Gary Lee Whaley





Just for now I’m out of view But always I am there Within my heart the memories They blend within the air Thoughts forever take me to Places we have been I smile so sweetly to myself These feelings come again rowboatbutterflys You are never far from me Within my soul you stay Memories that go so deep How can they fade away Times in life our souls were one Each moment special bliss Tenderness invades my heart I still can feel your kiss rowboatbutterflys I am never far from you For now just out of sight Each day I hold you closely Your star my guiding light Joy in this remembering Makes me feel so warm You are always there for me Weathering each storm.

~~~ ~ Francine Pucillo ~ Ĺ used with permission POETRY~EMOTION rowboattwinstars

My Dad’s name is Gary Lee Whaley. He was born on January 27, 1936 in Erie, Pennsylvania. He is survived by three sons, Geoffrey Lee of Palmer Alaska, Gregory Lee of Punta Gorda, Florida (they are twins) and Todd Alan of Harbor Creek, Pennsylvania; one daughter, Julie Ann Foster of Erie, Pennsylvania and of course my Mom, Norma Jean Whaley of Harbor Creek, Pennsylvania. He was an avid outdoorsman, spending most of his free time hunting, fishing or playing golf. After retiring from Jerry’s Sports Center (he was a buyer) in Scranton, Pennsylvania in 1999, he and my Mom moved back to the Erie area. He then shared his time between here and Florida. His biggest dream was to be able to provide for his kids and grand kids. When he was with my little girl, Harleigh (she is 3) he just turned into this big marshmallow. He used to say “isn’t it funny how a little baby can turn a grown man into bowl of Jell-O”. He always wanted all of his kids to be happy, and if something was wrong or bothering us, he did his best to fix it. I remember my brother Greg’s wife saying that when Greg was in a bad mood or all worked up about something she would call my Dad and hand Greg the phone because Dad had a calming effect on him. He was the most laid-back, easy-going man I have ever known – it took a lot to get him angry – unless it was a home improvement project, then forget about it! Some of the things he collected were guns, knives and golf clubs. He had more golf clubs than Arnold Palmer! Many of the reps he worked with over the years would give him collectors knives in display cases to hang on the wall. One of them ( I think he was from Winchester) had a rifle specially designed for him as a retirement gift. So you can see he was highly thought of both personally and professionally. My Dad was staying at a hotel in Scranton, PA on December 18, 2000. He was visiting some old friends in the area. My father was at the hotel with a woman, whose name I cannot mention due to legal reasons and pending charges against her as an accomplice, when her husband, whom I can’t mention either due to the same reasons, confronted my Dad. There had been other confrontations between this man and my Dad in the past when Dad was down in Scranton for golf tournaments and just to visit. These confrontations were somewhat physical with the man telling my Dad in front of witnesses that if he ever saw my Dad again he would kill him. On the day of the 18th at the hotel, this man went after my father. My Dad was 6′ tall and only weighed 158 lbs. and his killer is 6’5 and weighs approximately 350 lbs. According to the neurosurgeon who worked on my father, he hit him with something causing irreparable brain damage. Dad underwent three brain surgeries to no avail and lingered in a coma for six weeks until he died on January 31, 2001. The police, District Attorney and all of our family know who did this but charges still have not been filed because people are afraid to testify against him. If there is anybody out there who witnessed this please, I beg you to come forward. ~Julie Foster

If tears could build a stairway, And memories were a lane, I would walk right up to heaven, To bring you home again. No farewell words were spoken, No time to say goodbye, You were gone before I knew it, And only God knows why. My heart still aches in sadness, And secret tears still flow, What it meant to lose you, No one will ever know.