Gregory J. McGarry

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Gregory McGarry GlenvilleGregory J. McGarry, 64, of Glenville, former director of public relations at Albany Medical Center, passed away Sunday afternoon, Feb. 10, surrounded by family at Baptist Health Nursing and Rehabilitation Center after a long and courageous battle with lung cancer. He was born in Schenectady and graduated from Bishop Gibbons High School. He received a bachelor's degree in English literature from the College of the Holy Cross and a master's in English writing from the State University of New York University at Albany. McGarry began his 26-year career at Albany Med in 1986. As vice president for communications, he led the center's response to numerous issues that drew national and international media attention. He also coordinated coverage of fund-raisers such as Melodies of Christmas and wrote a book about the institution's creation, The History of the Formation of Albany Medical Center.' He was a longtime member of the Association of American Medical Colleges Group on Institutional Advancement and presented at several of its meetings. He previously worked in public relations for General Electric Co.'s Research and Development Center in Niskayuna. Earlier in his career, he worked as a reporter and editor for The Associated Press in Albany, where he covered news, interviewed celebrities and wrote first-person accounts of running the Boston Marathon and white-water rafting on the Hudson River. After college, he worked as a reporter and columnist for The Daily Gazette in Schenectady, like his father. McGarry was predeceased by his parents, James and Aileen; and by his son, Patrick. Survivors include his beloved wife, June; a son, Gabriel (Colleen) of Slingerlands; a son, Brendan (Jessi) of Arlington, VA; a daughter, Erin of Albany; two grandsons, Aidan and Grayson; a brother, Michael (Kathy) of Alplaus; a sister, Maureen (Dave) Hughes of Rotterdam; a brother, Brian (Patty) of Rotterdam; a sister, Celia of Clifton Park; nieces and nephews; many devoted and loyal friends; and an adopted daughter, Anette Stroh of Germany. McGarry cherished his family and friends. Among his favorite activities were camping at Dippikill in the Adirondacks with his brother, Mike, and relatives; attending University of Maryland football games and Siena College basketball games with his dear friend, Joe Vellano; and vacationing in Cape Cod, where he enjoyed being at the ocean, riding bikes, taking walks and entertaining guests. He looked forward to family reunions at holidays, especially Christmas Eve, when he would regale the McGarry and Lee families with his comedic song-and-dance routine, The Ballad of Katie Lee. His hobbies included photography, reading and studying German. McGarry won several regional photo contests and for years published a guide listing competitions. With a knack for capturing spontaneous moments, he acted as an informal wedding and sports photographer for family and friends. He devoured books, especially political biographies, and took German lessons until recently. He developed a lifelong appreciation for the language after studying in Vienna, Austria, for a year as an undergraduate. He also helped his father self-publish a book, In and Above the Olive Groves: The Personal Remembrances of a World War II B-17 Pilot. His family wishes to thank the following individuals: David Shaffer, M.D., Ph.D., and Susan Weaver, M.D., both of New York Oncology Hematology at Albany Medical Center; David Semenoff, M.D., of the center's Neurosurgery Group; and the entire medical team. Thanks also to the nurses and assistants at Baptist Health for their warmth and attentiveness during Greg's final days. As a final gift, his body is being donated to Albany Medical College's Anatomical Gift Program. Relatives, friends and colleagues are invited to attend a memorial service to celebrate Greg's life at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 547 Saratoga Road, Glenville, NY. There will be no calling hours. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to a or to Albany Medical College to further support cancer research, 43 New Scotland Ave., Mail Code 119, Albany, NY. 12208. Those wishing to honor Greg's life may also do so by performing a random act of kindness.

Published in The Daily Gazette Co. on Feb. 12, 2013
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