Gary M. Poling, 83, of Tavares, FL, passed away Friday, September 3, 2021, at AdventHealth Waterman Hospital from Covid. He was born January 20, 1938, in Moorefield, West Virginia to the late Harry M. and Minnie W. (Bobo) Poling.
Gary was married to Janet A. Hammons for 23 years. They had 5 children together and later divorced. He remarried and had 2 children with Sue Sherick, later divorcing.
Surviving are 7 children; Dennis (Toni) Poling, Brenda Poling, Lori (Bob) Harris, Brian Poling, Scott (Erin) Poling, Sara (Cory) Hensley and Amanda (Jason) Plattner; 14 grand-children and 7 great grand-children. Also surviving are his brothers Robert (Pat) Poling, Keith (Anita) Poling and sister, Betty (Tiner-deceased) Altenburger. An infant daughter preceded him in death.
He was a 1957 graduate of Delphos Jefferson High School in Delphos, OH where he was involved in the football and basketball programs. He was also a member of the athletic “D” club. After graduating high school, he joined the Army Reserves.
Gary’s charismatic personality, love for people, penchant for hard work and dedication offered him great success throughout his lifetime. He started his career selling Successful Farming magazines door to door reaching a record number of sales. He then became a life insurance agent with New York Life Insurance Company where he attained one of his profession’s highest honors during his 18 year tenure with the company. He was named to the “Million Dollar Round Table” of the National Association of Life Underwriters. Gary spent the final 27+ years of his very accomplished 50 year sales career as a self-employed independent life insurance agent.
He always maintained a passion for high school and collegiate sports. He especially loved attending and watching Ohio State football games, Cincinnati Reds baseball games and rarely missed the Ohio High School basketball final four state championship tournament games, played in Columbus, Ohio. For several years, he sponsored and followed a local men’s fast-pitch softball team; heading up to Canada many times for the national tournaments. He also enjoyed traveling and going on camping trips in the motor home throughout Ohio, Indiana and Michigan.
He had a kind, caring spirit that showed in his coaching of VFW youth baseball, ushering at the Methodist and Lutheran churches, volunteering in FL for the school meal program and the Mt. Dora Public Library.
Gary always approached life with a positive attitude and knew no stranger. His zest for life, sense of humor, smile and bright blue eyes will be sadly missed. Rest In Peace, Gary Mitchell Poling.
A private graveside service will be held at Walnut Grove Cemetery, Delphos, OH. Harter & Schier Funeral home will be handling final arrangements. Memorial contributions in Gary’s name may be made to Delphos Jefferson High School Athletic Department, 901 Wildcat Lane, Delphos, OH 45833. Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.harterandschier.com.