Gary Max Utt, 84, of Winfield, Kansas passed away May 30, 2022 at Kansas Heart Hospital, Wichita, Kansas surrounded by family.
Gary was born July 30, 1937 to John and Addie (Hall) Utt in Hooser, Kansas. He attended Gospel Ridge School through 3rd grade before attending school in Cambridge. He was a proud graduate of Cambridge High School in 1956. In school he was introduced to the game of baseball where he found his passion. He was a catcher and an exceptional batter never striking out. He played town team baseball for Dexter, Cedar Vale and Winfield Night League for many years. His proudest moment in baseball was batting against Satchel Paige in the Wichita baseball tournament.
Gary was a farm kid and a farmer all his life. After high school he joined the National Guard and worked various jobs until he was hired by Winfield Police Department 1960. He rose through the ranks of patrolman, sergeant, and retired as captain in 1987. Gary had his own approach for being a policeman; his ways were often unconventional but he always got the job done. He was proud of his years as a policeman and had many stories to share. In retirement, he worked on the Cowley County Road Crew, Walnut Township and Walnut Valley Festival. Gary volunteered annually at the Boy Scout Chili Feed and Eagle Nest. He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church.
Gary married Carolyn Hall in 1956 and they had two children, Kelly and John. The couple later divorced. On January 14, 1979 he married Julie Hensley at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Tampa, Kansas. The couple made their home in the Winfield community. After the death of his daughter Kelly in 1998, Gary and Julie took an active role in raising her young sons, Shawn and Ryan.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents, father-in-law Jim Hensley; daughter Kelly Naegele; sister Janice Hoag, brother Rick Utt and nephew Rob Odell.
Gary is survived by wife Julie Utt; son John Utt; grandchildren: Shawn Naegele and wife Renee Padilla, Ryan Naegele, Aria Utt, and Dawson Utt; great-grandson, Bradley Naegele Padilla. Sister Nancy (Jody) and husband Bob Odell; brother-in-law Stuart Hoag; mother-in-law Evelyn Hensley; sisters-in-law Rita Hensley and husband Charles Quinn; Pam and husband Lawrence Moreno; brother-in-law Jim and wife Lisa Hensley. Aunts Bettie Cox and Peg Duclos, many nieces, nephews and extended family.
Visitation will be Thursday, June 2, 2022 from 5pm - 7pm with the family present from 5pm - 6pm at Shelley Family Funeral Home, Winfield, Kansas. Funeral Services will be 10:30 am Friday, June 3, 2022 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Winfield. Burial at Highland Cemetery will follow services. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church, or to a charity of the donor’s choice, contributions may be left in the care of the funeral home.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4: 7