Gary Theodore Augustine Sr., beloved Husband, Father, and Grandfather is now face to face with Jesus and God. He shed his earthly body and embraced his new, shining heavenly body on March 28, 2020 in his home in Westminster California. He was surrounded by the family he had loved, protected, and treasured during his lifetime. Gary was a good man, God’s man.
Gary is survived by his loving wife of almost 48 years, Mary Ellen Augustine; his daughters Jennifer LaFontaine and Theresa Augustine, his son Gary (Teddy) Augustine Jr. and his eight grandchildren and a great granddaughter. Precious memories of him will live on in their souls
Gary was born in Providence Rhode Island to Dorothy and Edward Augustine. He moved to Westminster California as a young boy. Shortly after finishing at Westminster High School he joined the US Army. After basic training and advanced individual training he was assigned to Camp Casey South Korea. Returning stateside from South Korea he met Mary Ellen Anderson, who was to become his wife. His wife was also a soldier and they served together at Post HQs Ft Dix New Jersey. While stationed at Ft Dix he and Mary Ellen dated and spent their free time on the Jersey shore, boating in the New York Harbor, and riding their horses across the New Jersey countryside. While in the US Army Gary served in transportation and later as a Military Policeman. In his free time he pursued a private pilot’s license. His overseas tours were in South Korea and Germany. Gary served roughly nine years in numerous bases both stateside and overseas. Gary’s was last duty stationed at Ft Deven’s Massachusetts.
Gary’s military service was outstanding earning him numerous citations, decorations and awards (i.e. ARCOM, National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal (2nd award), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, M-16 Rifle Marksman Bade, 45 Cal Pistol Marksman Badge, etc.).
After Gary’s military service was completed he entered a two year technical school (East Coast Aero Tech) and trained to become an Airframe and Power Plant (A&P) Mechanic. Shortly thereafter he got his Federal Aircraft Inspector’s license. Gary proudly held his A&P and Aircraft Inspector’s licenses. His high testing score for the Federal Licenses resulted in the FAA immediately offering him a position, but Gary was interested in hands-on work with his ultimate goal being commercial aviation. He was hired by Patriot Aviation and later Gunnel Aviation. Within three years of attaining his licenses he left private aviation to work commercial aviation where he worked with the fine people of Western Airlines and then upon their merger with Delta Airlines he became a Delta Airline employee. He was employed with Delta until he went to meet our Lord.
Gary was recognized and appreciated numerous times at Delta Airline for his technical expertise and leadership skills. His outstanding skill as a Lead mechanic of a highly qualified and capable A&P team contributed greatly to the outstanding work performed by Delta Airlines mechanics. His personality overflowed with boundless respect for others, humor, and straight talk which built a cohesive team of mechanics resulting in a true teaming environment. The success and happiness he enjoyed at work was a true joy to behold. Gary truly was a mechanical genius who shared his expertise generously with others whether it was in simple ways or on enormously complex aircraft systems and best practices.
Gary loved riding his big Harley Davison either alone or with a few friends. One neighbor call him, “motorcycle man”. He was also a fishing buff most happy casting a rod and reel in salt water.
Gary’s real joy was his family and friends. He enjoyed his morning coffee clutch at the Westminster Café where he would play cards and have coffee on his days off. He also enjoyed the monthly breakfast with the old Western Airlines crew and his Delta Airline co-workers. He loved having his half donut at Calvary Chapel West Grove and interacting with others. In the last few years he enjoyed all the great people and activities he participated in with the wonderful people at Brain Rehabilitation and Injury Network (B.R.A.I.N.)
Gary demonstrated by the way he lived his life the importance of integrating intelligence, humor, kindness, and good work ethic into his daily life. He accepted the circumstances given to him by God, fully aware of his disabilities, but enjoying each moment with grace and joy. He was always protective of those that needed extra help, never walking past someone in need. He lived the life of a good man.
The family wishes to extend their gratitude to Brain Rehabilitation and Injury Network (B.R.A.I.N.) for the joy and quality of life they brought to Gary in the last few years of his life. Their friendship, care, and encouragement was priceless and brought great joy to Gary and his family.
Memorial donations may be made to B.R.A.I.N 5656 Corporate Ave, Cypress, CA 90630.
When travel permits there will be a celebration of life service to include a military funeral honors ceremony held at Miramar National Cemetery in San Diego California.