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Gary E. Girard

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Stonington - Garrett E. "Gary" Girard of Stonington and Englewood, Fla., passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012, at home in Florida, with his best friend and loving wife, Lois, by his side, from complications of cancer after a long and previously successful battle.

He was born Oct. 3, 1943, in Webster, Mass., the only child of the late Edmond J. and Ann F. (Wrabel) Girard.

He lived his early years and attended schools in East Hartford, where he met his wife, Lois Klock, in high school. They married on June 4, 1966, after he graduated from Boston University, with a bachelor of science degree in broadcasting. They were married almost 46 years.

Prior to B.U., he attended the University of Connecticut at Storrs, where his broadcasting career began with his involvement with their student radio station WHUS. During his college years, he worked on-air at WPOP in Hartford and remained there for 20 years from announcer, to sales, and to sales management. He then joined WNLC/WTYD in New London as general manager, followed by Eastern regional manager for the National Association of Broadcasters in Washington, D.C. He then joined Connecticut Radio Network International in new sales development.

His entire 35-year career in broadcasting culminated with a lifelong dream of developing and owning his own radio station, WKCD 107.7 FM, going on air in 1995 in Mystic. A stroke in 1998 led to the sale of the station and an early retirement, which he enjoyed every single minute. He loved life, and he did it his way.

In the 1970s he enjoyed summer weekends at home at The Cape in East Dennis, Mass. From the 1980s and 1990s to 2005, he loved boating out of Noank Shipyard. His other interests included world travel and an antique radio/TV collection. He was in the Who's Who in Advertising 1990-1991 edition. He was on the board of directors of the Ad Club of Greater Hartford, the Connecticut Broadcasters Association, the Mystic Chamber of Commerce, Southeastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce, and served on public relations for United Way of Southeastern Connecticut.

He is survived by his wife, Lois; cousin Dorothy Wawryzniak of Webster, Mass.; aunt Susan Wrabel of Windsor Locks, and her five sons, his cousins Michael, Mark, Peter, Paul and David Wrabel. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Carol Klock of South Windsor, and her four sons, his nephews, Jeffrey, Jared, Jason, and Jonathon Klock; and his beloved dog, Docker.

He was predeceased by his parents, his uncle, Michael Wrabel, and his brother-in-law, William Klock.

He never had children but considered his valued employees at WKCD, Mary Jo Urso, Steve Bianchi and MaryLou Gannotti, as his "Radio Family."

At his request, services are private.

Memorial donations in his name may be made to the Suncoast Humane Society, 6781 San Casa Drive, Englewood, FL 34224.

"May The Music Never End"
Published in The Day on Feb. 23, 2012
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