Gary Joe Chaplin, 80, of Winter Haven, Fla., passed away on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021, surrounded by his family.
Gary was born Jan. 12, 1941, in Tuscola, a son of Everett Roy and Berniece Chaplin. They preceded him in death.
He is survived by his life partner of 27 years, Ginny Berry of Flint, Mich.; son Theron Chaplin of Windsor, Canada; daughter Chandra (Todd) Simmons of Grayson, Ga.; granddaughter Alexandra Simmons of East Lansing Mich.; sisters Phyllis Jean Brothers of Tilton and Carol Ann Chambers of Bloomington; brothers Roy Dean (Judy) Chaplin of Normal and Roger Lee (Sue) Chaplin of Sims, N.C.; and 13 nephews and nieces.
Other special people in Gary’s life were former wife Juanita Chaplin Hunter of Lansing, Mich.; uncle Paul C. Moore of Champaign; uncle Kenneth Moore of Tuscola; and friend Bill Cecilian of Vero Beach, Fla.
Gary graduated from Tuscola High, where he was in football, basketball and track. He joined the Air Force from 1961-65, where he traveled to Tripoli, Libya, and trained as an aircraft electrician. This is how his work and love of travel started.
He worked for AT&T in Detroit for 39 years, where he became District Manager. After retiring, he worked for communications for Lucent in London, Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands and France.
Family was most important, and he was happy his children graduated from Michigan State and his granddaughter is now in her second year. He looked forward to our yearly Chaplin reunions.
He loved life and enjoyed it with Ginny. His hobbies were golf, karaoke and cooking.