Gary Wylie was born on July 1, 1955 in Marion, Ohio to his parents, Frank and Mary. He was the middle of three children, his older brother, Mark, and his younger sister Janice. As a young man, Gary was involved in his church, student government, and several Ohio State youth government organizations.
As a college freshman, Gary ran for the Ohio House of Representatives as an independent. His candidacy was motivated by his frustration with corruption in government and his belief that the two major parties were not serving the interests of the people. Though he did not win, his 1,376 votes were far greater than the margin between the long-serving incumbent Democrat and the Republican challenger (267 votes) which not only contributed to the incumbent’s loss, but also the overall makeup of the Ohio legislature. His interest in, and frustration with, politics would last his whole life, mostly embodied in his debates with his son, Aaron, who Gary inadvertently drove to pursue a career in politics.
After graduating in 1978 from Kent State University with a degree in organizational behavior, Gary moved to Golden, Colorado where he met a woman named Nancy Tracy. Gary knew he would marry Nancy right away, and he told her so much sooner than is typically recommended, about two weeks into dating. Fortunately, he was right, his gamble paid off, and they married on September 1, 1979.
Gary spent his early career working as a programmer and project manager for several different banks and telecommunications companies. He started his computer business, Tune My PC, in 2003. It might be a surprise to some that Gary hated computers, but he put up with them so his clients didn’t have to. He loved helping people. He went on to build his business to be trusted, respected, and consistently recognized as “Best of the Best” award in Wheat Ridge, Colorado and the surrounding community.
Gary went on to be father to Kirsten Doukas and Aaron “Jack” Wylie, father-in-law to Evan Doukas and Lisette Rome, and grandfather to Hannah Doukas, whom he loved more than anyone or anything in the entire world.
Nancy led Gary to accept Jesus as his savior, and his faith and relationship with God guided the remainder of his life. Though he struggled at times, as all men of God do, he was a constant leader, mentor, and servant to those in his church, his men’s prayer group, and his community.
What Gary enjoyed most was simply spending time with Nancy. Their favorite thing to do was go out for dinner on Tuesday nights followed by a trip to the thrift store. Gary also treasured Nancy’s art. He was her earliest fan and provided constant encouragement and support. He spoke of himself only as her “sherpa” because he carried things to and from art shows and festivals, but really his support was critical to her becoming a nationally recognized artist.
Fame and fortune were never Gary’s goals. All he wanted was to ensure his family was well cared for. It was constantly on his mind. To his last day, he asked himself whether he had done enough. As he now looks down upon this world from heaven, he will see that he succeeded many times over.
Gary loved fly fishing, not to catch fish, but just for the opportunity to stand alone in a river. If it was possible for a man to live only on vanilla ice cream, he would have.
He was an incredible man who embodied quiet honor, service to others, self-sacrifice, gentleness, humor, and love. Gary’s family and friends will miss his warmth, wisdom, extremely dry sense of humor, and love forever.
(In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Confluence Ministries: