Gary J. Bennett
December 13, 1951 – May 18, 2018
Dr. Gary J. Bennett, age 66 of Potsdam, NY, passed away at the Canton-Potsdam Hospital on May 18th. A mass of Christian burial will be held at St. Mary’s Church on Friday, May 25th at 10:30 am with Rev. Kevin J. O’Brien and Rev. Stephen Rocker co-celebrant. Burial will be a later date at St. Mary’s Cemetery. Friends may call at the Garner Funeral Home on Thursday, May 24 from 3-7 pm. Contributions in his memory can be made to the Potsdam Humane Society 17 Madrid Ave. Potsdam, NY 13676, the Potsdam Booster Club 29 Leroy St. Potsdam, NY 13676 or NPR 80 East Main St. Canton, NY 13617 . Thoughts, memories and condolences can be shared @www.garnerfh.com. Gary is survived by his wife, Patty Bradshaw Bennett; son Christopher Bennett and his fiancée Alesia Vaccari; daughters Jamie (Willi) Steinrotter and Elizabeth Bennett; grandchildren, Emmie and Ava Steinrotter; and many nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his sister, Susan Goodnow, and his brother, Robert Bennett. Dr. Gary J. Bennett was born December 13, 1951, in Potsdam, NY, to the late Norval Bennett and Mary Elizabeth Kelley. He attended St. Patrick’s in Brasher Falls before graduating from Holy Family High School in Massena in 1969. Gary graduated from Cornell University in 1973 and the University of Perugia in 1980. On July 2, 1971, he married his high school sweetheart and Prom Queen to his King, Patty Bradshaw, at the Newman Center in Potsdam. Gary worked for the Cornell University Veterinary School as a field Veterinarian for Quality Milk Promotion Services, retiring after 30 years. He then went to work for Town and Country Veterinary Clinic part time where he continued until his illness. He was a member of both the Potsdam Humane Society and SUNY Canton Vet Tech Advisory Boards, a former regional representative to the New York State Veterinary Medical Society, and former member of the Potsdam Junior Hockey Board. He also coached his children throughout various levels of Potsdam Junior Hockey and Potsdam Youth Soccer and Baseball. Gary enjoyed fishing and really looked forward to his annual fishing trip to Quebec with his buddies. He played hockey with the Potsdam Potbellies until his health began to fail, and was an avid reader. His children were his pride and joy, and he loved following their sports accomplishments and teams, especially while they were in college. He relished in a good practical joke, both as the perpetrator and target. He enjoyed playing cards, especially with his granddaughters, and driving around listening to NPR. Gary especially loved traveling with Patty and friends, and was able to visit Alaska, Hawaii, Paris, and London all in the last year. Above all, Gary will be remembered for his warm smile, kind heart, and that special twinkle in his eye.
Potsdam Humane Society
17 Madrid Ave. , Potsdam, New York 13676
Potsdam Booster Club
29 Leroy St. , Potsdam, New York 13676
National Public Radio
80 East Main St. , Canton, New York 13617
- Visitation Thursday, May 24, 2018
- Funeral Mass Friday, May 25, 2018
Gary J. Bennett
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December 4, 2018
So sorry to read in Pike newsletter that Gary had passed. Haven't seen him since undergrads at Cornell, but looking at the pictures I would recognize that smile anywhere. My condolences and I wish I had been a better "Big brother" over the years.
October 5, 2018
Although I was a couple of years behind Gary in Perugia, Gary always offered himself in friendship and guidance. My heart is touched by warm memories of my time in Italy and I am blessed to have had Gary cross my path in life.
Rest In Peace
September 26, 2018
Dear patty and family, we recently heard about Gary’s passing. Please accept our condolences. I remember Gary and your little girl Jamie from vet school in Perugia. Our daughter Gina and Jamie would play together. I’m sorry that we haven’t seen Gary and you since graduation. Marc schoenfeld called us tonight with the shocking news. We will keep you and your family in our prayers. Rocco and Rosalie Frank
September 19, 2018
Patty and family. I just heard of Gary's passing last night. Although I hadn't see Gary in over 40 years I have many fond memories of him and his family. They lived just around the corner from me. I remember one night we were playing cards at his home and Gary brought out some of his dad's smoked pike. It was still frozen but we picked at it anyway. What a treat! Gary was one of the nicest, gentlest and fun guys I ever knew. The "beaner"! Always with such a big smile or devilish grin! For sure he will be missed...
My belated condolences to you and your family.
