Gary Boardman


1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Saturday, July 6, 2024
Harloff Funeral Home
803 S. Washington Street
East Rochester, New York, United States

Obituary of Gary Boardman

Gary Thomas Boardman escaped this “crazy world going to hell in a handcart” on June 15, 2024. He was difficult and delightful and will be deeply missed by his loving wife of 54 years, Georgia, their daughters, Tara and Carly; granddaughters, Raina, Lorelei, Nova, Adelaide and Olive, and often the only other man in the room, his cherished son-in-law, Rudy Becker.

Gary often bragged that he was surrounded by a bunch of beautiful, strong and weird women. One of the first women to fill that role would be his older sister Carol, whom he escorted down the aisle on her wedding day to Stan Smith. They, as well as his niece and nephews, Becky, Scott and Daniel, will remember “Jungle Gary” fondly. His sister in-law, Julie, her husband, Gene Brzek, and his nephew, Brian, as well as many friends and neighbors scattered throughout Rochester and the Finger Lakes will miss him deeply. The family would like to especially thank his neighbors, Priscilla and Jodi, who earned family status through their love and care for Gary these last few years. He is predeceased by his friend of over 70 years, Michael Burns, whose humor and friendship was indispensable to Gary and whom we know greeted him into this next chapter with open arms and laughs.

Gary grew up in Rochester, NY, in the home his father grew up in and a home he would later raise his own children in. He graduated from East High School and had many jobs throughout his life. He believed in working hard and was proud of his wide array of employment. Gary was an electrician, a floral delivery driver, a newspaper boy whose whole paycheck would go to ice cream cones and the assistant supervisor of instrumentations at Monroe County’s PureWaters.

Gary loved to complain and he loved peanut butter cups. But most of all, Gary loved nature. He loved warm weather, long walks in the woods, watching the birds, sitting in a canoe on the lake and in his younger years, lots and lots of biking. He loved the woods so much that after retirement, he and his wife fulfilled a lifelong dream and bought a cabin at the end of a one season dirt road. Despite the critics, they’d spend nearly 20 years here and through irreplaceable adventures on this property, Gary would pass on his love of the woods to his grandchildren.

Despite not being a musician himself, Gary also had a deep love for music. As a young adult he was an enthusiastic regular patron at Rochester’s famous jazz club, The Pythodd. He would light up when telling stories about how amazing it was to be in the presence of so many talented jazz and blues musicians during this time of his life. He sought out music wherever he could find it—whether that was by fondly chasing after the band of his big sister’s boyfriend or through hours of searching on YouTube at the library to find people he couldn’t believe weren’t famous yet. Most of all, he was immensely proud of the artistic talents of his daughters and granddaughters who are all musicians, painters, writers, dancers or last but not least, beloved patrons of the art just as he was.

Faith and the community that comes with it, was a pillar of Gary’s life. The support and spiritual growth he found at New Covenant in Penfield and later at Branch of the Lord in Naples was of great importance to Gary and so Pastor Burt will lead an informal service at the end of calling hours on Saturday for any who wish to join. Following that, all may also join the family in enjoying some time outdoors at Circle Shelter in Ellison Park after 4:30 for food and fellowship.

****Calling hours will be held on Saturday, July 6, 1-4 p.m. at Harloff Funeral Home, 803 S. Washington Street, East Rochester. ***


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