Gary Allen Weade, 70, of Rockbridge County died Oct. 24

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Gary Allen Weade, age 70, of Rockbridge County departed this life on Oct. 24, 2019.

He was born on Feb. 12, 1949, at the original Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital (the Stonewall Jackson House) to Emma Grace (Silvea) and Phil Weade.

Gary was a clever child, showing an early love of reading and a respect for nature. During his youth he displayed an aptitude for athletics, playing basketball for Lexington High School.  His prowess on the court, as well as his skill on a motorcycle, made him a local legend and earned him the nickname that remained with him all of his days - Speedy. After high school, Gary graduated from Lynchburg College and shared his love of history as a teacher.

He was one of those lucky people who looked good wearing hats. Gary played many roles in his working life – educator, salesman, library researcher, and most recently, customer service at Buddies True Value Hardware, where his jovial demeanor and witty conversation brightened the days of everyone he met.

Gary always enjoyed the simple pleasures in life: a good book, a sunset, a bottle of fine wine, a funny story told in the glow of his fireplace.  He spent hours working on and walking in the woods on his property, and knew every tree by heart. 

His larger than life personality was complemented by his caring nature.  He was a loving son to Emma, and he would do anything to help a friend.  He was known to make his loved ones birthday and Christmas cards, complete with drawings, so they said exactly what he wanted.

Gary was great with animals and had several canine and feline companions throughout his life, most recently a little cat who had been struggling to survive in the woods.  With Gary’s care, she finished her days on a soft bed in his cabin.

He had a beautiful singing voice and while he was not a religious person, he could belt out “The Old Rugged Cross” with the best of them.  Visitors to the Kerrs Creek home that he built will remember the fun times they had, with everything from Jerry Lee Lewis to The Rolling Stones playing in the background.  Gary was a blues fan and wrote a few blues songs.

Gary’s family consists of far too many relatives and friends to list in one place, but includes his special cousin Melvin Silvea, who was like a brother to him; and Stephen Snider, whom he loved like a son.

He is survived by his loving partner of nearly 30 years, Valerie Lewis.  Gary and Val had many adventures during their time together, on and off the motorcycle. Theirs was a special love.  Even after nearly 30 years, they held hands when they watched TV or recounted the events of the day.  They still danced in the kitchen.  He was dearly loved by Val’s daughter Tracy and her husband Richard, and the four of them shared so many happy meals and holidays together.

Gary lived his life on his terms.  He was honest to a fault, some might say, but he would say he was just being realistic.  To the countless people who loved him, reality now is tears in our eyes and a hole in our hearts.  Gary brought a light and a laughter to this world that can never be replaced.  He would want us to live every day with joy, to wring out every ounce of every moment.  He always said, “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.” 

In accordance with Gary’s wishes, a celebration of his life will be held at a future date; time and place to be announced.

Arrangements are by Harrison Funeral Home & Crematory.

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