May 25, 2018
Patty, Very sorry for your loss. I know I don't have to tell you what a great guy Gary was but I'm going to anyway. I still remember you guys as King and Queen of the prom. He will be missed by all and especially by people like me that wished they had stayed better in touch. Take care, Greg Horan
May 25, 2018
Our sincere condolences to Patty and Family. We were very sorry to hear of your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
May 24, 2018
My wife Debbie and I were deeply saddened to hear about Gary’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with Patty and the family at this difficult time. May your pleasant memories of Gary bring some degree of comfort to everyone.
My relationship with Gary (and Patty) began as freshman at Holy Family and the subsequent four years served as the venue for creating many great personal memories of special times. Gary, also known as "Beaner", was a classmate, a teammate (hockey & football) and above all a close friend. I remember him as being friendly with everyone, while also a very good student. Above all I remember him as someone having a superb sense of humor that at times made him appear to be just a free spirit, but we all have come to know that he was more than that. His accomplishments as an athlete showed evidence of his competitive nature and his dedication to his teammates. Also during those high school years I came to know that Gary was actually a distant cousin through our mothers' families linkages to the Irish in Brasher.
After high school/college I moved away from the North Country and we had only limited contact at a couple of reunions and via Christmas cards. It was a special treat getting to spend time with Gary and Patty at the Holy Family Mega Reunion. He was the same old Gary - so friendly and full of those humorous stories.
We all have our reasons for having gained respect and admiration for Gary. For me personally it was his belief and commitment to his dream to become a veterinarian. Faced with a need to gain admission to vet school, he and Patty, along with little Jamie, headed to Italy to continue his studies. He eventually completed his studies, returned home to become a licensed veterinarian and the rest is history. His belief and commitment to his dream is a positive example to young and old alike.
"Beaner" will be missed by all who came to know him. May you rest in peace.
Jim (& Debbie) Ford
May 24, 2018
Dear Patty and Family:
We do so wish we could have come to personally extend our condolences. Even though we have not seen you in a long time, you and Gary are inextricably connected to us from that important period in our lives as we matured from teens to adults at Cornell. The connections made during those years are intertwined with wonderful memories of shared experiences. I have fond memories of babysitting for Jamie so you and Gary could go out together and get away from parenting for a bit. I loved being able to do that for you. A picture of Jamie, so determined that I open her wedding gift to us before you left the reception to go back to Italy, was captured in a photo that has been in our wedding album all these years.
The few Cornell Freshman Hall reunions at the Gideon were wonderful and made even more special when both you and Gary could come. All of our lives were so busy then, but the chance to reminisce and laugh together was a joy. We have very clear memory of watching Gary and Jerry spar and laugh together. Jerry could always get Gary laughing.
You both have a long history with Potsdam and we are sure that you will have the support of family and many friends over the next few months. We hope that we will be able to come sometime this summer to see you and share more good memories.
Chris and David Pesses
May 24, 2018
May 24, 2018
May 23, 2018
While riding along with Gary to various herd visits as a new, eager veterinarian, he pulled over to one of his favorite spots for lunch. On a grassy hill overlooking Lake Champlain, he handed me a salami sandwich and said," Mikey, don't take your career too seriously, keep your priorities straight, and always keep a good sense of humor". I have lived by these words for the past 15 years. He spent his career helping dairy producers and the dairy industry across New York state and across the globe. We taught veterinarians and students together in China, visited countless dairy farms through out New England and sat next to each other giggling at each others jokes during numerous otherwise boring staff meetings. He was a dear friend, an encouraging mentor, and a great veterinarian. But, a title he cherished more so than most, was Grandpa. He raved about his grandchildren and his computer was filled with hundreds of pictures of his family. I called him "Gramps". He called me "The Little Polack". Thank you for sharing him with me during the past 21 years. He was a man like no udder...(that's for you Gary).
May 22, 2018
Gary was a wonderful human being. He was always quick with a laugh and a smile, warm and engaging. He did a great job with my cows and we shared a mutual love of hockey.
Gary was always a pleasure to be around. I'll miss him.
Bonnie and Tom Trippany
May 22, 2018
Patty and Family, We were so sorry to hear about Gary's passing. He was such a wonderful guy and was liked by everyone. We loved having him for our vet, and were so comfortable talking to him about the smallest concern we had about our pets. He was always so sincere and helpful, and always had that wonderful smile on his face. We will miss him so much, as will everyone who knew him. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this sad time. May your faith in God help you through each day. With all our love, and sympathy, Bonnie and Tom Trippany
Adrienne Danenberger RN
May 22, 2018
I only knew Gary for brief time. In that time during his illness he faced every day with optimism. His wit and charm always apparent. It was my privilege to care for Gary. I offer my deepest condolences to his family and friends.
