Gary Wayne King (Mesa, AZ, and Janesville, WI), 85, passed away at Banner University Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona, on March 28, 2022. Named after musician and bandleader Wayne King, Gary was born in Duluth, Minnesota, on one of the hottest days in July 1936 to Mary Lou (Bouchard) and George King.
Gary’s musical talent was developed in high school earning an invitation from his dad to play trombone with his dance band in supper clubs on the shores of Lake Superior. After graduating from Denfeld High School, Gary auditioned and then enlisted in the US Army to join the 5th Army Band during the Korean conflict. It was also during that time that Gary began driving motor coach to transport the band to various parades and performances and thus being excused from KP duty. Music, particularly from the Big Band era, and transportation were his lifelong interests along with sharing his wit and humor with everyone. He could also fix just about anything and enjoyed helping others with household projects.
He married the former Patricia (Pat) Ryan in 1983, and they moved to Janesville several years later where Gary was employed in driving or management roles with Van Galder Bus Company, Head Start, Riteway Bus Company, and Janesville Transit System. After retirement, Gary became active with Janesville Senior Center’s Blue Velvet Band and later directed and arranged their music. Beginning in 2010, Gary and Pat spent six months in Mesa, Arizona, enjoying sunshine and warm weather throughout the winters. He loved playing trombone, singing, and entertaining weekly in band jams at several retirement communities.
In addition to his wife Pat, Gary is survived by his children Terri (Eric) Gatten, Barb (Ron) Tunby, Karen King (Tia Jamison), Michael (Susie), Tim (Jen), Chris (Christy), and Dan (Angie); brother Geoffrey (Linda); sisters Georgia Vinge and Genie Kennedy; the mother of his children, Mary Ann King; many grandchildren, great-grandchildren; Pat’s siblings Marilyn (Jack) Meffert, Paul (Debbie) Ryan, and sister-in-law Sandy Ryan; nieces, nephews, cousins; other relatives and friends (especially Jacki McDugle); and special terriers, Katy and Tilly. In addition to his parents, Gary was preceded in death by brothers-in-law Lloyd Vinge and Maury Ryan.
A memorial Mass was held on May 3 at All Saints Catholic Church in Mesa, and Fr. Tom Marr will officiate a funeral Mass at St. John Vianney Catholic Church (Janesville) at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 3, with visitation at church starting at 10. A light lunch will be served at Marian Hall on the church grounds followed by a family service at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Mass will be live-streamed and accessible via YouTube or Facebook through www.sjv.org. The obituary will be permanently available at https://awisechoiceaz.com where comments/condolences may be entered.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Gary’s name to St. John Vianney (Janesville, WI), All Saints Catholic Church (Mesa, AZ), or a charity of your choice.