Obituary for Gerry Gaynor
February 27, 1940 – January 18, 2021
Grass Valley resident Gerry Gaynor died Monday January 18 after a courageous battle with lymphoma. His family was at his side.
Born in Chicago to John and Helene Gaynor, the family moved to San Jose, California when Gerry was six. In 1958, he enlisted in the Air Force and served for four years at Anderson AFB in Guam.
After returning to the Bay Area in 1962, Gerry enjoyed starting his private life and raising his family of five children. He earned his BA, which opened the door on a long and distinguished career. During the next 35 years, he served as a program manager for national and international defense, hi-tech and aerospace corporations, including Electromagnetic Systems Laboratory, TRW and Northrop-Grumman. Taking an early retirement from the demands of corporate life, he went on to serve for 20 years as senior consultant for High Sierra Electronics, based in Grass Valley.
In 1978, Gerry met Carol Tomich Canning and the two married in 1981. After several moves between the Bay Area and Southern California to follow Gerry’s career, the couple retired to Grass Valley to begin a new chapter.
Generous with his time and talents, Gerry served for many years as the “head chef” for Last Friday Suppers, a program sponsored by the local community to provide hearty meals for those in need. Additionally, Gerry and Carol (both dedicated animal lovers) donated their time to AnimalSave in Grass Valley during the last 12 years, with Gerry providing management consulting and Carol heading up the BookNook, now recognized as the best used bookstore in town. A great admirer of his father-in-law’s woodworking skills, Gerry also found the time and nurtured the patience to learn the fine art of woodcraft, creating many one-of-a-kind treasures for family and friends.
Throughout his life, Gerry loved meeting people. Whether it was over a game of golf or poker, he engaged them with his storytelling, his generous smile, sense of humor and hearty laugh. He loved traveling the region, the country and the world, and treasured the countless friends he made along the way. But most of all, he adored his lovely bride of almost 40 years and his five beautiful children, 10 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
To make a donation in Gerry Gaynor’s memory, please consider:
•American Cancer Society: visit cancer.org for details or to make an online donation.
•Cancer Aid Thrift Shop, 317 S. Auburn St, Grass Valley, CA.
•Your local blood bank
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