May 21, 2018
One of the greatest comforts we have when we lose someone is the knowledge of how fondly, and in how many ways, they will always be remembered. So I will share some of my fond memories of Gary. What I will probably remember best was his eagerness to help. To give a couple of examples, the QMPS Service, where Gary previously worked, was housed in the Newell Veterinary Technology Center at SUNY Canton where I work, and his window overlooked the parking lot. That lot fills on most days, so if you get there after 8:00 you will probably have to look elsewhere for parking. At times I have commitments in the morning that get me to the office well after 8, but Newell is still worth a try. When Gary was there, he would see through his window that I had nowhere to park, and before I could even back up to pull out and look elsewhere, he would run out and start one of the QMPS trucks so he could take it up the hill to another parking area to make space for me.
But an even fonder memory I have is of the help Gary gave us during the feral cat trap/neuter project we conducted on campus. While I was planning the event, Gary offered to help. In anticipation of catching a lot of cats, I borrowed over 25 traps and set them all over campus with the help of some students.
When the Big Day came, I was truly shocked that we had only trapped TWO cats, which really didn't require the services of two vets. Knowing how badly Gary wanted to help, I hated to break the news to him, but told him that given that one of the traps had been occupied by a possum and four by skunks (which was true!), that left little room for cats. And we didn’t know what to do about those skunks! Instead of walking away hanging his head, Gary sprung into action, with that familiar gleam in his eye! He knew just what to do: Cover the traps with blankets, take them to a good spot, and let the skunks out; they won’t spray! And that’s just what he did. And surely I won't forget.
Mary Ellen Williams
May 21, 2018
Patty, Jamie, Christopher, Elizabeth,
How does one find the words to express the grief that our family is experiencing that this time? Gary's passing--added to the loss of the members of the Norval Bennett family--has left a gaping hole in our family tree. Throughout the years Gary made the effort to check on Grandma--even if it was only for a quick meal. I can't imagine his sense of loss as each member of his family passed. Strong, compassionate, and loyal are words that will come to my mind as I remember him. Above all, Gary had such a special way of treating Cheryl, for that I w ill be forever grateful.
May you all find comfort in knowing that you are loved. I am confident that your strong family bond will guide you during this most difficult time. You are all in my prayers.
May 21, 2018
I was shocked to hear of Gary's passing; it breaks my heart as I'm aching for your family. Please accept my condolences.
I would like to extend special hugs and condolences to Emmie and Ava; two of the sweetest girls. After Norval passed we took care of Heather. Gary brought Emmie and Ava over one day to see Heather and the girls said, "Heather looks happy."..... I can't tell you what that meant to me. There were several other occasions when I visited with Gary and conversation was always easy, informative, and at some point comical; I always left with a smile.
After Norval's house sold it hurt my heart a little because I knew I wouldn't be running into Gary at the house anymore- just at the vet, which was always a fun trip ;-)
I will miss him, but take comfort that he is free of pain and reunited with his family who has gone before him.
Peace, Love, and Hugs- Julie
May 21, 2018
Elizabeth and family,
We are very sorry for your loss. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
Collen and Doug Anderson
May 21, 2018
Patty and family,
Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. Gary supported our pumpkin patch and loved bringing the grandchildren. He was a very kind and thoughtful man. He will be greatly missed. My Aunt Bev. thought the world of him. Bob, Deloras and Chad Narrow.
May 20, 2018
Gary has been, and always will be, my inspiration.
May 20, 2018
I remember on a Saturday at Alcoa Field, Holy Family football game, Gary gets the kickoff on about the two yard line and runs it back for a touchdown. A flag on the play returns the ball to the one yard line, Gary takes the handoff and runs 99 yards for a touchdown. This event tells you the heart and the drive that I knew was Gary Bennett. He was friends with everyone he went to school with and he did not forget his friends as the years past. I remember a couple years ago he saw me in a local Massena restaurant and he made an effort to stop at my table and say hello and he greeted me like we were still in high school and friends who had never lost touch. Even though I only saw Gary on occasion, he still remained a good friend and classmate. All my love and prayers to Gary's family on this great loss. I will remember Gary in my prayers and thoughts and we have lost a great guy. Joe Macaulay
May 20, 2018
My warmest condolence to the Bennett Family. Your loss of Gary is very great. Friends will give you moral support. My hope for the Family is that God will comfort you, soothe your pains as HE guide you through the future. Job 33:30