Gary Ellison Gulick, age 82, passed away at his home in Kearney, Missouri on September 27, 2020. He entered this world in the usual fashion on February 8, 1938 in Kansas City, Missouri, but he lived an extraordinary life. His birth mother named him Raymond Lee Williams and, about a month later, under circumstances we can only imagine, relinquished the infant into the care of a physician who placed him with Edwin and Margie Gulick. The Gulicks fell in love with him and finalized the adoption in 1940, when his name officially became Gary Gulick.
He grew with a love for animals (especially his dogs), the outdoors, and an aptitude for drawing and writing. Gary graduated from East High School in 1956 and studied English at Kansas City University (now UMKC). In August 1960, he joined the United States Air Force thinking they would probably teach him “something useful,” like how to be a mechanic. Instead, the USAF sent him to Syracuse University in New York to learn Russian. From 1961 until 1964, he listened to Russian radio transmissions from posts in Turkey and Germany. In his spare time, he learned to speak German.
Gary returned to civilian life in 1964, completed his B.A. in English Language and Literature, and began his career in advertising as a copywriter for Western Auto Supply Company. He eventually joined Bruce B. Brewer Advertising Agency and worked on their Beech Aircraft account. During this period, he spent a lot of time in small aircraft and even learned to fly. In 1970, an ad agency in Oklahoma City lured Gary away from Kansas City, and here he met his second wife, Marti. They were married in Oklahoma City on May 21, 1971. After returning to Brewer in Kansas City, Gary set out on his own as a freelance writer under the moniker “The Wordsmith” in 1973. He worked on his own terms the rest of his life.
Gary and Marti moved to their home in Kearney in 1980. Over the next 40 years, he produced creative content for industrial and business-to-business clients, launched an international trade publication (Evidence Technology Magazine), assisted in the delivery of multiple baby horses, told jokes, sang German beer garden songs, taught, coached, cheered, and loved fiercely.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Edwin M. and Margaret Mae (Ellison) Gulick; his brother, Edwin M. Gulick Jr., and his sister, Helen L. Dunn; and his dogs, Schnitzel, Suzie, Belle, Shorty, Wolf, Budweiser, and Cricket. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Marti; his daughters Anastasia (Amanda Hollinger) Gandy, Erika (David) Smith, and Kristi (Rick) Mayo; grandchildren Dowell, Miles, Adrian, and Hugh; and sister-in-law Dolores (Edwin) Gulick. He will also be lovingly remembered by his nieces and nephew, extended family and friends—as well as his “bonus family,” only recently discovered via genealogy, the Williams and Klempnauer families.
No events are planned at this time. In lieu of flowers, please plant a tree, go for a walk, or drink a beer in his memory.