Gary Wayne Whiteside
In the quiet first morning hour of Saturday, June 10th, 2023, Gary Wayne Whiteside passed away at the age of 77 from complications of both myasthenia gravis and diabetes, diseases of which were directly caused by his exposure to Agent Orange during his time of service in the Vietnam War.
He was born in the late Spring of 1946 in Gary, Indiana to Elizabeth & Alfred Whiteside and had lived in various parts of Indiana the majority of his life. He graduated from Calumet High School in 1964. He served in the Marine Corps for four years directly afterwards, including enduring two tours of Vietnam. He was a lifetime member of the VFW Post 69, American Legion Post 502 and DAV Member of Marine Corps League in Michigan City. Veteran focus and support was very important to him.
For most of his professional career he was an Operating Engineer at Local 150, retiring with a Gold Card status as he entered the Operating Engineers Retiree Club. He worked for Furnace Services until his retirement. He then decided to take up two separate jobs within the Park services. One with the National Park Service in Northern Indiana, then another later with the Hanover Parks Department in Southern Indiana.
After retiring again, he and his wife spent the winters in Sebring, Florida in a peaceful RV resort where he made countless friends within the community. He loved to paint and to garden. He was a very talented artist whose paintings brought joy to many, several even winning notoriety in local fairs and events. He took great pleasure in sharing his artworks with those around him. Neighbors and friends were always impressed with his perennial garden creations as well. Both of these hobbies were a means of transforming the world around him and capturing the beauty he saw within it. Not just for himself, but to share with others.
He is preceded in death by his Mother, Elizabeth, Father, Alfred, and Brother, Kenny.
He leaves behind to cherish his memory his beloved wife of 46 years, Brenda (Horton) Whiteside, his siblings, Greg Whiteside and Sue (Darrell) Day, his children, Renee (Bill) Richardson, Shawn (Myndi) Whiteside, Brandon (Heather) Whiteside, Anthony (Amanda) Whiteside, Holly (Rick) Richards & Amy Willis.
He also leaves behind eight grandchildren, Austin, Mason, Ethan, Megan, Fayt, Dylan, Brooke & Hayleigh, as well as three great grandchildren, Memphis, Denver and Rowan.
May it also be known that though not part of his family directly, Gary was considered a beloved father figure to many of his children’s friends over the years.
May the memories, laughter, art, love and wisdom he imparted during his lifetime comfort all who hold him dear in their heart.
Visitation for Gary will be held Friday June 16, 2023 from 3-7pm with a funeral service to follow at 7pm. All services will be held at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel, 7535 Taft Street, Merrillville, IN 46410. In lieu of flowers, all donations can be made to The Disabled American Veterans and the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America.