Gary L. Wuslich 1945-2021 | News, Sports, Jobs
GRANGER, Ind. – Gary L. Wuslich, 76, passed away on Thursday, November 4, 2021, peacefully at his home in Granger, Ind.
He was loving and loyal, generous and encouraging his entire life in all of his roles, as husband, father and grandfather, as coworker, golfer, assistant, friend and Marine.
Gary was born in Export on September 7, 1945, to Raymond Wuslich and Mariana Sachet Wuslich. Gary’s father served as a justice of the peace for 25 years, which led to Gary’s infamous nickname, Squire.
He drew immense joy from his family and friends and was quick to connect with almost everyone he came across. His world was vast, full and exceptional.
It was easy to put a smile back on his face, and he was especially happy to play a round of golf, to savor Italian cuisine as a nod to his roots, to expertly pack his car before a trip to see his grandchildren, taking care of the yard so he always looked his best and made Irish coffees for his family on St. Patrick’s Day.
Gary cherished being a grandfather; he was affectionately known as “Ba” by his four grandchildren. He was their greatest cheerleader, celebrating their every accomplishment.
Gary has had a historically rich career that began in a bowling alley, then went on to work relationships at some of the nation’s largest steel mills in Pennsylvania and Ohio, and eventually as vice president of human resources for AM General in South Bend, Ind.
Gary was always curious and a lifelong learner. In his 60s, he obtained a master’s degree in managerial communication from Northwestern University. Family trips were often to historic destinations, and he was always in the middle of a book about a major moment in history.
To know Gary was to know that he was proudly from Export, Pennsylvania, a small mining town east of Pittsburgh. He relished his memories of his childhood there and this year alone he was able to give back to the community in a meaningful way.
Gary attended Export School, then Franklin Regional High School, where he graduated in 1963. He holds the Export School free kick record of 36 consecutive shots. The school has been closed for a long time, but as Gary would say, he still holds the building record. His wife, Shirley, razz Gary for telling stories like this.
Maybe everyone had heard this one before, but it didn’t matter to him or to the listener. Gary was a natural storyteller, and you knew you were going to be in for a treat when he had one to tell – like that of his high school summers spent carting at the Westmoreland Country Club, where he was the cart winners of three of the four large golf courses. championships. And then there was the time he sank his own hole all at once.
Gary continued his studies at Youngstown State University, where he graduated in 1967 with a degree in history. He was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and it was during a fraternity-sorority event that he met his wife, Shirley, the love of his life and constant companion. Gary and Shirley were married on June 27, 1970.
In 1969 Gary joined the Marines, which cemented his values of commitment and service. Shortly after officer training school, he joined Youngstown Sheet and Tube, where he eventually became the superintendent of industrial relations. It was a historically tumultuous time for the steel industry and Gary was a firm hand, leading to the plant shutting down on September 19, 1977, and for years afterward.
In 1980, through an acquisition, he moved to LTV Steel in Pittsburgh as Senior Director of Labor Relations. While there, he was also president of the Midland Center for Career Development, helping laid-off steelworkers.
Gary moved to Cleveland and then to Granger, Indiana where he joined AM General and was Vice President of Human Resources from 1991 until his retirement in 2013. There he proudly worked with the oldest local in UAW in the country by maintaining a relationship that did not ensure any strikes during his tenure. Due to all the mergers and acquisitions he had 44 years of continuous service – a point of pride for him.
He was an enthusiastic supporter and member of many organizations across the country including American Legion Post 858 in Export, Pa., Silver and life member of the NAACP, and a long-time member of the Sunnyside Presbyterian Church in South Bend, Indiana. Gary was also a donor to his alma mater, Youngstown State University, where in 2016 he donated to his Veterans Resource Center and was able to nominate a chamber; Gary chose to name it in memory of his late classmate.
Gary is survived by his wife, Shirley; daughter, Jennifer Rigney and son-in-law Matthew Rigney of Columbus; his son Jeff Wuslich and daughter-in-law Erica Wuslich of Bloomington, Indiana; grandchildren, Lauren Rigney and Ryan Rigney of Columbus, and Ben Wuslich and Henry Wuslich of Bloomington, Ind .; brother, Ray (Linda) Wuslich, of North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania; brother-in-law, Robert (Janice) Elias from Poland; sister-in-law, Bonnie Raybuck of Boardman; and several nieces and nephews.
Gary was predeceased by his parents; sister, Martha, known as Marti; and his brother-in-law, Gary Raybuck.
A memorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 13, 2021 at the Sunnyside Presbyterian Church in South Bend, Indiana, with tours starting at 1 p.m. The service will also be broadcast live on Sunnyside’s YouTube channel.
Palmer Funeral Home-Welsheimer North Chapel and Southlawn Cremation Services help the family make the necessary arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, the family accepts donations to Sunnyside Presbyterian Church, www.sunnyside church.org, or The Pickles Group, www.picklesgroup.org, a non-profit organization that supports children along the journey. of their parents against cancer.
Online condolences can be sent to the family at www.palmerfuneralhomes.com.