you, Daddy
Gary Paul Aldridge was my youngest and my favorite brother. Growing up, he was the very best brother a girl could have...so compassionate, loving, wise and kind. My brothers were my only playmates growing up and I love them deeply and dearly for eternity. One day, I will get to be reunited with Gary, our Mom, our Dad, and our grandparents and uncles who have gone before us. What a day of rejoicing that will be!!
I was so honored to be able to stay with him in the hospital after his surgery. It was a very difficult time for him...I believe I was an encourgement and help to him at that time. But, I was really the blessed one to have spent those days with him there in the hospital. As soon as he was released he, Melody and I arrived at their home, he "took charge." sooo characteristic of my brother! He had wisdom beyong his years. A leader from his youth.
Then, a few weeks before he graduated to his eternal life, I was so blessed to have visited Gary, Melody, Autumn and Toby at their home. He was joking even in his suffering! He surely will receive a crown and rewards for "Greatness" as he was a great man. Melody a very special lady whom I love! And Autumn, a beautiful teenager with much wisdom!
I was soo grieved that I was unable to attend your funeral service, Gary. Yet, my love for you is forever in my being! There is no one like Gary Paul Aldridge! My hero...my brother! He taught me how to live, and how to suffer and even die.
Times spent talking to him on the phone are conversations I will hold dear to my heart. Especially all through these trials which are now over for him. His texts will be missed, too!
When we were growing up, our family took many, many, many trips in our automobile. We lived in Germany for three years, and kept up our family tradition of weekend car trips. Gary and I seemed to always get the floorboard for our "resting place." Maybe that is one reason we were so close!
As a young man, Gary developed excellence in his work ethics. He loved working with his hands more than anyone I have ever known. He would always unload the groceries for our Mother and then carefully place each and every can on the pantry shelft facing out, with the labels all in an orderly way. That was my brother! His fingerprint is still plainly seen everywhere he hs been.
Once, as a teenager, he and our oldest brother, Earl, build "bucket seats" before there were bucket seats. Gary made the leather covers, even sewing them together. He should have patented those seats for sure!
I don't know of a husband or father who loved and cared for his family more than Gary. His family was always the focus and center of his life!
The shock of losing him is almost unbelievable. Every morning, I think of him with his wonderful daughters, their baby years...each and every one of them is special having fought their battles with grace! His precious wife, Melody,is daily on my heart and in my thoughts. I always so enjoyed visiting with her! His precious family members are most fortunate to have had him as father and husband! Certainly, I was the most fortunate and blessed sister to have had him as a brother for these years. I remember one time, in the '90's, I was so blessed when he came to see me in California and we got to spent an entire evening together having fun, eating, walking, and talking until the wee hours. One of my most wonderful adult memories!
His family is very special...like him!
Gary, you will be terribly missed and truly we ache for you! You have rested from your labors...we all have labors ahead. Pray for us to finish the course in a way that makes all on the other side proud of the way we finish...champions...like you! I love you dearly...and the tears still flow daily. I, too, have questions, unanswered regarding the suffering you went through. But you made it! My hero!
Love from your sister forever,
A smile immediately appears on my face when I think of all the fun you and your brother had growing up together. I so enjoy hearing my husband share the stories of what it was like "driving a race car" without moving an inch, killing all the bad guys without hurting a "fly", and building and creating anything your minds could imagine from whatever happened to be lying around. The time you two spent together in May of this year will be remembered as one of the ultimate reunions that brought all of what makes you and Don kindred spirits to come to a full circle in this life time. I sincerely regret that I did not have the opportunity to share more time with you, Gary....but this I know for certain: You were a ray of sunshine to all who knew of your love, your wit and wisdom came with such simplistic ease and most importantly your love for Jesus was apparent to all who spent only a short time with you. I will always remember the look of love and pride I noticed everytime one of your four oldest daughters' eyes met yours the week-end of Mom Aldridge's funeral in Gainesville TX. Never have I seen admiration and adoration with such deep sincerity. You are walking with Jesus now and I can only imagine the comments you are hearing within the context,"well done my son,well done!!"
I didn’t realise until now just how much I am reminded of you in my everyday life. We have lived in different countries for so long now that it is hard to imagine this could be so. I awake every morning in the bed that you helped us put together when we bought our first home. I see your smiling eyes & that Aldridge chin in my children every morning over breakfast. As I watch the morning news I hear mention of many far & distant countries that we travelled to together. On my way to work I pass all the London sites that you showed me as a 13 year old. When I get to work I see an old fax machine & ancient Telex that reminds me of the Saturday mornings we used to spend in your office with me playing your secretary & the excitement in your voice as you explained to me about how the “new” fax technology worked. On my journey home was when I’d text/call/e-mail you to say “Hi” or tell you of my woes & you always replied with your usual ”Hi baby!”& sound advice. When I get home my children rush to me with hugs just as we used to do when you arrived home. Over dinner we chat about our day & I try my best to provide the encouraging words & balanced views as you always did for me. Trips out with the kids are always started with a hand-in-hand skips as you I did (just a few weeks ago). The children are put to bed with warm hugs & the customary “I love you!” that as children they will just never know how much until they become parents of their own. I then return to the bed that you helped us put together.
You have left a legacy that will be felt for many generations to come & I can only pray that I will be an nth of the parent that you were to me. I miss you more than words can express but I am comforted by the many years & special moments we shared.
I am so proud to say I am Gary Aldridge’s daughter & that I indeed had the best Dad ever.
I love you,