Gary Wayne Puryear died peacefully on June 8, 2023, in hospice care at Emerson Hospital. He was born in Lansing, Michigan on April 5, 1944. He spent much of his childhood on the shores of Lake Michigan and on the farm with his grandparents near Manistee, Michigan. Gary graduated from Michigan State University in 1966 with a Bachelor of Arts in Landscape Architecture, lit up the MSU field playing drums in the marching band, and met the love of his life Marcia. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1967 and was then stationed in Germany. Marcia joined him there until the two returned home and were married in 1970. After earning his master’s degree, Gary became an accomplished landscape architect and contributed to projects around New England, including the Franklin Park Zoo. Through much of his career he was a civilian with the Army Corps of Engineers and traveled New England strengthening environmental safety on army bases and training soldiers, until he retired in 2004 as a Lieutenant Colonel. He and Marcia raised their family in Concord and loved to take family trips, skiing out west or traveling internationally. Gary always connected with the sights and smells of the coast, spending summers in Rockport in the post and beam seaside house that he built, and over the last 15 years relaxing in the quiet beauty of Grey Gables in Bourne, Massachusetts. From participating in Revolutionary War reenactments with the Concord Minutemen (and serving as Captain), to being a Boy Scout troop leader, to placing flags at the National Cemetery, he was an active member of his community who loved time well spent in everyday celebration with family and friends. He adored his grandchildren and loved to teach them skills in the kitchen while making good food. Gary loved a good story and a good laugh, drew joy from listening to Jimmy Buffet and cooking up lobster for family, and livened up each space he entered.
He is survived by his wife Marcia Puryear, his daughter Kristen Puryear (Sean Donohue), his son Corey Puryear (Wendy), his grandchildren Maeve, Ellia, Morgan, and Carson, his sister Penelope VanDam (David), his brother Jeffrey Puryear (Myriam Waiser), and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Family and Friends will gather to honor and remember Gary for a period of visitation on Friday, June 16, 2-5 p.m. at the Concord Funeral Home, 74 Belknap Street. In addition, visitation will be offered on Sunday, June 18, from 2-4 p.m. at Nickerson-Bourne Funeral Home, 40 MacArthur Blvd., Bourne, MA, followed by a reception at the Puryear’s house in Bourne. Burial is scheduled for Monday, June 19, at the Massachusetts National Cemetery at 10 a.m.
Arrangements under the care of Concord Funeral Home, 74 Belknap St., Concord, MA 978-369-3388 www.concordfuneral.com.