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GALION, OH - It is with heavy hearts and profound sadness that we announce the passing of Gary Lee Burnside, a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend. Gary peacefully left this world on Friday, December 15, 2023, at Millcreek Nursing home after an extended illness, surrounded by his loving family.
Born on July 15, 1942, in Miami, FL, Gary was the son of the late William and Katherine (Todd) Burnside. Gary graduated Lancaster High School in 1960 and graduated from Defiance College in 1966 and was a member of the Theta Xi fraternity. There he discovered his passion for football and became the Manager of the college football team.
Gary's commitment to service led him to enlist in the United States Army where he served as a Vietnam Veteran and then was based in Okinawa. His dedication and bravery were evident as he selflessly donated his beloved German Shepherd to the Army during the war, a gesture that tragically resulted in the dog's loss during a bombing on Christmas Eve.
Gary married his beautiful wife Evelyn (Rita) Burnside, on June 10, 1978, which they spent 45 glorious years together. Gary embarked on a successful career as a senior buyer, working at North Electric/ITT and later retiring from ABB. Throughout his career, Gary earned deep respect for his strong work ethic and his diligent approach.
In his spare time, Gary found solace in the simple pleasures of life. He cherished his morning coffee sessions with his close friends at Moe's and McDonald's, engaging in heartfelt conversations and laughter. Gary took immense pride in meticulously maintaining his yard, ensuring that it was always inviting and well-kept.
Gary's greatest joy in life was undoubtedly his daughter, Christine, and her family, especially his grandson, Zach. He greatly appreciated Christine and her husband, John, who provided loving care for him during his last 7 years. Gary was an unwavering supporter of Zach, never missing a football game and cheering him on with unwavering enthusiasm.
Outside of his family life, Gary dedicated his time to various community involvement. He served as a member of the Galion Boosters Club and actively participated in the Christ United Methodist Church Choir. Gary was a member of the Heart of Ohio Emmaus Group. His generosity and commitment to others were felt by all who crossed his path.
Reflecting on cherished memories, Gary often spoke of the summers spent at Adena Ridge campground in Lancaster, where he lovingly assisted his parents, who owned the campground. Family vacations were another highlight, creating lasting bonds and unforgettable experiences.
Gary's accomplishments extended beyond his personal life. He maintained a lasting connection with his commanding officer from Okinawa, cherishing their friendship until his officer's passing. In 2019, Gary participated in an Honor Flight Columbus #128, proudly representing the brave veterans who served their country.
Gary will be forever missed and remembered for his compassionate nature, reflective spirit, and unwavering dedication to his loved ones. He leaves behind a legacy of love, resilience, and community service.
He is survived by his loving wife, Evelyn Burnside, daughter, Christine Deibig, grandson, Zachary Deibig; sister-in-law, Diana (Mick) Tridico; brother-in-law, Rick (Raydene) Rita; nephew, Michael Todd (Judy) Tridico; nieces, Jennifer Rita and Melissa Rita, and a host of friends and extended family members. In this time of mourning, let us remember the immeasurable impact that Gary had on our lives and find solace in the memories we shared. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
In addition to his parents, Gary is preceded in death by his son-in-law John Deibig, Jr.
Friends may call on Tuesday December 19, 2023, from 5:00 to 8:00pm at Mark A. Schneider-Gompf Funeral Home, 303 Portland Way North, Galion. Funeral Services will take place at Schneider-Gompf Funeral Home, Galion, on Wednesday December 20, 2023, at 11:00am with Pastor Christine Burns Officiating. Burial will take place at Fairview cemetery following the services.
The family asked that Memorial Contributions be made to either the Wounded Warriors or Humane Society serving Crawford County.
Those wishing to share a memory of Gary or send condolences to the Burnside family may do so by visiting www.masfh.com.
The Schneider-Gompf Funeral Home, 303 Portland Way North, Galion is honored to serve the family of Gary Lee Burnside.