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Karmanos Cancer Institute
4100 John R.
Detroit, MI 48201-9945
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Life Story / Obituary
To know Gary Stanbury was to love him. He was a true gentleman and described by many as a “class act”. He maintained friendships that lasted decades, some more than half a century. Generous, loyal, and kind, he was a devoted family man whose passing leaves a void in the lives of those he leaves behind.
Born on January 21, 1954 to Clarence (Stan) and Rose Stanbury, Gary grew up alongside his siblings, Greg, Cindy, and Alison. Even as a young child, Gary’s carefree and joyful personality was apparent. He cherished his family and made friends easily. That’s not to say that he was a perfect child – he definitely got into his share of mischief. Once, he shot an arrow into the air and it landed in his eye! He also caught the family’s awning on fire when he threw a sparkler onto it! While in school, more than one teacher commented on his report card that he needed to work on his self-control. However, overall he was basically a good kid.
Though Gary was not the biggest fan of school and many of his teachers thought he was too talkative, there were aspects of high school that enjoyed. Sports always played a big part in his life. He played varsity baseball at Redford High School and developed into a switch hitter. By the time Gary graduated from Redford High School in 1972, he was ready to be done with school, but he would continue to play sports for the next fifty plus years. He even had the chance to play hockey against Mark Howe, the son of the legendary Gordie Howe.
Not long after graduation, Gary began his career with AAA Insurance. He started working as a Claims Adjuster trainee and went on to hold various other positions. He worked in numerous branches over the years and developed many friendships in the process. After a total of 45 years, Gary ended his career as a Commissioned Sales Agent working in the Ann Arbor office that was located across from Michigan Stadium.
It was also during Gary’s time at AAA that he would meet the woman who would change his life. While coaching the women’s AAA softball team in the early 1980s, he met a young woman named Vickie who was a member of the team. They were both in other relationships at the time, but they definitely left a lasting impression on each other. They reconnected later when their situations had changed and after dating for a time, the two were happily married.
One of the most important events in Gary’s life was certainly the birth of his daughter Haley. He adored Haley and relished any time they were able to spend together. When Haley was a young girl, she and Gary enjoyed many camping trips with family and friends.
Gary enjoyed a life rich in many of the activities he loved. He was part of countless golf, softball and hockey trips that took him all over the US and Canada. Gary loved anything to do with these sports, but he was most passionate about golf, even sneaking in a round shortly before his hospitalization! He could have a bit of a temper and was known to throw a club or two and mutter a few choice words after a bad shot. He was thrilled to be able to attend a round at the Masters in Augusta, GA. He also cherished the time he got to spend playing hockey with his friends, which he also did late into his life and while technically still being treated for his Myeloma, a true testament to his spirit and love of the sport and his friends. Together, Gary and Vickie played on bowling leagues and softball teams for decades.
When not playing sports, Gary also enjoyed following some of his favorite teams like the Tigers, Red Wings as well as PGA Golf. He was not shy about offering his opinion on how the Tiger or Red Wings could improve their roster, especially over the past couple of years. Gary also enjoyed watching the Lions, but he realized that there was only so much you could do with them! Going to the track was another favorite pastime and Gary knew a thing or two about placing a bet on the ponies. He was always up for any game he could play while also enjoying a beer!
Gary and Vickie went on numerous cruises, some on their own, and others with friends like Jim Gibson and his wife Julie. They also enjoyed other memorable vacations together, visiting destinations such as Cancun, Aruba, Las Vegas, and Florida. One of their favorite vacation spots though was their lovely A-frame cottage on the lake in Gaylord, Michigan.
Not one to be still for long, Gary was always tinkering and tweaking things around the house. However, in his quieter moments, he loved watching old westerns, James Bond and Indiana Jones (often whistling the theme song around the house for days) and he love the dinosaur rap from Mrs. Doubtfire. A true movie buff, Gary had the uncanny ability to recall the dialogue from the scenes of many movies and he would recite them from memory in a hilarious fashion. While watching TV, every commercial was an opportunity for Gary to channel surf to see if there was anything better to watch, much to the chagrin of his family!
Gary was known for his unique sayings like “Yous know” (uttered in a voice deeper than his own) or “most definitely” and he turned many phrases into acronyms: AJU (All Jammed Up), CPC (Clean Plate Club), and LC (Little Color). He was also infamous for his snoring and the family claimed that he “could snore paint off the walls!”
Sadly, Gary passed away on May 27, 2021. Loving, exuberant and gentle, Gary Stanbury was truly unique and a one-of-a-kind human being. Nothing was more important to him than the love of his wife, daughter and his family. His generosity and sense of humor will never be forgotten, and he leaves a lasting impression on many family members, friends and co-workers. His legacy will live on in the family he so cherished.
Beloved husband of Victoria. Loving Father of Haley and Stepfather of Nicholas (Katya) Klein Christopher Klein and Kevin Klein. Dear Brother of Greg (Nora), Cindy (Paul) Horgan and Alison (Jim) Devine. Visitation Saturday 2-8 pm with Celebration of Life at 5pm at Neely-Turowski Funeral Home 30200 Five Mile (Between Middle Belt and Merriman). www.TurowskiFuneralHome.com