MADISON/VERONA – Gary Lee Alber, age 84, passed away on July 12, 2019. Gary was an only child, born on January 20, 1935, in Des Moines, Iowa to John and Vivian Alber. He graduated from Roosevelt High School in Des Moines and went on to Drake University. While at Drake he worked many jobs to pay for school. He was committed to hard work from the beginning.
At Drake, he met Anne who would later become his wife. They were united in marriage on December 9, 1961, in Western Springs, Ill. Together they enjoyed 57 years of marriage and raised three wonderful children. Gary was employed by O’Brien Brothers, (maker of Cuddle Duds and many other brands) for 50 years. While there, he was awarded salesman of the year and the New Accounts trophy. He also was a Manufacturers Rep. for many other firms. He was the Co-Founder of “Apparel Mini Markets”, an organization that hosted trade shows for 45 years.
After retirement, Gary was an avid reader. He loved a good book and had a zest for learning. He and Anne spent winters in southern Florida for over 20 years, where he enjoyed kayaking, tennis, golf and pickle ball. He was involved in Gyro men’s club, Harlequin Dance Club and the “Fish Club”, for 52 years. He was usher captain at Christ Presbyterian Church where he was a long-time member. He was a medical transport driver, a job he very much enjoyed.
Gary and Anne loved to travel and enjoyed years of exploring, with biking and hiking trips throughout the United States, Europe, Costa Rica and Mexico. He loved his “Northern Comfort” home in Wisconsin, where he spent hours water skiing, hot tubbing, playing board games and passing down the art of fishing. He had many wonderful memories spent there with his wife, children and grandchildren.
Gary’s glass was always half-full! (His license plate said, “Think Poss”). He had such a deep love for his family and friends. He was a stranger to none. He was peaceful and above all thankful for all of his blessings. He was a very special husband, father, grandpa and friend. Gary was a shining example of a life well lived! He was kind, patient, caring and loving to everyone. He was a kid at heart. His jokes were legendary and he loved to make people laugh. His laughter was contagious. Always with a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face, he loved life and was filled with gratitude and joy. He was our hero. He was one of a kind and loved by all who knew him. He will be greatly missed by his wife Anne and their children whom he cherished: Holly (Mark) Filmanowicz, Mark (Colleen) Alber, and Amy (Andy) Hayman, and their eight awesome grandchildren. Each one was treasured by him; Allie, John, Joey, Jed, Zoe, Brady, Cassidy and Cale. He is also survived by his Brother-in-Law Donald (Gerry) Armstrong of Albuquerque, N.M.; his niece Karen and nephew Mike, and many cousins and friends. He was predeceased by his mother and father and his mother and father-in-law.
A celebration of Gary’s life will be held on Friday, July 19 at 11 a.m. at Christ Presbyterian Church, 944 E. Gorham Street, in Madison. The service will be preceded by a visitation at 10 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in Gary’s name may be made to a charity of your choice.
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