Gary Lee Humphreys of Delmar, Md. passed away on Friday, March 17, 2023, after a short but brutal fight with cancer. He is survived by his loving spouse and partner of 37 years, Anna Humphreys; a daughter, Tammy Palacio and spouse Richard Rodriguez; son, Chad Hardin and spouse Melissa Hardin; two grandsons, Zion Palacio (Firecracker), and Curtis Moore; a granddaughter, Autumn Seehafer; a sister, Lisa Hagle; and numerous nieces and nephews. A special person in his life, Addie Purnell, who acted as his “other mother,” was always there for him and his close family. In addition to many claimed children, there was also his work family, and many hunting, fishing, and horseracing buddies who became family.
He was preceded in death by his grandson, Grant Hardin; grandmother, “Mom” Gladys Oliphant; mother, Edseline Adkins; and father, Lee Humphreys.
Gary was a lifelong resident of Delmar graduating from Delmar High School in 1972 and winning Citizen of the Year in 2016. At the time of his passing, he worked as a driver for Lakeside at Mallard’s Landing where he won Employee of the Year. He was a beloved bus driver and contractor for Wicomico County Schools for many years as well where his gentle, fun-loving nature brought a smile to many. He was a proud farmer and belonged to the Maryland Farm Bureau. He was an honorary member of the Delmar Fire Department where, over the years, he served three years as an engineer, a year as a ladder foreman, a year as a hose foreman, was a past vice-president and served on various committees. He also served as a proud sponsor and coach for Delmar Little League and was often the supporter of many other local organizations and charities.
Known to be an avid hunter and fisherman, he was a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and North American Hunting Club. He was also a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation. As a fisherman, he was a winner in the first Barnacle Bills Fishing tournament held in Chincoteague, Va. He enjoyed many hunting and fishing trips throughout his life.
Having grown up in the horse racing community, he often enjoyed attending live and simulcast racing. He later owned horses and was a winner in the 2013 and 2014 Maryland Sire Stakes and Maryland Standardbred Race Fund Championship. His prized horse ‘Spinout’ went undefeated as a two and three year old in the Maryland Stakes Program. He belonged to the Maryland Horse Breeders Association (director 2 years), Delaware Standardbred Owners’ Association, Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners’ Association, and the United States Trotters Association.
Gary was never seen without a smile. He brought joy to everyone around him with his infectious laugh and great sense of humor. He enjoyed football and was a lifelong Notre Dame fan. However, his favorite part of the sport was razzing friends and family when their preferred team lost.
Everyone who met Gary loved him. He was kind, friendly, and accepting. He loved wholeheartedly and enjoyed his life. He was proud of his accomplishments and for those of his family and friends. He was a good man, a great husband, a wonderful father, grandfather, and an even better friend.
A special thank you to Coastal Hospice Care and their dedicated staff for all of their assistance during this difficult time.
A visitation for family and friends was held on Friday, March 24, at Short Funeral Home in Delmar, and also on Saturday, March 25, followed by services. Bob Miller, executive director, Lakeside at Mallard Landing, officiated. Interment followed at Wicomico Memorial Park in Salisbury.
Memorial contributions may be made in his memory to the National Wild Turkey Federation, Grant Hardin Scholarship Fund, c/o David Johnson, P.O. Box 441, Delmar, DE 19940, or to Coastal Hospice, P.O. Box 1733, Salisbury, MD 21802.
Arrangements are in the care of Short Funeral Home in Delmar. Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.shortfh.com.