If you have ever driven through Mt. Vernon, or if you live there, you will know of a grocery store that has been in the town for many years. In 1971, it was named Dave and Gary's. Then, later in 1981 Gary became the soul owner and changed the name to Gary's Foods.
It is unusual in this day and age to find a small grocery store in a relatively small town that is surviving, but this one is. Gary sold the store to his children in 1999 and they are keeping it a running success.
He was very well thought of in Mt. Vernon. Known as one of the "best business men you will ever meet". That is what a Mt. Vernon banker said at Gary's visitation last Friday at St. Jude's in Cedar Rapids. BTW, He was a charter member of St Jude Catholic Church.
Why am I talking so fondly of this man? He was my uncle. The youngest of four boys and one girl on my fathers side of the family.
He had a wonderful sense of humor. Always kept you on your toes as to whether he was pulling your leg, or not. Was very lucky at cards, and just an all out wonderful person.
It was so wonderful to see all the people who came to the visitation. The line was long, and the words from people where very heart warming. I learned some wonderful things about him that night. The funeral was a lovely Catholic mass. They have a very contemporary sanctuary that made you feel welcome.
I went to the internment at the cemetery in Marengo. Boy, was that cold. Leave it to Gary to have his funeral on the coldest darn day he could find. ;-)
So if you find yourself driving through Mt. Vernon, stop in at Gary's Foods. Grab a soda or some snacks. Check out the deli and say hello to Denny or Becky, my cousins. Lucy, Gary's lovely wife might be there as well. Pay honor to a man who, without a college education, created a business and reputation that shall last for years to come. I love you Gary. Rest in peace.