Known as a friend to all he met, and as man that would give a stranger the shirt off his back, a story teller and a jokester, Gary Douglas Brewer, 71, died Nov. 13, 2013, at the Hospice House in Bloomington, Ind. Gary lived courageously and humorously with cancer since his diagnosis in 2004. Gary was born Nov. 22, 1941, to Charles and Ardith Barnard, in Sassafras, Ind. After the death of his mother, he was adopted at the age of four by Cary and Margaret Brewer of Jasonville.
He entered the U.S. Army upon graduation from Jasonville High School in 1959, where he was named as a Distinguished Alumnus in 2009. Gary was a highly decorated war veteran after three tours in Vietnam. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, two bronze stars (one with valor) and two Purple Hearts. An account of his heroic actions during the 1968 Tet Offensive are chronicled in the books, The Battle For Saigon Tet 1968 and 100 Miles of Bad Road by Keith Nolan. He served 121⁄2 years in the Army. He then transferred to the Indiana Air National Guard’s 181st Fighter Wing at Terre Haute, where he retired as an Air Force Master Sergeant in 1993 after 261⁄2 years of service.
He owned Brewer Heating and Air Condition of Worthington. As a public figure he served two terms on the Worthington Town Board, while socially he was a member of the American Legion Post 106 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7117 (both in Worthington) and Elks Lodge of Linton.
Gary is survived by his wife of 29 years, Judy (Vuchinich); sons, Cy (Lynn) Brewer of Bloomfield, Gary D. (Danielle) Brewer Jr. of Mesa, Ariz., Larry (Tammy) Brewer of Goodyear, Ariz., Christian Brewer of Worthington, and David Gatineau of Foloy, Ala.; daughters, Jennifer Eveland of Brazil, Karen (Mark) Hash of Solsberry and Phyllis (Todd) Hammers of Florence, N.C.; sisters, Charlotte Barnard of Whiteland and Jean (Oral) Rigginsof Odon; he leaves 20 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; 23 nephews and five nieces; two brothers-in-law, Sam Vuchinich of Philmoth, Ore., and Rudy Vuchinich of Birmingham, Ala.; lifelong friends, Larry Kent Dennis of Haines City, Fla., and Steve Noel of Worthington; and special helper, Lloyd Phillips. He was preceded in death by both sets of parents; a brother, Frank “Rusty” Barnard; and sister, Peggy Andis.
Graveside services will be conducted at 12 noon on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, at Worthington cemetery. Celebration of life services will follow at Worthington American Legion until 3 p.m. and from 3 to 5 p.m. at Worthington VFW.
As Gary spent much of his time ensuring everyone around him had enough to eat, the family request in lieu of flowers that donations be sent in Gary’s name to the Son Shine Shop food pantry, 14 N. Washington St., Worthington, IN, 47471 or the food pantry of the donor’s choice. Online condolences to the family are available at: