Gary Wade Poff, age 76, passed away peacefully with his wife Kathy and wonderful caregivers at his side on October 21, 2020 at Stonebridge Oak Tree Villa in Jefferson City. A man appreciated for his dry sense of humor and excellent culinary skills, he enjoyed many adventures in life with his wife, friends and family. Rarely late but always moving at a slow pace, a close friend teased, “He’s the only person I know who takes 2 hours to watch 60 Minutes!”
Born in Thompson, Mo., Gary was the middle child of William “Cal” and Allene (Dollens) Poff. He graduated from Mexico High School in 1962. The first in his family to attend college, he worked full time at a gas station while earning his business degree in 1966 from the University of Missouri Business School. Gary lived in many places in Audrain County as a child (a favorite being Possum Walk Road) and felt blessed when he was able to build a family and settle in Jefferson City with his wife of 38 years, Kathy Poff.
Gary took pride in being a sharp-dressed professional and was highly experienced in the insurance industry, holding CLU and CPCU certifications and earning a long career of 23 years at Missouri Farm Bureau. He retired from Farm Bureau as the Treasurer and Assistant Secretary in 1994. He went on to start GWP Investments, and a family run business, Town & Country Lawn and Leisure Equipment Co. – the Polaris, Kawasaki and John Deere dealership - until his retirement in 2007.
Gary was an avid hunter all his life and an active member of Ducks Unlimited, serving as both State Treasurer and Chair of the Missouri State Chapter. He loved playing golf with family (never beaten by his sons) and friends, watching golf and cooking shows, and was a member of the Jefferson City Country Club since 1974, where he served as Treasurer for a time. Gary also was a parishioner of the Cathedral of St. Joseph and later St. Stanislaus Catholic Parish. He enjoyed a good book, all things historical, and eating jellybeans. Gary also loved watching his kids and grandchildren’s sporting games and events, attending every single track and cross country meet for five years.
Gary enjoyed world travel, some of his favorites being Spain, Hong Kong, Germany, and Hawaii. He treasured family trips to Hilton Head Island, Winter Park, Co., and especially the trip to Gulf Shores, where the entire family was together under one roof. Once retired, Gary’s favorite destination was much closer to home. He loved to strap on his revolver, put on cowboy boots and hat, and head to the family farm or “ranch” as he referred to it, in Vienna, Mo. He cherished the quality time spent there with family and friends.
While battling Parkinson’s, Gary still shared his favorite quote, “This too shall pass.” Above all else, he loved his family. Survivors include his wife, Kathy Poff of Jefferson City, Mo.; his children, Michele Poff O’Guinn (James) of Chester Springs, Pa., Jeremy Kirsch (Jessica) of Jefferson City, Mo., Justin Kirsch (Kathy) of Jefferson City, Mo., and Wade Poff (Sarah) of McKinney, Tx.; his siblings, Donna Pulis (Wesley) of Centralia, Mo. and Estil Poff (Susan) of Columbia, Mo.; his grandchildren, Aidan Kirsch, Blake Kirsch, Bryan Kirsch, William Poff, Westin Poff and Clara Poff; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents, William “Cal” and Allene Poff.
Due to the pandemic, the family has requested no visitation or reception be held. Guests are welcome to attend his Mass of Christian Burial while following social distancing guidelines and wearing a protective mask.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be conducted at 11:00 a.m. Monday, October 26, 2020 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph with the Reverend I.C. Medina officiating. Private entombment will follow at the Mausoleum of Resurrection Cemetery.
A webcast of Gary’s Mass beginning at 10:45 a.m. will be available to view on Freeman Mortuary’s website for those unable to attend. Sympathy cards may be mailed to the funeral home or condolences shared on Freeman’s website to be given to his family.
Gary was a lifelong blood donor and would encourage everyone to consider donating blood or becoming an organ donor. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Parkinson’s Foundation, or the Helias Foundation.
Funeral arrangements are under the care of Freeman Mortuary.