Devoted husband, loving father and faithful servant of God, the Reverend Gary L. Naylor entered into rest Thursday, Jan. 3. 2013. He was 65. Gary was born and raised in Bellefonte, Pa. During the Vietnam War, Gary interrupted his studies at Mansfield College to enlist with the U.S. Navy as a Naval Corpsman attached to the 1st Marine Division. While with the Navy, Gary was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Vietnam Service Medal with Fleet Marine Force Combat Insignia, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device, the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm and Gold Frame, and the Bronze Star. Upon his Honorable Discharge, Gary obtained his bachelor's degree from East Carolina University and a master's in hospital administration from the Medical College of Virginia. After graduating MCV, Gary began his career in the healthcare industry. In 2002, Gary answered the call to ministry. He obtained his master's of divinity from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. He served as Vicar and Assistant Pastor at Cross of Life Lutheran Church in Roswell, Ga. He became the Pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Hartwell, Ga., until health problems forced him to retire.
Gary will be remembered for his sense of humor and dry wit, his passion for Biblical discussion and his remarkable mind. When Gary was not helping others, he would most likely be found doing one of his three passions: golf, woodworking or reading. Gary is survived by his wife of 28 years, Vi Naylor; his son and daughter, Richard Naylor and Katie (Naylor) Drummond. He also precedes in death his mother, Marjorie Ryder; his brother and sister, Steven Naylor and Gail (Naylor) Pentz.
Memorial services were held at 11 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 7, at Cross of Life Lutheran Church in Roswell, Ga. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that all gifts be made to the Reverend Gary Naylor Memorial Fund at Cross of Life Lutheran Church.