Gary N. Place of Elbridge passed away on February 20 at Auburn Community Hospital after a long battle with dementia. He was born on September 17, 1947, and was predeceased by his parents, Manford "Bud" Place, and Betty (Corwin) Place. His son, Bryan McNeill Place died on January 3, 2010, a loss from which Gary never fully recovered. Gary is survived by his wife of 56 years, Regina (McNeill) Place, his daughter, Christine Place, his sister Judith Place, brother Kevin (Stephanie) Place and daughter-in-law, Jacqueline Place. His grandchildren include Ryan Godfrey, Jake (Casey) Godfrey, Abby and Lauren Place, and Alexandria and Mia Arms. His great grandchildren are Andrew Arms, Charlotte and Zoey Johnston, and Wesley Godfrey.
A 1966 graduate of J-E High School, Gary went on to serve in the U.S. Army (E--5) and spent a year in South Korea during the "Pueblo" incident.
When he got settled at home, he formed his own carpentry business, and later a heating and air-conditioning business. He was self-taught, a hard worker and a real mechanical genius. He could go to sleep at night with a particularly complex unsolved problem and awaken in the morning with the solution.
Gary was a marathon canoeist competing in races all over the northeast. He competed for over 30 years in The Great Race, one of the largest team triathlons in the country, nearly always finishing in the top ten and several times in the top 5.
Among his other survivors are many brothers-and-sisters in law, nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews. His cousin, John Lee was like a brother to him, and was so helpful as Gary's needs changed. His other friends include his devoted canoe partner, Jim Genkos, his friends Gale Mitchell, and Jack Haggerty, and a large number of other friends.
Calling hours are at the Elbridge Community Church 109 East Main Street, Elbridge, N.Y. on Thursday, March 2, 2023, from 4pm to 7 pm. A funeral service will take place on Friday, March 3 at 11:00 am, also at the Elbridge Community Church. Interment will take place in the spring at Maple Grove Cemetery. A luncheon will take place at the White Church, 119 East Main Street, Elbridge following the funeral service.
A heartfelt thank you is given to the remarkable staff at Auburn Community Hospital. The level of care given Gary and the family was exceptional and most appreciated.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Jordan Ambulance, 1 North Hamilton St. Jordan, N.Y. 13080
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