More detail on this person: Gary Lynn Grow,
age 66, of Providence Forge, Va. died peacefully
at home in his wife's arms on Friday, August 28,
2015 after a defiant battle with a second cancer.
He is survived by his wife Patti (Patricia Pope
Grow), two sisters: Mrs. Deborah Freed of
Lexington, Va; and Mrs. Elizabeth Wiley and her
husband Mike of Draper, Va.; Aunts Rosemary
Heilmeier, Jane Grimm, Gwen Ruckman, Caroline
Mace; Uncles Hugh Grow, Edward Grow; and
numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Gary was
born in Lexington, Va, but lived most of his life
on the Peninsula. He graduated from York High
School in 1968, where he and Patti met and dated.
He joined the Army in 1969 to learn to fly
helicopters. A very proud young man became a
Huey helicopter pilot and a warrant officer and in
September 1970, was ordered to Viet Nam. He flew
on dozens of missions before being shot down over
Laos. His crew survived. The helicopter did not.
He returned home in September 1971. On October
28, 1972, Gary and Patti were married in
Gary worked a year at Newport News Shipbuilding before hiring on at Verizon. He retired as a cable maintenance tech after 32 years and several career changes within the company. Gary flew several years in the National Guard and was trained at Fort Sam Houston in Emergency Triage and First Aid for the newly formed 986th Med Detachment. He was one of the original founding members of New Kent Volunteer Fire Dept Company 3. He spent 12 years as a firefighter and 8 years as an EMT. He and Patti were also raising horses and other farm animals on their two farms in New Kent. His dogs were his "children".
In retirement, Gary grew a greenhouse full of fabulous orchids. He then turned to woodworking and began making Native American style flutes using exotic woods and inlays. He found he could carve. It gave him great joy to present one of his flutes to a friend. Gary and Patti planned to retire to their beautiful property in Colorado, but could not get the house built fast enough. Gary fought a warrior's fight to the end.
A memorial service will be held for Gary on Saturday, September 19 at Amory's Funeral home in Yorktown, Va at 3:00. Following the service, there will be a get together at the Light of the Valley Lodge Hall across the street to celebrate a great life and to swap stories until 5:30.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to New Kent Fire Dept. Company 4 Building Fund c/o Lanexa Station 4 Auxiliary P.O. Box 21, Lanexa, Va. 23089 or a charity of your choosing.
This information was last updated 05/18/2016
Please send additions or corrections to: HQ@vhpa.org VHPA Headquarters
Return to the Helicopter Pilot DAT name list
Return to VHPA web site
Date posted on this site: 05/13/2023
Copyright © 1998 - 2023 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association