Family and friends, it is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Gary Roisum.
Gary Bruce Roisum, a husband, brother, uncle and friend passed away on July 25, 2020 at 4:43 a.m., at his home in Fountain Hills, AZ, from Stage IV Metastatic Melanoma.
He was born in Ft. Knox, Kentucky, on September 28, 1949 and was the first child of Jerome Carroll Roisum and Virginia Tjugum Roisum. He grew up in Italy, Taiwan and eventually settled in Northern Virginia where he attended Thomas Jefferson High School.
Gary graduated from West Virginia University with a degree in Forestry. He was able to use this knowledge along with his love of nature as the basis for a long career with the park system. He started his career as a Park Ranger with the National Park Service. After five years, he got a job as Park Ranger with Bowie Municipal Parks where he stayed for a few years before the opportunity of a lifetime was presented to him.
In 1977, he started with Fairfax County Park Authority as the first manager of newly established Huntley Meadows Park, a 1500-acre park, which he led for 30 years. He received numerous management awards during his tenure with Fairfax County Park Authority and was able to preserve a nature island in a suburban sea in the heart of Alexandria, Virginia before retiring in 2007. Huntley Meadows was his pride and joy. Even after he retired, he would often refer to it as “his park”.
He loved boats, sailing and being on the water (anytime we happened upon a marina, he had to check out all of the boats), traveling (he was a real trooper with traveling even though he didn’t feel well most of the time), camping, hiking, antique cars – well cars in general — snow skiing, tennis, pirates (and Errol Flynn – a throwback from childhood). His love of nature was always foremost, and he would gladly share his passion with anyone who showed interest. He was loved for his quick wit.
Gary is survived by his wife, Linda; his sister, Debbie, and his niece, Nicole. According to his wishes, Gary will be cremated and at his request there will be no memorial service.