In his long and extraordinary life, L. Gary Stinson demonstrated many remarkable qualities. But among the most notable was his unfaltering willingness to embrace change. Many people, it seems, find change threatening. Gary did not.
As a boy of 10 he lost his mother, but he adapted, persevered, adopted the change and carried on. Over the years, he buried both of his siblings, his mother, his stepmother and his father. He had major successes and startling failures. And through it all he adopted change and he thrived. He learned to use a computer in his late 40s and early 50s. Gary could code and build websites and navigate the electronic world with skill and ease.
His list of business accomplishments is unending. Gary started, bought and sold many businesses. One of the most memorable was a security dog company in the late 1970s that placed dogs on the roofs of business – how crazy is that. Gary worked in the corporate world for Mountain Bell, AT&T and GE. He was a savant at marketing. In his later years, he was a business broker and as you read this, his final deal is on the road to close – a fact that would make him very proud.
In one aspect, Gary was immune to change. That aspect was his family. He was married to Sharon Stinson for nearly 56 years and together for a total of 59 years. They were partners in this world and did most everything together. He was devoted to his two sons, their families and his grandchildren. Family was the center of his life.
He taught his sons to hunt and shoot and many Sundays after church were spent doing so in the 1970s and 1980s. He taught his grandkids to fish, negotiate and argue – valuable skills in all regards. In his many years, he taught the entire family about business, marketing, critical thinking, patience, compassion and understanding. He was calm in a storm. By a lifetime of example, he taught his boys and anyone that watched, listened, or just paid attention that laziness was a weakness and beneath good people.
Gary was born in Phoenix in 1941 to Leonard L. Stinson and Marvel Stinson. A young Gary met Sharon Gardner at a dance at Phoenix College in 1961 and they married in 1964. He and Sharon lived all their years together in Phoenix – aside from some spectacular summers with the grandkids in Cody, where the flyfishing called Gary. Gary died in the morning hours of Friday, June 6, 2021 – a few days short of his 80th birthday. He was surrounded by his family. He was not in pain. His last words were to tell Sharon he loved her, he then turned his head and made the “kiss me” face. Sharon gave him a kiss and Gary left this world the way he lived in it – without hesitation.
Services were Monday, June 14, at 11 a.m. at Hansen Mortuary at 8314 N. 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ, 85020.