Gary Neil Fitzwater, 71, a resident of Elkins, departed this life Monday, July 29, 2013, at the Ruby Memorial Hospital at Morgantown, after suffering a stroke the previous Wednesday. Despite a long list of health issues, Gary was perseverant, and death was unexpected.
He was born Sunday, Feb. 22, 1942, at Norton, a son of the late Mason M. "Jock" and Ethel Naoma Weese Fitzwater.
Surviving are: one son, David Neil Fitzwater, of Elkins; two brothers, the Rev. Donald L. Fitzwater and wife, Glenda, of Elkins; Kenneth Fitzwater, of Indianapolis, Ind.; as well as a number of nieces and nephews. Gary also leaves behind several old and dear friends, most notably, Mathew Earnest and wife, Helena, of Elkins.
Preceding him in death are one son, Gary Kenneth "Kenny" Fitzwater; one brother, Harold Fitzwater; and three sisters, Jean Yoder, Geneva Alberta Stevenson and Freda Francis Sturdivant.
A graduate of the school of hard knocks, Gary was one of its most tenacious and resourceful graduates. A life-long resident of the Elkins area, Gary was a well-known carpenter, painter, handyman and craftsman. Those who know Gary's work know there is none better. A man of extremely humble and meager means himself, throughout his life, he provided services to those who could not otherwise afford help. Over the years, he also donated a vast amount of labor to various local churches. A complicated and at times difficult man, Gary truly had a heart of gold and was always doing things for others.
Gary was known for his sense of humor and his tall tales. His love of the outdoors was always an important part of his life. Though in declining health, he continued to enjoy fishing, walking, gardening and the occasional adventure with his son. Despite his health, he had been landscaping his son's yard over the last several months, and enjoyed sitting around the fire there at night.
At Gary's request his body was donated to the West Virginia University Human Gift Registry. The family will receive friends at the Lohr & Barb Funeral Home of Elkins on Monday, Aug. 5, 2013, from 6 to 7 p.m. On Monday at 7 p.m., a memorial service will be conducted with the Rev. Donald L. Fitzwater officiating.
The Lohr & Barb Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements for Gary Neil Fitzwater.
Condolences may be expressed to the family at; www.lohrbarbfuneralhome.com