letter to editor 21

His obituary said it best: “Gary was a blessing to all who knew him.” We, his friends and neighbors, will never forget his warm smile, his ever-present generosity, and his countless acts of kindness.

Those who didn’t know him well sometimes assumed that because Gary Learn never went beyond high school, he probably wasn’t smart enough to go to college. How wrong they were.

Gary had an amazing problem-solving brain, boundless curiosity, an incredible memory, an insatiable thirst for knowledge, and the perseverance to succeed in anything he tried. He was both scientist and artist … whether he was doing an oil painting for a friend, figuring out exactly what chemicals to use in developing tires that could win at NASCAR, creating a better fertilizer than anything you could find at a store, growing a 150-pound pumpkin to take to the fair, or grafting exquisite multi-colored gladiolas and quietly leaving them on your doorstep, Gary Learn was really a modern-day Renaissance Man.

He didn’t sit around watching TV every night. He read, he studied, he conducted his own research.

Gary, in short, was one of a kind … a very humble man who would probably be surprised to know how much he will be missed and would not want us to grieve.

I suspect he would agree with the Irishman who wrote: “I’d like the tears of those who grieve to dry before the sun and leave instead an afterglow of smiles when life is done."

Kathleen Werner Millward