Gary Dee Reeder, PharmD.
October 20, 1941 - February 1, 2023
Our beloved Gary D. Reeder, of Lincoln, CA, passed peacefully after a series of strokes. He leaves behind his devoted wife of 23 years, Marian, daughter DeeAnn (Thomas), son Chris, and step-children Susan, Linda, Phyllis (Jim), Raymond (Cathy) and Robert (Betsy). He was treasured by his grandchildren Sophia, Liam, Richard, Alex, Erin, Cristin, Katie, Peter, Phillip, Morgan, Marian, Michael, Meaghan and their families. He will be missed by his sister Donna (Kenny), brother Carol, and brother-in-law David (Juanell) as well as nieces and nephews. He will be remembered fondly by neighbors and friends in Sun City Lincoln Hills and his large group of pharmacy co-workers. He was predeceased by his first wife, Margaret, of 33 years, his parents Albert and Laura and his brother Terry.
After finishing high school in Tulare, CA, Gary went to college, achieving a Pharmacy Doctorate from UC San Francisco. He was promptly drafted into the Army and served in Vietnam from 1967-1969. This was the height of engagement during the Tet Offensive. Gary received commendations for saving hundreds of lives by opening a new field hospital with 400 beds to house the 1000 wounded patients waiting outside. He did incredible work running that hospital in Vietnam! Gary was, however, stoic about the horrors he witnessed. When asked about his service he would tell of the hilarious "Elephant Lift" operation, which the Generals later agreed was "not such a good idea after all"! By the time of his honorable discharge from the U.S. Army, Gary had attained the rank of Captain and had been awarded a Bronze Star, among other ribbons and medals.
After Vietnam, he and Margaret settled in Orangevale, CA when Gary began his pharmacy ownership career by co-owning an independent pharmacy in Roseville. He later became the managing pharmacist for several independent pharmacies, as well as the grocery-chain pharmacies. He retired from Raley's in Lincoln. Gary achieved a remarkable honor of serving 50 years as a California licensed pharmacist. During his career he also served in the California Pharmacists Association and the Sacramento Valley Pharmacists Association. He served as President of SVPhA and on various committees, helping patients to identify their medications and to check for drug interactions. He helped implement a program for doctors called "Communicate Before You Medicate" to help patients fully under their meds. He also inspired and mentored many young healthcare providers.
Gary loved his cabin in the mountains at Wright's Lake and enjoyed sharing fun times with lots of friends and family there. Kids and grandkids learned how to row boats, fish, hike, chop wood and "rough it" with kerosene lights at night and an outhouse!! Gary served on the homeowner's association board and was well regarded among other cabin owners.
Gary's other activities included writing articles for pharmacy publication. He wrote for the Leader Group of Pharmacies’ newsletters, always injecting humor with quips and quotes. He volunteered his time writing for the Sun City Newsletters, again with some humor interspersed with the serious information. Within this community he also helped with medical equipment deliveries for the group Neighbors In Deed.
Having grown up on his parents’ farm in Tulare, Gary was an avid, gifted, and lifelong gardener, sharing seedlings and feeding neighbors, known and unknown. He so enjoyed being a gardener with the Lincoln Community Garden. He grew just about everything, except asparagus, which he hated.
When Gary married Marian, he was welcomed into a large extended family who enjoyed vacations and holidays together. He was happy - whether on a cruise, at a concert, at a baseball game, or a dance recital. He was always a proud grandpa, and looked forward with joy to his grandchildren’s many graduations and weddings!
Gary was a skilled and passionate photographer. Always looking for the next learning opportunity, in retirement he dabbled in ceramics and cooking - producing myriad whimsical pottery pieces and his famous “Grandpa Gary’s Cookbook” - an instant classic. A lifelong reader, in retirement he was never far from his kindle or the newspaper.
Before retiring from active lay leadership, Gary served in many roles in several Episcopal churches, including St. Francis in Fair Oaks, St. John’s in Roseville, and St. Luke’s in Auburn. Most of all, Gary was funny, gentle, and wise, and lived a life of service. All who knew him and admired him are better for it.
Finally, Gary was also passionate about helping orphanages in Africa. His daughter and son-in-law continue that work today. Donations can be given to that effort at Gifts In Memory or Thanksgiving - Christ Church Episcopal (ccpvb.org).
A Christian service of remembrance and thanksgiving will be officiated by his son-in-law, the Reverend Thomas P. Reeder on Saturday Feb. 18, 2023 at 2 PM in the Chapel of East Lawn Mortuary, 5757 Greenback Lane, Sacramento 95841, with a reception to follow. The event will also be live streamed for those who cannot be there in person. Details: Gary Reeder — VIEWLOGIES