My Uncle Gary was very caring and generous to the people he loved. I have so many great memories of spending time with my Uncle Gary. When I was about four years old, Uncle Gary taught me how to tie my shoes. I was too stubborn to listen to anybody else. He also taught me how to rollerblade and play hockey. We would spend a lot of time together playing hockey on ponds and at rinks. We would rollerblade at Interskate 91. We had so much fun winning team races.  We would play any sport together when I was younger. One time, he was playing the NHL hockey game on the Xbox with me and I beat him by a lot, so he told me to go outside and play in real life. We played street hockey, and I don’t think I scored once against him. He was very competitive. He would always invite me to go fishing with him, too.

He was also very funny. My Uncle Gary bought a house and boat in Ocean City. We spent our last family vacation with him there. We went water skiing and I got stung by many jellyfish. When I got back on the boat, the first thing he said was for someone to pee on it.

When I was around 13, I had to quit all contact sports because of too many concussions. I started riding a bike. He saw I started it and was a bit serious about it. He was so thoughtful and bought me a nice road bike for my birthday. He bought all of his nieces and nephews a car on their 16th birthday, but he wasn’t here on my 16th birthday. In honor of Gary, the whole family bought me a car. We would go to sports games together. A few years ago, he took me to a Bruins game in New Jersey on a school night. I thought that was the coolest, and my friends at school thought that, too. When my dad was away on a work trip for six weeks, my Uncle Gary took me to places every weekend. We went bowling, roller skating, and would just have fun.

He gave me my first job working for his tree business. He made me work hard and had high expectations for me. We worked early in the morning until after it got dark. Sometimes my mom would call asking when I was coming home because we worked a lot of hours. He taught me how to work hard, until the job was done. He always bought everyone lunch and Gatorade when working with him. He was always very generous and paid me well.

The last time I saw him was when he randomly asked if me, my sister, and my mom wanted to go to the Patriots game. We sat in the car for a while because he was having a hard time with Ticketmaster. We finally got inside the stadium and it was cold and rainy. The game was super fun. It was against the Browns. The score was 27-13; the Patriots WON.

Now that he is gone, I will never be able to talk about sports, go to sporting events, go hunting, spend the day on his boat, or go on vacation with him. He already missed three of my birthdays, many holidays, 11 bike races, family dinners, and most importantly, I lost the opportunity to see and spend time with my Uncle Gary. He never got to see me race bikes, he will never get to see me graduate high school, go to my wedding, and when I have kids, they will only get to hear stories about their amazing Uncle Gary. I miss my Uncle Gary, and he will never be forgotten.

Gary Gaudette’s 17-year-old nephew