Service measured not by GOLD,
                           but by the GOLDEN RULE

Service measured not by GOLD,
          but by the GOLDEN RULE


Gary Ellis Potts passed away peacefully at his home on March 31, 2024, at the age of 71, after a two-year battle with a rare cancer.  His “wonderful wife” Kerry (Elliott) Potts and “wonderful Friend” Brad Foster were by his side, along with his “wonderful pets” Fred (dog), and Noodles and Ernie (cats).

Gary was born in California on February 9, 1953, to Garrard & Marvel (Angus) Potts, both are deceased. Siblings Jean Courtney (Al) Young – both deceased, Steve (Vicki) Potts of Cheyenne, WY, Larry (Michael) Almony Potts of Cleveland, OH.  Gary has two children from his first marriage to Diane Martin of Spokane, WA: Arion Potts of Australia, and Danika (Oliver) Campbell of Des Moines, IA and “beautiful grandson”, Clark Campbell.  Gary married Kerry in 2006 in Washington state and gained a new “wonderful family” of Kerry’s many relatives, plus her extended family of stepchildren, grandchildren, and great grandchildren from her previous marriage.  Gary enjoyed getting to know his many young great nieces and nephews in Ohio, and loved the fact that they would talk with him about motorcycles and other interests.  He also has been proudly watching his nephew Cole Cramer’s baseball career progress and thinks he will eventually be in the major leagues!

Gary joined the Army at the age of 18 and was first stationed in Germany for 3 years.  He considered it a tough job but a great adventure.  He served a combined total of 22 years in the military for the Army and Army National Guard as a combat Engineer in the Corps of Engineers and earned the rank of First Seargent.  He served in several National events, fought wildfires in California, and served in several wars including his final one Iraqi Freedom.  Gary was very proud of his military service and the men and women he served with.

In addition to his military career, Gary was a CAD Drafter for two airplane manufacturers in Washington state.  He lived most of his adult life in Washington, then retired and moved to Ohio in 2015 with Kerry to live near her family.

Gary had many interests and talents.  He was an avid reader with history and science fiction as favorites.  Music filled his heart and soul, and he loved all types of genres which is evident by his extensive CD collection.  He loved sports of all kinds and enjoyed playing basketball when he was young and golfing as an adult.  He rooted for the Seattle Mariners baseball team and Seattle Seahawks football, then added the Cleveland Guardians and Cleveland Browns after moving to Ohio.  He and Kerry enjoyed several trips to Arizona for baseball Spring Training games.  Fishing was another favorite, especially in Washington for salmon, and one highlight was catching Sturgeon in the Puget Sound right near where he lived in Marysville, WA.  He has always loved motorcycles and has wonderful memories of he and his brother Steve sharing a Honda 90 when they were young.  As an adult he owned several motorcycles and enjoyed many, many adventures riding all over the United States and into British Columbia.  One of his favorite trips was from Ohio to Alaska and back, with Kerry and her sister and brother-in-law joining him for parts of the journey.  He also enjoyed riding on the Ohio winding country backroads.  When he wasn’t riding, he was usually watching all types of motorcycle racing on TV. Photography was another interest, and he loved being able to pull over his motorcycle to capture that quick beautiful shot. He enjoyed a good IPA beer and visiting wineries in the Pacific Northwest, especially he and Kerry’s favorite one, Rio Vista Winery in Chelan, WA with their wonderful Sun Cove friends.  He made the best homemade bread and English muffins and loved sharing them with friends and family.  In his retirement he became a self-taught woodworker and furniture builder, and truly enjoyed building and gifting his creations to friends and family.

Gary and Kerry had been good friends for years prior to their marriage and are both eternally grateful for the unconditional love they shared.  Gary was a very kind, caring, funny, wonderful, and loving man and he will be remembered and greatly missed by many.

A private burial will take place at Foxfield Preserve; a conservation burial ground located within The Wilderness Center in Wilmot, Ohio.  There will be a celebration of life at a later date, at The Wilderness Center pavilion, open to all family and friends.  Also, later this year there will be an American Sycamore tree planted in his remembrance at the gravesite when the appropriate planting time arrives.

Gary and Kerry would like to thank all the family and friends that supported them in so many ways during his illness, and especially his friend Brad for endless hours of great conversation and genuine friendship.  Their niece Amber Doup, Dr. Masci and the entire team at the Wooster Cleveland Clinic Oncology Dept. for their abundant kindness and loving care.  Also, the care teams at Pure Healthcare Palliative Medicine and Lifecare Hospice.  All of you are a wonderful blessing.

McIntire, Bradham & Sleek Funeral Home, 216 E. Larwill St., Wooster is assisting the family.

Anyone wanting to honor Gary’s life in contributions are welcome to donate to the Wayne County Dog Shelter, 5694 Burbank Rd., Wooster, OH 44691, as he and Kerry have adopted many wonderful pets over the years, and their wellbeing is a cause dear to their hearts.

Online condolences may be left for the family at


  1. Kerry and Family, thinking of you during this time, and so sorry to hear of Gary’s passing. Sending my love and prayers.

  2. Many great family gatherings, fishing trips and camping trips. Will miss you and love you Gary. Will always remember the great times and calling you an important part of our family. Thank you for your service and grateful to call you family.
    Marlo, Dianna, Branden & Bret Carter
    Our hearts are heavy❤️‍🩹

  3. I am lucky enough to be able to call Gary a friend for over 30 years. The best part is that he got to be married to my bff, Kerry, and she got to be married to him! Reading this beautiful tribute brings up so many memories over the years- so many fire pits, winery visits, Seahawks games, conversations, and so so much laughing! I do not think I have ever heard him say an unkind word and certainly no one who knew him could say an unkind word of him. I know that he is reading all of the memories and watching all of us mourn and remember with that HUGE Gary smile on his face! Miss you already!

  4. Thank you for your service. Condolences to the family.


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