Gary Walter Roath

The family of Gary Walter Roath is saddened to announce his sudden passing on Sept. 29, 2021. Gary was born in Jackson, Mich. on Dec. 28, 1955, to Walter and Jean Roath. He grew up in Michigan and moved to Charlotte when his family relocated for work. He spent his remaining days at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Millers Creek.

Growing up in Jackson, Mich., he had a love for the outdoors, and often enjoyed trips to Loomis Park to join his friends for ice skating and sledding. Gary would reminisce on family vacations to the Upper Peninsula for fishing and frigid dips into the great lakes. As a teenager, Gary became an accomplished tuba player, an instrument easily double his size. Gary also enjoyed sports, and built confidence in the water on the swim team, where he ended up being the best on the team. He continued to enjoy the water and took up scuba diving later in life.

His path from Michigan to North Carolina was a long one, filled with adventures as he made his way to the West coast before returning to the East. When reaching North Carolina, he continued his education in horticulture obtaining an associate degree. His passion for plants and profound memory of scientific names for flowers, shrubs, trees, grass, etc., led to his ownership of GSJ Landscaping and a successful career with Wilkes Community College, where he retired in 2019.

Gary had a passion for carpentry that provided him the tools he needed to transform his home and build multiple workshops to assist in the crafts his family loved and enjoyed. Within his workshops he developed his craftsman skills in woodworking and blacksmithing, producing fine works of art.

Throughout his life he found joy in sharing his knowledge as he taught several classes through Wilkes Community College, John C Campbell Folk School and held private lessons in his blacksmith shop. He also shared his passions with his grandchildren, giving them the opportunity to experiment in his forge, teaching them to fish and spent many hours playing in the river. He enjoyed travelling with his wife and they travelled overseas and within the USA. He was an avid reader and you could always find Gary with a book in his hand and a joke to share.

Gary is survived by his wife of 39 years, Susan Roath; his two sons, Justin Roath (Bridget) and Daniel Roath (Tamara); five grandchildren whom he loved, David, Levi, Ariana, Ellsie and Alana; two sisters, Janis Stewart (Rick) and Connie Hewett; and his mother, Jean Roath. Gary was preceded in death by his father, Walter Roath, and father-in-law, John Hayes, as well as his sister, Karen Hyde.

He was a loving son, brother, husband, father, father-in-law, brother-in-law, grandpa and friend.

Rest in peace till we meet again.

The memorial service for Gary will be held on Sunday, 2 P.M., Oct. 10, 2021, at the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Glendale Springs.

Due to COVID restrictions, face coverings will be required in the sanctuary.

The address for the church is 120 Glendale Springs Road, Glendale Springs. Flowers will be accepted or memorials may be made to Holy Trinity Church. Online condolences may be made at

To send flowers to the family of Gary Roath, please visit Tribute Store.

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