Gary T. Southwell, 78, of Enterprise, died July 18, 2019 in Detroit, Mich., where he was visiting with relatives.
Gary was born on July 4, 1941 in Wayne, Mich. to George and Gabrielle Southwell. He joined the U.S. Army at the age of 19 and served as a helicopter pilot in various units, including the 5th Special Forces and the 281st Assault Helicopter Company, during the Vietnam War. After returning home, he settled in Enterprise and became a helicopter instructor pilot at Fort Rucker, a job he held for over 39 years. Along the way, he acquired an associate’s degree from Enterprise State Junior College and a bachelor’s degree from Troy University. He was an avid reader and a lifelong learner with interests in many subjects. Throughout his life, Gary also worked in home repair and painting, a part-time occupation during his flying days and full-time after he retired. He made friends of his customers and almost everyone he ever met. He had a lifetime’s worth of stories, and he loved to tell them.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers Gaylord Southwell and Gregory Southwell; and his sister Giselle Major.
Survivors include his wife of 40 years, Jean Southwell of Enterprise; his sons Garrett Southwell and Robert Sanders (Stefany), all of Atlanta, Ga., and Mark Southwell (Patricia) of Frederick, Md.; his daughters Genevieve Dardeau (Michael) of Mobile and Megan Southwell (Ryan Prows) of Los Angeles, Calif.; seven grandchildren; sisters Gaynal Lawson (Robert) of Pinckney, Mich., and Gail Southwell of Franklin, Tenn.; and his brothers George Southwell of St. Claire Shores, Mich., and Geoffrey Southwell (Mary Ann) of Shepardsville, Ky.
At Gary’s request, no service will be held.