Gary Curtis Wakefield
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Gary Curtis Wakefield, 68, of Slippery Rock Township passed away at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday at Grove City Medical Center, Pine Township, Mercer County.
He was born in Johnstown, Cambria County, May 24, 1944, to Warren Howard Wakefield and Grace Elizabeth Mull Wakefield. He married Sandra "Sandy" Louise Hutchison Aug. 27, 1966, in Armagh.
He graduated from Laurel Valley High School in 1962 and later graduated from Penn State University in 1969, where he received a master's of science in wildlife management. He was a U.S. Air Force Veteran who served during the Vietnam War.
He taught at Slippery Rock University beginning in 1975 until 1988 in the Parks and Recreation Department, and then worked for Miller Chemical, Hanover, in sales for more than 19 years, retiring in 2013. He also had his own forestry consulting business called Wakefield Forestry. He authored a historical, fiction novel The Gestapo Hunters in 2010 published by iUniverse.com. He was a member of the Slippery Rock United Methodist Church since 1975 and served as a lay-leader for a number of years. He was also a member and chairman of the trustees for many years and taught adult Sunday school for more than 15 years. He was very involved in the startups of the contemporary service and the advance of technology the church now utilizes. He was involved in Three Rivers Walk to Emmaus serving as community lay director for two years, and was a team member for about six weekend retreats. He was an avid outdoorsman, hunter and fisherman. He relished his time in the outdoors with one of the many dogs that he trained and raised. He had several Labrador retrievers, dachshunds and English springer spaniels during his lifetime. His love of dogs and cats was always a large part of his family and continue to be.
He was very much interested in genealogy and the tracing of his Irish ancestry. He visited the Irish family of David Samuel Wakefield, who immigrated to America in 1779 from County Galway, Aughrim, Ireland, in 2005 on the original family estate. His interests also included history, in particular he researched both the U.S. Civil War and World War II. This research took him to Civil War battlefields throughout the country and had taken him to Great Britain several times as well as visiting the beaches of Normandy in northern France.
Survivors include his wife, Sandy L. Wakefield of Slippery Rock; three sons, Jason S. Wakefield and his wife, Allison, of Nashua, N.H.; Chad W. Wakefield and his wife, Kathy, of Weatherford, Texas; Ryan C. Wakefield and his wife, Christina, of Ashburn, Va.; a brother, David "Red" Bryan Wakefield and his wife, Loretta, of Armagh, Pa.; six grandchildren, Victoria, Andrew, Nicole, Peyton, Lauren and Tarryn Wakefield; three pets, Kari, Hannah and Rooney. He was preceded in death by his parents.
WAKEFIELD - The family of Gary Curtis Wakefield, who passed away Wednesday, March 27, 2013, will observe a celebration of life service at the Slippery Rock United Methodist Church on Saturday, April 13, 2013. Visitation will be at 10 a.m. followed by the service at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Keith McIlwain, pastor of the church presiding. Funeral arrangements were entrusted to SMITH FUNERAL HOME, Slippery Rock.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Slippery Rock United Methodist Church, 130 Franklin St., Slippery Rock, PA 16057.
Published in Butler Eagle from Mar. 30 to Mar. 31, 2013