Gary Joseph Van Wert

Gary Joseph Van Wert, 68 years, of Defiance, passed away Monday, April 17, 2017 at Heartland of Waterville, where he had been recovering from an injury. Gary was born September 9, 1948 in Bay City, Michigan, the son of the late Norbert and Gwen (Pfundt) Van Wert. He was a 1966 graduate of Bay City Central High School. Gary served his country in the United States Navy as a member of the Seabees, with detachments to Guam and Okinawa, during the Vietnam War Era, until his discharge from active duty on December 19, 1969. He married Joyce A. Kuhn on July 7, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. in the evening on a Pontoon in Topinabee, Michigan. Gary was a skilled tradesman for General Motors working in both Saginaw, Michigan and the Defiance Plant, working for 30 years, retiring on January 31, 1994. Gary was a member of St. Isidore Catholic Church and the Amvets Post 1991, Defiance. An avid outdoors man, Gary loved to hunt, fish and observe nature and the various species of birds and wildlife. He also had a passion for boats and ATV’s and was known as a great barbecuer. He purchased his dream home on Burt Lake in Michigan. Gary enjoyed a good card game, working crossword puzzles and spending time with his family and spending time in quiet reflection. Surviving is his wife, Joyce of Defiance; four siblings, Steve (Donna) Van Wert of Willington, Illinois, Linda (Terry) Collier of Essexville, Michigan, Jill (Bob) Scammahorn of Chebanse, Illinois and Mary (Jeff) Jackowski of Brighton, Michigan along with several nieces and nephews and many friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and his favorite dog, “Pup”. There will be no visitation and a gathering of relatives, extended family and friends will be held later, most certain to be held outdoors where he loved to be with family, friends and great food. Arrangements are under the care of Oberlin-Turnbull Funeral Home, 230 East Elm Street, Sherwood, Ohio 43556. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider memorial contributions be made to the charity of the donor’s choice. Expressions of sympathy may also be shared with the family online at