OBITUARY

Gary J. Bennett

December 13, 1951May 18, 2018
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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.

  • DONATIONS

  • Potsdam Humane Society
  • Potsdam Booster Club
  • National Public Radio

Services

  • Visitation Thursday, May 24, 2018
  • Funeral Mass Friday, May 25, 2018
REMEMBERING

Gary J. Bennett

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Arthur Greene

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

Rocco Frank

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

Terry Finazzo

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.
Terry Finazzo
Richmond, VA

Greg Horan

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

Susan&Mark Hewitson

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.

Jim ford

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

Christine Pesses

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

Nora Schempp

May 24, 2018

Nora Schempp

May 24, 2018

Mike Zurakowski

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).