It is with
great regret and sorrow that I must notify you of the death of our Classmate,
Gary Webster, on 7 July 2021 in Forest City, NC, from cancer.
survived by his wife, Grace; his daughters, Karen (Mark) Harris and Kathryn
Elder; and his grandchildren, Eliza Harris, Braxton Harris, Henry Harris, Jocey
Elder, William Elder, and Kaylee Elder. His wife, Jo, preceded him in 1994.
of life service will be held on 24 July 2021 at 2pm at Buford Presbyterian
Church, 1242 Buford Hwy NE, Sugar Hill, GA 30518.
Funeral services for Gary will be at 1:30 PM, June 21, 2022 at the West Point
Those attending should meet NLT 1:00 PM at the Visitors Control Center located
at the West Point Visitors Center in Highland Falls.
If you plan to attend, please reply to this message NLT 14 June.
Condolences may be sent to Grace at 246 Georgia Avenue, Forest City, NC 28043-3728.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Gary’s memory may be made to Buford Presbyterian Church,
1242 Buford Hwy NE, Sugar Hill, GA 30518, or your favorite charity.
Well done, Gary. Be thou at peace.
Click here to go to Gary's Last Roll Call Tribute.
Class Memorial Pages\M-1 Gary Webster.pdf
Last Saturday, July 24, a group of classmates attended a Celebration of Life
for Gary Webster at the
Buford Presbyterian Church in Buford, Georgia. Grace planned the event and it
was very well done.
Attending were: Brendan and Viviane Battle; Larry and Judi
Butterworth; Roger & LewAnne Cerasoli; John & Janet Cornelson; Frank Eagan; Joe
& Ginna Fishburne; Mike and Rita Hale; Gary and Button Hyde; Danny Minor and his
son, Napier; Beryl Petty; Courtney Rittgers; Buck Shaffer and Gene Witherspoon.
Representing the West Point Society of Atlanta were: Mike and Betty Rose Bowers
’63; Jan Heath, Executive Director of WPSA; and Jim Eberle ’71, former president
of WPSA. Members of the West Point Society of Atlanta were there to
recognize Gary’s contributions as past president of the Society.
children and grandchildren took to the pulpit to describe Gary in terms we all
identified with: loved to tell stories, always there to reach out to help
others, had a love of flying and was a man of great integrity.
After the service and an elegant reception hosted by the ladies
of the church, classmates, including Beryl Petty, adjourned to the Tannery Row
Ale House to continue the celebration over a pint of ale.
Gary Warren Webster
May 11, 1939 ~ July 7, 2021 (age 82)
Gary Warren Webster, a long-time resident of Atlanta, GA, passed away on July 7,
2021 in Forest City, NC from cancer. The youngest of seven siblings born to
Alfleda Bowles Webster and Clarence Edward Webster, he was born and grew up in
the same house in North Platte, Nebraska, a major railroad switching station for
the cross-country Union Pacific. Every male in Gary’s family, including his
father, five brothers and brother-in-law, served in the military. His mother and
sister did their part by volunteering at the North Platte Canteen, a brief
stopover for many of the young men and women traveling to and from war zones
during WW11. His father died when he was eleven, and from then on he and his
mother looked after each other, since he was the last child living at home. Like
many boys from Nebraska, Gary’s first job was de-tasseling corn. He also had a
paper route. In high school, he was active in academic and sports clubs, and
dreamed of someday flying a plane for the US Air Force. Since age nine, he
planned to attend a military academy, and eventually followed his older brother
to West Point. While there, he sang in the Chapel Choir and Glee Club, giving
him an opportunity to travel and perform, including the Ed Sullivan and Perry
Como television shows; also marching in the inaugural parade of President John
F. Kennedy. After graduation in June 1961, he attended pilot training in Enid,
OK, and was commissioned into the United States Air Force as a C-124 pilot,
flying world-wide missions out of Savannah, GA.
In 1964 he married Martha Jocelyn Johnson of Hartwell, GA and later moved to
Atlanta where he attended Georgia Tech. Following graduation, he worked for IBM
in marketing and later became a Certified Financial Planner, establishing his
own company with clients nationwide. He has served on numerous non-profit boards
of directors; most prominent role was chairing the National Board of Certified
Financial Planners of America in Denver. He has been in demand for numerous
public speaking roles, including seminar presentations, a newspaper contributor
and a weekly television show on financial planning.
A man of many interests and talents, Gary lived his life passionately. He loved
to paint everything from planes, trains and automobiles to animals, birds and
architectural renderings. He was an avid reader of aviation history, and sought
out military museum around the world. Until recently, he still ran three days
per week, and loved to dance.
He was a member of the Atlanta Kiwanis Club for over 40 years, an active member
of the Gwinnett Arts Association and an elder at Buford Presbyterian Church. His
wife of 30 years, Jo, preceded him in death in 1994.
He is survived by his wife of 24 years, Grace Dotson Webster; his daughters,
Kathryn Elder of Covington, GA and Karen (Mark) Harris of Greenville, SC; his
brother, Phillip (Phyllis) Webster of North Platte, NE; three step-children,
Michael Warren of Dallas, NC, Amy (Tony) Helton of Forest City, NC and Anneli
(Jimmie) Kirby of Richmond, VA.; grandchildren, Jocey Elder, William Elder,
Kaylee Elder, Eliza Harris, Braxton Harris and Henry Harris; step-grandchildren,
Rachel Mundorf, Ben Harris, Victoria Wantuch, Anthony Helton, Avery Grace Kirby,
Steven Warren and William Warren. and a large extended family who lovingly
called him Pop-Pop.
