Gary Harvey

Gary Ralph Harvey

January 23rd, 1950 – May 20th, 2017

I am a husband, father, grandfather, brother, friend to all, jokester, and a man of many hats…. literally. Some might also say that I am of a thorough, particular, scrupulous character, in fact you might find my name in Webster’s Dictionary under “meticulous”…. but it’s always been important to me that things are done with excellence, class and careful consideration.

My journey began in the freezing December of ‘49. Tucked away in the warm comfort of my mother’s womb, I realized it was too cold to make my entry …so I waited for a warmer day and arrived on January 23, 1950.

I had a wonderful life with my parents and sister Linda. Every time we had an outing, Mom would chase us with a wash cloth to make sure our faces were clean- that happened often. Later on the grandkids had that pleasure.

On May 18, 1974, I married the love of my life, Peggy Ramón. We had three beautiful children, and after them came eight wonderful and “not” spoiled grandchildren.

My passion has always been the outdoors; admiring everything God has created, including all things historical, wise, and beautiful given to us by Native Americans. Of course you all know that I love fishing, maybe you’ve even heard a good fishing story or two and wondered if they were true…I’ll let you use your own imagination. I especially love fishing in the middle of winter and sleeping on the frozen lake, listening to the ice crackle, wondering if it would break beneath me. During summertime, I love walking the hills where the birds are free to sing. This is when I can best hear their beautiful voices, filling me with joy. At lunch time I sit on the tailgate of the old truck, listening to my favorite: Bar J Wranglers. While doing this, I enjoy my chocolate milk and donuts as I watch the ants and scorpions. Yes, I said scorpions, scurrying away with the leftover crumbs. (Just a side note, scorpions would rather have salami.)

As a member of the Presbyterian Church, I hold the position as an Elder and I am Clerk of the Session. I was quick to help with janitorial duties; shoveling snow, mowing the lawn, and helping all those in need. Unfortunately, as my illness progressed, I could no longer help as much as I wanted to. However, at any time of my life, I always tried to spread the Lord’s words and teachings and tried my best to serve others in a Christ like way.

I have been a Mason for over 25 years and held several offices, including Master of the Blue Lodge twice and KYCH, the Worthy Patron of Ester Chapter 9, Order of the Eastern Star. I also enjoyed many years alongside the lovely ladies in Job’s Daughters, Bethel #19. I am a proud member of the Korein Temple. As a Shriner, I have held several offices, including president of the Evanston Shrine Club. It filled my heart with joy to help the many children receive the care they needed. The yearly May Onion Sales was one of my favorite fund raisers, with all the proceeds going to the Shriners Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. Thank you to everyone in the community who made the sales successful.

For over 15 years, I was a member of the Evanston Car Club. I made many forever friends, participating in the various car shows throughout the west. It was always a great time (sometimes stressful) organizing the many car shows in Evanston, but it was well worth it knowing all the proceeds were for the children to have warm coats and dry boots. Thank you to the many who contributed their time and donations to this fundraiser.

Recently I have taken great honor in sketching various pictures for family and friends…well, really anybody, sometimes leaving a little piece of art on my napkins at restaurants. If you were lucky I might have even included a good joke.

My journey here on earth ended peacefully on May 20th, 2017. I am going home to be in God’s loving arms, with my parents, Ralph and Olympia Harvey, my mother and father in-law, Isabel and Deloris Ramón, as well as my grandparents and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and our family dog Chico.

With love, I leave behind; my wife, Peggy of 43 years, my children, Lisa (Jerimy) Silcox, Stephanie (Wesley) Mills, and Casey (Janalee) Harvey; my grandchildren Cutter, Kodi, and Kaitlynn Silcox, Jeffrey and Jacob Mills, and Caleb, Carter, and Cayllen Harvey. I also leave my sister Linda (Randy) Ottley, her daughter Darby (Mike) Bailey, and their son Aydyn; Shawn (Roni) Ottley, Jamie (Bret) Cook; my brother-in-laws Ed Ramón and Steven (Jo) Ramón, as well as my Uncle Vic and Aunt Isabel of Las Vegas, Aunt Mary of Bridger Valley, Ron Harvey (my other-brother), and numerous cousins and dear friends. Last but not least, I cannot forget my devoted pup, Juno.

To my family, Church family, Car Club friends, Masons, Shiners, fishing buddies, and numerous pals collected over the years; thank you for everything. I am forever grateful for the things you have done, visits you have made, food you have brought and love you have shared. I also want to give a special thanks to Compassionate Journey Home Health, and Sara and Sam at Best Home Health and Hospice.

My journey has ended, but yours has not. Cherish and enjoy our memories together, and know that my spirit is with you as you continue to love and serve others.

….Happy Trails to You, Until We Meet Again….

There will be a graveside service at the Evanston City Cemetery Tuesday, May 30th at 11:00 AM. A Celebration of life with light refreshments will directly follow at the Evanston City Roundhouse, 1500 Main Street. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to the Shriners Hospital or the Union Presbyterian Church.

Taize Prayer

We invite you to experience a beautiful time of prayer and music. Join us on Wednesday evening, March 29th at 5:30 p.m. The simple and repeating music can open for you the opportunity find peace and lift up your prayers. Candles will be provided if you would like to use them to help express your prayers. If you have not experienced this type of prayer service before you will not want to miss this opportunity. Gathered together in beauty and song we each seek God’s presence and lift up our prayers.

