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Official Obituary of

Gary Hunt Gilpin

May 9, 1946 ~ March 23, 2024 (age 77) 77 Years Old
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Gary Gilpin Obituary

Gary Hunt Gilpin of Abingdon, MD, died peacefully in his sleep on March 23, 2024 at 77 years old.

He was born in Baltimore in 1946 to Douglas and Carolyn Gilpin. Gary is survived by his former wife Phyllis Gilpin, daughters Kelly Pehrson and Sara Gray, sons-in-law Steven Pehrson and Lorin Gray, granddaughters Abby and Natalie Pehrson, sisters Janet Campbell and Marge Langhorne, brothers Dennis Gilpin and Ed Gilpin, and numerous nieces and nephews, who lovingly called him “Uncle Bobo.” He was preceded in death by sisters Dorothy Walk, Carole Langeberg, Eileen Porach, and Ethel Mae Gilpin, and by brothers R. Wayne Gilpin, W. Reed Gilpin, and Douglas Gilpin, Jr.

Gary grew up with his eight brothers and sisters in a modest home on Pratt Street. He spent his childhood building forts in the woods, chopping wood for their woodburning stove, and pranking his brothers and sisters. Some of his most cherished memories were of going to work with his father, Douglas, who drove for a uniform cleaning service. Douglas would drive from Baltimore to Pennsylvania collecting and returning work uniforms to various businesses along his route. Gary treasured having that alone time in the truck with his dad and he inherited Douglas's strong work ethic.

After attending Patterson High School, Gary joined the Army. He served as a tank commander and was briefly stationed in Germany. For most of his adult life, he worked at General Motors on Broening Highway in Baltimore, performing a variety of auto-assembly jobs. He later transferred to Allison Transmission in White Marsh before retiring in 2008.

Gary met Phyllis through mutual friends, and after nine years of dating, they were married in 1977. Their first child Kelly was born in 1980, and then in 1982, Sara was born. They made invaluable memories together as a family. Gary's siblings and their families were a huge part of their lives. Gary and Phyllis would often play cards at Eileen's house while the girls played with their cousins. And cookouts at Janet's house became a family tradition that continues to this day. Even after Gary and Phyllis separated in 1997, they continued to gather as a family to celebrate birthdays and holidays.

Gary's two daughters meant the world to him, and he proved it every day of his life. When Kelly had health problems as a child, he stayed by her side for every illness, hospital stay, and allergy shot. When Sara was scared about starting preschool, he sat in the school hallway all day, listening at the door to make sure she was okay. When they were in elementary school, he would often surprise them by showing up with a special lunch, or by bringing the family dog to school when he picked them up. He truly loved spending time with his kids and was happy to include them in whatever he was doing. He loved taking them fishing, to the state fair, and to musicals like Showboat. They enjoyed family vacations in Ocean City, Chincoteague, and Deep Creek Lake.

Gary continued to provide his steadfast love and support throughout their adolescence and adulthood. He was always there to help them in any way he could, whether it was driving them to concerts, fixing their broken down cars, or paying their college tuition. He was there for every holiday, every milestone, every accomplishment. He celebrated with them when they got new jobs, new cars, new houses. He proudly gave them away at their weddings. He supported their life decisions, and encouraged them to pursue their dreams. He taught them honesty, integrity, and unconditional love, and he led by example. He was the best dad a daughter could ask for.

In his later years, nothing brought Gary more joy than being a grandparent to his two granddaughters, Abby and Natalie. He treasured every minute with “the babies” and he absolutely loved being their Poppy. He came to meet each of them in the hospital when they were born, softly singing “Happy Birthday” to them with tears in his eyes. (Natalie even gave him her first smile, at only a few hours old!) He loved taking his grandbabies to IHOP, playing doo-wop music for them, and making them huge containers of mac-n-cheese. When his car pulled up in the driveway, they would squeal “POPPY!” and run outside to meet him. He never missed a chance to tell them how much he loved them, and they absolutely adored him.

Gary had countless friends he made throughout his life. He had many childhood friends who grew up alongside him in Baltimore, and he made lots of friends working at GM. Everywhere he went, someone knew him and was happy to see him. He loved meeting up with his “troops” for dinners and laughs, even when it became difficult for him to go places. He valued his friendships very much and he prided himself on being a loyal friend.

Everyone who knew Gary knew how much he loved golf. He loved playing golf with his buddies from work and he frequently won tournaments. He was always proud to bring a trophy home to his girls. He was also very passionate about music. He listened to music often and loved introducing his daughters to different singers and songs. He had a very diverse music collection spanning genres like doo-wop, disco, R&B, barbershop, pop, rock, and more. He passed his love of music on to his daughters and granddaughters.

Of all his traits, Gary may be best remembered for his sense of humor. From his witty comebacks to his goofy groaners, he never missed an opportunity to make people laugh. He was lovingly infamous for telling long stories, often dragging on for fifteen minutes, only to deliver a punchline at the end. He would then beam with delight as everyone realized they fell for another one of Gary’s “stories.” His pranks at work were nothing short of legendary. He loved baiting his hook with a tall tale and seeing which of his coworkers would bite. Kids loved his silly antics, too. At family functions he was the fun uncle, with nieces and nephews swinging from his arms. No matter his surroundings, he lit up the room.

In the words of Nat King Cole, Gary Gilpin was unforgettable, in every way. Even in his final days, he continued to make people smile. His memory will live on in the hearts of all those who loved him. And while his daughters and granddaughters will miss their Poppy intensely, they will live to honor him every day of their lives.

Gary's family and friends are invited to honor and celebrate his life at the Evans Life Celebration Home located at 3 Newport Drive in Forest Hill, MD on Saturday April 13th at 2PM. A reception with refreshments will follow at his daughter Kelly’s house, 307 Glenwood Road, Bel Air, MD 21014. All are welcome. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Gary’s name may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.



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Receiving of friends
April 13, 2024

2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Evans Life Celebration Home - Forest Hill

Memorial Service
April 13, 2024

3:00 PM
Evans Life Celebration Home in Forest Hill


St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105
Tel: 1-800-805-5856


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