A celebration of life service will be held at Buford Presbyterian Church in
Sugar Hill, Georgia on Saturday, July 24 at 2pm with Retired Reverend Dr. John
Roark officiating. The family will greet friends immediately following the
service at the Church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Buford Presbyterian Church,
1242 Buford Highway, NE, Sugar Hill, Georgia 30518 or your favorite charity.
The Padgett and King Mortuary & Crematory is in charge of arrangements and an
online guest registry is available at www.padgettking.com
Assembly/Taps Memorial Article:
GARY W. WEBSTER 1961
Cullum No. 23442-1961 | July 7, 2021 | Died in Forest City, NC
Cremated. Interred in West Point Cemetery, NY
Gary Warren Webster was the youngest of seven siblings born to Alfleda and
Clarence Webster of North Platte, NE, a major switching station for the
cross-country Union Pacific Railroad. Every male in his family—including his
father, five brothers and brother-in-law—served in the military, some joining up
at age 16. His mother and sister did their part by volunteering at the North
Platte Canteen, a stopover for soldiers and sailors traveling to and from war
zones during World War II. His father died when he was 11, and after age 13 he
and his mother lived together alone until high school graduation. He joked, “You
know you’re from Nebraska when your first job is de-tasseling corn.”
Following in his brother Lile’s (Class of ’52) footsteps, Gary attended the
United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. While there, he sang in the
Chapel Choir and Glee Club, giving him an opportunity to travel and perform,
including on the Ed Sullivan and Perry Como television shows and marching in the
inaugural parade of President John F. Kennedy. He said, “As we passed the
President’s stand, we all looked right, not seeing the President, but Jackie.”
Gary also served on the Hop Committee for social events, boxed, ran
cross-country and played plebe intramural football. His class was the first to
include 150-pound players and lower height requirements. He was happy to join,
since being on a team meant you were relieved of other duties. The strict
physical, mental and moral disciplines instilled at West Point became a lifelong
meter for him.
Ever since he was a kid watching airplane movies with John Wayne and Jimmy
Stewart, he had wanted to fly for the United States Air Force. Since he was not
included in the seven slots for pilot training at graduation, he went to the
Pentagon, got his orders changed and entered flight school along with classmates
Nick Plodinec and Warren Watson. When asked where he wanted to go, he quickly
said, “The closest to Nebraska.” Advanced Flight School at Enid, OK and AF
Survival School preceded his assignment to Hunter Air Force Base, GA. From
there, he flew the C-124 to five continents and 35 countries, including Vietnam.
His intentions were to return to USMA to teach, but USAF would not release him
from the cockpit.
In 1964, while in Savannah, GA, he met and married Martha Jocelyn Johnson, a
native of Hartwell GA. Wanting to be closer to family and home, he resigned from
USAF in 1966 and moved to Atlanta, GA, where he enrolled in Georgia Tech
University. There, they raised their two daughters, Kathryn, and Karen, who
followed in their mother’s footsteps by attending the University of Georgia and
becoming teachers. After 30 years of marriage, Gary tragically lost his wife,
Jo, to cancer in 1994.
Following graduation from Georgia Tech, Gary worked for IBM in marketing and
later became a Certified Financial Planner, establishing his own company with
clients nationally. While in financial planning, he served in the training and
accreditation of fellow members, taught financial ethics at national meetings,
chaired the National Board of Certified Financial Planners of America in Denver,
wrote professional articles, and hosted a weekly television show. He was a
member of the Atlanta Kiwanis Club for over 40 years and served as president of
the Atlanta West Point Society in 1997. In retirement, he was an active member
of the North Gwinnett Arts Association, an elder at Buford Presbyterian Church
and served on numerous non-profit boards, including some charter schools in
North Carolina and Arizona.
In 1996, on a business trip to North Carolina, Gary met Grace Dotson Warren, a
single mother of three grown children. They married, and, along with Gary’s two
girls, their blended family grew to include 11 grandchildren. Born and raised by
missionary parents in the Eastern Highlands of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe, she came
to America at age 16 to complete high school, nursing school (Birmingham Baptist
Hospital) and graduate school (University of North Carolina at Greensboro),
eventually pursuing a career in public health and education. After moving to
Suwannee with Gary, she managed and taught English at Ivy Bridge Academy
Cumming/Suwanee, with most of the students being of Asian descent. Both Gary and
Grace loved to travel with the students to regional and national competitions
for public forum debate tournaments.
A man of many interests and talents, Gary loved to paint everything from planes,
trains and automobiles to animals, birds, and architectural renderings. He was
an avid reader of aviation history and sought out military museums around the
world. He and Grace both travelled extensively and loved the hiking
opportunities they found in each country. Gary was known for his dancing skills
at social events, and, until his health failed, was an avid runner.
Gary passed away on July 7, 2021 at his retirement home in Forest City, NC from
leukemia. A celebration of his life was held at Buford Presbyterian Church,
Suwanee, GA, where he and Grace had served as active members for many years. He
lived life on his own terms, saying, “You have only one life to live; so find
what gives you joy and pursue your passions.”
— Grace Webster and classmates