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Fort Custer National Cemetery
Monday February 22nd, 2021

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Gary Custer

Gary Custer, of Portage, passed away on Thursday, February 11, 2021 at the age of 67. Gary was born on August 9, 1953 in Plainwell, Michigan. He grew up in Parchment and graduated from Parchment High School in 1971. Following High School Gary enlisted in the United States Army and proudly served his country as a Medical Specialist until his Honorable Discharge in 1979. Gary began working at Western Michigan University in 1989. During his employment at WMU Gary obtained his Ice Technician certifications and maintained the ice at Lawson Ice Arena for the Bronco Hockey Teams and Lawson Lunitics. Both teams were Gary’s passion and he spent many prideful years working with and traveling with the teams until his retirement in 2017. During Gary’s leisure time he enjoyed traveling with his wife, spending time with his children and grandchildren, rooting for the Broncos, reading history and military books, and riding his motorcycle. He was the son of Merritt and Beverly (Miller) Custer. He is survived by his wife, Judy Custer, mother, Beverly Lew; children, Christie Hoover, Ashlie (Federico) Vogel, Timothy Crampton, Stephanie (Ray) Gower, and Jeremy (Mallori) Custer; and grandchildren, Olivia, Braylynne, Nya, Peyton, Jadyn, Ethan, Blake, Ryder, and Logan. Gary is preceded in death by his father, Merritt Custer. A private family burial will take place on Monday, February 22nd @ 1130am at Fort Custer National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Kalamazoo Animal Rescue. The family is being assisted by Avink Funeral Home & Cremation Society, 5975 Lovers Ln., Portage, MI 49002. (269)344-5600. www.avinkcremation.com.

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Gary was a great guy. I worked with him as a student at WMU and later knew him as an a ice tech when I worked at rinks throughout Michigan. We both had a love for the Broncos and anytime I was in Kalamazoo I would stop in and say hi. He was truly a good person who loved his job and WMU students. He was a credit to the profession and will be missed.

Neil Rankin Feb 27 2021 12:17 AM

My daughters and I have good memories of Gary, my youngest remembers riding on the back of the zambonie on that seat. He was a good friend and co-worker. We are sorry to hear of his passing. Praying for you all. God Bless. The Walton family

Cindy Walton Feb 23 2021 10:23 AM

The SBMA community is so sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers are coming your way. :heart:

Nicole DeFord Feb 22 2021 9:01 PM

Sending my condolences to you and your family. May Gary rest peacefully.

Briannah Conly Feb 22 2021 8:46 PM

Judy, I am deeply sorry for your loss. Please accept my condolences for you and your family. Ola Smith

Ola Smith Feb 20 2021 3:41 PM

Judy, our thoughts and prayers are with you. So sorry for your loss. :pray::heart: Bob and Amy Samples

Bob Samples Feb 18 2021 1:54 PM

Judy, I am so sorry for your loss. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Doralee Feb 18 2021 11:42 AM

Judy & family: Our hearts ache for you. As loyal Bronco hockey fans, Gary was a staple to between-period entertainment! We loved watching The Lawson Lunatics scramble for the candy he tossed them. He will be missed by so many - but none more than you. Please reach out if we can do any little thing for you, the kids or grandkids. Xoxo - Dr. J and Dan

JoAnn Atkin Feb 17 2021 9:42 PM

Gary worked for/with me when I supervised the recreation and sports crews at WMU. Gary was a the best when it came to putting in and maintaining the ice, and was the teams number one fan. When things got stressful for me on the job I could always stop by and visit with Gary even When I was no longer was his boss. He loved his family, his job, and his motorcycle. He was a genuinely good person and friend. My deepest condolences to his family.

Chuck Amos Feb 17 2021 5:16 PM

Judy: My thoughts and prayers are with you and the family. I am so sorry for your loss. Steve Newell

Steve Newell Feb 17 2021 1:06 PM

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