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 Williamsburg.
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
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Date posted on this site: 05/12/2018
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