There will be no preaching and no collection.

You have heard, but I tell you

I got delayed on my way home from vacation. I had planned to be in worship on Sunday morning, but instead I was in an airport still on my way home. I had prepared to preach on Matthew 5: 21-37. As long as I was sitting around in the airport I decided to preach anyway. I did think that perhaps I could get this video there in time to show it in worship, but the upload over public wi-fi thwarted me. I was grateful that the congregation was understanding and the Ron was ready at the last minute to share his witness. If you would like to see it what I did in the airport click on this link.

Christmas Day Worship

The beautiful Christmas Eve worship is a highlight of the year. We sing carols and light candles and enjoy the warm fellowship. This year Christmas day is on Sunday. Instead of inviting everyone to make it out for worship, we are inviting everyone to stay home. In the Presbyterian tradition there have always been two places of worship. The gathered church meets for worship and then we worship in our homes. That is what we are encouraging this year. On Christmas day we are inviting you to worship in your homes. We are not planning a worship service at the church on Sunday, Christmas Day. Of course, you may worship in any way you find meaningful. If you have traditions or spiritual practices you usually use that is good. If you are unfamiliar with worshipping at home or if you would like some guidance we are making a resource available here  You will need a Bible and it would help if you have a way to sing Christmas songs. Please adapt this resource to your setting. Small children may need to sing and dance to the scriptures. The prayers may be used as they are or you may find that you need to make the concerns more specific to your family.

However you worship, we pray that worship and praise will be lifted up to God from all corners of our community.

Lent ‘n’ Soup

This year we will be sharing lunch together on the Wednesdays during Lent. The dates are Feb. 17, 24, March 2, 9 and 15. A simple lunch of soup and bread will be provided. We will explore together the theme of compassion and how that brings us into new partnerships and spiritual practices to help others. We will put out baskets for donations. The donations will help cover the cost of the lunches and then all the rest will be added to our offering to One Great Hour of Sharing.

Centering Prayer

We are so happy to announce that we and St. Paul’s church are sponsoring a workshop on Centering Prayer here in Evanston. The workshop will be on Saturday, March 12 from 9 to 2. We have invited a presenter from Contemplative Outreach to come and guide us through learning about Centering Prayers. There is not cost. We would appreciate a message from you if you are planning on attending. A free will offering will be received to cover the cost of lunch and to make a gift for our presenter who is travelling at his own expense from the Denver area.

Youth work to help churches in Chicago

mission 15

Youth from the Union Presbyterian Church traveled to Chicago last week on a mission trip to help two small struggling urban churches. Led by UPC’s pastor, Larry Turpin, and his wife, Julie Woestehoff, four young people – Benjamin and Breila Fuller and Sam and Jess Richins – drove to Chicago for five days of mission work, meeting with diverse groups and exploring some of Chicago’s cultural treasures.

The young people spent a day painting and doing yard work for the Good News Community Church and another half day helping out with a day camp field trip sponsored by the Rogers Park Presbyterian Church. Helping these churches with projects they could not have done on their own was very rewarding, and had the added benefit of giving our youth a chance to spend time with people from a very different environment. The Chicago churches serve mostly African Americans in areas of poverty. In spite of the differences, our young people were warmly welcomed and offered generous hospitality.

The trip included other opportunities for our youth to meet with diverse groups. One evening was spent at the Muslim Community Center of Chicago for a very enlightening introduction to the practice of Islam. On their last evening, our group met up with young people from the Rogers Park neighborhood for a soccer match (our Evanstonians made a very strong showing!).

The group also visited the Field Museum of Natural History and the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, with its renowned collection of artifacts from ancient Biblical times. A walking tour included outdoor sculptures by Picasso and Calder, and Millennium Park’s famous “Bean.” The beautiful summer weather made a couple of trips to the beach on Lake Michigan a special treat.

The youth raised money for this trip by cleaning their church building every week for the last six months. Members of the church also generously supported the trip through individual donations and a special offering.

On Sunday, August 9 – the day after they returned – the youth shared some reflections on their experiences during the worship service. They gave thanks for the many experiences and opportunities the trip provided. They expressed their gratitude for the love which they felt surrounding and protecting them during the long drive and in so many unfamiliar places. They found joy in working side-by-side with the people in Chicago, and in the warm welcome they received. They found meaning and felt the presence of God with them as they carried out this mission. The congregation was filled with emotion hearing such heartfelt expressions from these impressive young people.


Ulman Cancer Runners

What a great time we had hosting the runners from the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults on June 27!  Lots of people brought food. We had planned on feeding them dinner and breakfast, but when we learned that they were running very early to beat the heat that turned into lunch, dinner and leftovers for breakfast. Sam spent time visiting with them and getting them around town. A special thank you to Karen and Jo who did most of the work coordinating and serving the meals . The runners slept at the church and since the weather report was a little milder they were able to sleep in until 5:30. They started the new day with a circle in the middle of 10th St. Many of them dedicated that day’s run to Karen and Jo. Sam ran the first leg with them and then ran back to the church and did some cleaning. The youth are cleaning the church this summer as a way to raise money for their mission trip so they came in Sunday evening and got things in good order.  What an impressive group of young people the runner are! Our prayers and best wishes go with them as they continue their run across the United States.