Gary was the third of four children and the only son of Pat and Mary Koth.
At 6‘2” Gary was a good looking, naturally strong young man much like his father.
Though his dad and mom provided Gary with a loving home and many advantages his childhood was cut short when he was introduced to drugs at 12 years of age.
Unfortunately this became a lifelong struggle for Gary that characterized the better part of his life, ultimately contributing to his early death from cancer at age 56.
Many bridges were burned along the way and he lost contact with much of the family.
When his beloved mother passed away, unexpectantly, in 2004 I saw a change in Gary.
Over the next seven years, in my interactions with Gary, I believed him to be sober.
Through all, Mary and Pat loved Gary.
Mary prayed daily and was always there for Gary.
Pat as well continued a relationship and supported Gary to the day he died, this inspite of Pat struggling with his own battle with cancer that would claim him only 9 days after his son.
My relationship with Gary was unique.
Being 6 years older, he was the big brother I never had.
Gary taught me to ride a motorcycle, took me fishing, skiing and riding the disk at Hauser lake, showed my brothers and I the cave above Hauser that is legendary in our family.
When a neighborhood bully made my life miserable for a time Gary came quickly and put an end to the harassment.
For these things and the constant love and support I received from Uncle Pat and Aunt Mary and the whole Koth family, I am eternally grateful.
I, like many in the family, was hurt by the choices Gary made in his life.
In the last weeks of his life I felt privileged when Uncle Pat asked if I would take Gary to his cancer treatments.
Though he had asked my forgiveness several years before Gary again expressed his remorse for not being a better example and causing hurt.
Several other family members have since told me about Gary asking their forgiveness.
This gives me hope that his mother and father’s many prayers were answered.
I look forward, with great anticipation, to the day I will be reunited with loved ones.
And there is hope that Gary will be there.