Gary, G. Robert

GARY Sr., Reverend Dr. G. Robert "Bob"

The Reverend Dr. G. Robert "Bob" Gary Sr. passed away at the age of 90 in his Decatur home August 3, 2022. His service of remembrance will be in the sanctuary of Atlanta's Glenn Memorial UMC on the Emory University campus, August 11, at 11 AM (visitation in Glenn sanctuary at 10 AM). In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial gift to Glenn Memorial.

Born the youngest of eight children and raised in Atlanta's Grove Park, Dr. Gary was four years old when he lost his father, William Homer Gary. His mother, Gussie Berta Seagraves was devoted to her children and to Bethany Methodist Church, where there was a Boy Scout Troop. Dr. Gary found nurture, belonging, identity, and purpose in these environs. An Eagle Scout, Dr. Gary was the first east of the Mississippi to receive the God and Country Award. A passionate believer in education, Dr. Gary received degrees from West Fulton High School, Young Harris College, and Emory University (BA, MDiv, and ThD), and he earned a Consultancy Certificate from the Tavistock Institute, London, UK.

Ordained to Methodist ministry, Dr. Gary served five churches in the North Georgia Conference. During the turbulent 1960s, he supported the Civil Rights Movement and was honored to meet with The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In 1971, Dr. Gary became the Director of Chaplaincy at Emory University Hospital. During his 26-year-tenure, he grew the department's Clinical Pastoral Education program into the largest in the country, during which time he also taught Pastoral Care at Candler School of Theology. He retired from the Emory Hospital Directorship, receiving recognition of service from President Bill Clinton. In post-retirement, Dr. Gary continued serving as an independent consultant, supervisor, and pastoral counselor for another 20 years.

A baritone, a lover of old show tunes, a regular at Atlanta Symphony Hall, and a supporter of his children's musical (and athletic) endeavors, song always filled the Garys' hearts and their home. Still today they sing together at family gatherings, including the annual family vacation week in New Smyrna Beach that Dr. Gary and Janet generously hosted for 50 years.

Preceded in death by his parents, three brothers, and four sisters, Dr. Gary is survived by his beloved wife of 65 years, Janet Claire Segers Gary. For 40+ years, "Bob and Janet" led Sunday School and attended worship together at Glenn Memorial, and in 2010 joined a loving community of friends at Clairmont Place. Dr. Gary is also survived by one daughter, Susan Landry (Louis); three sons, Bert (Patricia), Mike, and Bill (Laura); nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Dr. Gary loved and was loved by his in-laws, nephews, nieces, innumerable colleagues, students, counselees, caregivers, and friends.