Gary G. Willsie

Gary Willsie

Gary Willsie

EAST BERNE — Gary G. Willsie, known for his kindness and love of life, died at home on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. He was 66.
He was born on May 3, 1955, to Glen and Shirley Willsie and spent many years working on the family farm.

“Gary is known for his leatherwork; woodworking; his spiritual and mystical being; riding his motorcycle; and his love of playing the guitar with his band buddies, A Bunch of Guys,” his family wrote in a tribute. “He also wrote many memorable songs enjoyed by those who knew him.

“Mostly he will be remembered for his kindness and love of life. He never met anyone who he wouldn’t give the shirt off his back. He loved to dance, loved the moon, and loved nature and all animals.”


Gary G. Willsie is survived by his parents, Glen and Shirley Willsie; by his siblings, Ross Willsie and his wife, Kathy, Paula Willsie, and Dawn Moons and her husband, Bill; by his nieces, Carly and Samantha; by his nephew, Ethan; and by his great nephews and niece.

His wife, Cathy Goodrich Willsie, died before him.

His family thanks the Albany County Sheriff’s Office for its caring assistance.

The Willsie family also thanks “all who have sent cards, called on the phone, and stopped by to extend their sympathy and memories of Gary.”

A celebration of his life will be announced at a later date for all to attend.

Memorial messages may be left below.


Gary Willsie

May 3, 1955 to Jan. 18, 2022

Hot Dog



That grizzled immortal elf from high on the mountain.

He of the open-stringed guitar jams

He of the mustachioed smile

He of the easy laugh

He of the story-weavers

He of the burning rat buckets

He of the full-throttled dirt bikes

He of the Helderberg mountains

… has passed.

A bright spot,

A force to be reckoned with,

A legend,

A son,

A brother,

A friend.

His memory will live long in those who drank in his presence

His laughter will forever echo off the hills

His joy radiates still from our hearts

… has returned to stardust.

Now, is that magical?

Or is that mystical?

Like moon-filled nights way up on witch mountain, that softly glowing orb peeking mysteriously through drifting clouds, coy dogs howling their evening song, owls hooting a hunting call, my friends: It is both.

Gruesome was one who stood firmly in the mists of the mystical, who draped magic over his shoulders like a snugly fitting cloak, and who grounded himself in music and mystery.

He now rides on, rides into the great sunset, playing a few chords along with the softly lowing cows, dancing in the moonlight, dancing to his own song, dancing with our remembered visions, he rides on … he rides on ….

 — Avery Stempel

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