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GARY WILLIS Obituary pic


Born: Mar 12, 1948

Date of Passing: Apr 12, 2023

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March 12, 1948 - April 12, 2023

A month after his 75th birthday, after a long and courageous struggle with many health issues, it is with deepest sadness we announce Gary's peaceful passing at home, in the arms of Dar and surrounded by his family.

Gary will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by his wife, soulmate and best friend, his beloved children, Dustin (Marie) and Kristin, cherished grandchildren, Brittany, Kaden, Lacey, Dustin Jr. and stepgrandchild Isaac, brother Tony (Dan) and sister and brother-in-law Wade and Sharon Benjaminson and family.

Gary was predeceased by his loving mom and dad, Bill and Marge, and his cherished in-laws, Lou and Frances Sopko.

Gary's life was filled with family, friends, sports, travel, love and laughter. Gary's and Dar's love story began in 1965, as 15 and 16 year old high school sweethearts. They married in July 1970 and celebrated 52 amazing years filled with an endless love that was legendary amongst family and friends.

Gary was a devoted caring dad to Dusty and Kristy, wanting the best for them. He attended all their activities with such pride and joy. Many memories were made during sun filled vacations.

He also was a proud Poppa to his adoring grandchildren, who were his world, as he was theirs.

Gary and Dar built their dream home in Charleswood in 1981. They loved music, singing, dancing and playing canasta as well as hosting gatherings and pool parties with family and friends.

Early in their life together Gary and Dar decided to travel extensively to the tropics, but Gary especially loved their short but frequent visits to Vegas (52 times!).

Gary began his career in the car business, eventually accomplishing his goal of owning his own dealership. Later he landed his dream job with the Manitoba Lotteries as director of public relations, jokingly referred to as "director of golf and gala dinners".

Gary was an accomplished athlete playing competitive hockey, golf, and curling. He attended Bomber camp, was scouted by Toronto Maple Leafs, played with the top Manitoba curling teams, and taught curling schools in Canada and the US.

Gary was a people magnet. To know him was to love him. He possessed charm, quick wit, loyalty and an amazing sense of humour. His charismatic personality gained him a multitude of friends which was especially evident throughout his life by the love and support he received.

A special thanks to Syd, Charlene, Parker and numerous others - you know who you are, for your acts of friendship, love and comfort during this difficult time.

He will live on in our hearts and memories as we recall and share his legacy and celebrate his life.

An intimate family service will take place with a Celebration of Life to follow at a later announced date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Gary’s memory to a charity of your choice.


forever in my heart

until we’re together again.


For those who wish to sign the online Guest Book please visit

Chapel Lawn Funeral Home


As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Apr 29, 2023

Condolences & Memories (4 entries)

  • My condolences to Dar and family. The memories I have with Gary are so numerous and they will always be with me. Fly high old friend with your New Wings. - Posted by: Ross Burgess (Friend) on: May 02, 2023

  • Very sorry to hear of Gary's passing. I worked with Gary at Birchwood GM. We attended many stags together next door at the Birchwood Inn and at the Deer Lodge Curling Club and we always had a good time. - Posted by: Paul Tilley (Good Acquaintance and Co- worker) on: Apr 30, 2023

  • My dearest Gar, What do I say? I have asked Jarrett repeatedly how Gary was doing but Sad never brought up the subject of late. Sorry is not appropriate. I am devastated. We spent so many wonderful times together. I will never forget any of them although our lives took a different turn.I remain the same person wishing things had been different. Know that I think of you often, especially when I am in your end of town or hear songs that remind me of our era. I remember going to Shakeys Pizza very often and Gary's calling me BUNS! Thank you to you two for all the good times. I would go back in a heartbeat. May your memories and wonderful family help to sustain you through the grieving process.XO Lana - Posted by: Lana Storey (friend of both Gary and Dar) on: Apr 29, 2023

  • Oh Dar, Dusty , Kristy and family , So sorry to hear of Garys, passing! Tough time for all of you! Will always remember all the good times we had over the years! The obituary captured Garys personality perfectly - will miss him and cherish the great memories, Hugs to you all, Love the Jenions - Posted by: Bob & Kathy Jenion (friends) on: Apr 29, 2023

Chapel Lawn Funeral Home & Cemetery

Chapel Lawn Funeral Home & Cemetery

4000 Portage Ave. (Map)
Ph: 2048859715 | Visit Website

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