Gary Potter: 1947 ~ 2017
October 11, 2017 - 20:05 admin
Flight Class: 67-1
Callsign: DUSTOFF 15
RVN: 67-68, 68-69
45th Med Company
Gary Alan Potter, a longtime resident of Three Rivers, died Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, at Kaweah Delta Hospital in Visalia following a battle with lung cancer. He was 70.
Gary was born in Faulkton, S.D., on August 19, 1947, to Claire and Gwen Potter. At a young age, Gary moved with his family to Porterville.
He attended St. Anne’s Elementary School and Porterville High School. In 1967, Gary enlisted in the United States Army and graduated flight school in Fort Rucker, Ala.
Gary served two tours of duty in the Vietnam War, serving as an Aeromedical Evacuation (MedEvac) Pilot. Upon his discharge from active duty in 1970, Gary continued flying helicopters for the California Army National Guard and several civilian companies.
Gary was the founder of Potters Porta-Potties and was frequently seen throughout the Central Valley in one of his namesake trucks. Gary was a devout Roman Catholic and served in many capacities in several Catholic parishes.
On September 21, 1985, Gary married the former Katherine Quinn of Bakersfield. They built their home on North Fork Drive and settled in Three Rivers. They had four children — James, Therese, Joseph, and Marie — who were all raised in Three Rivers.
Gary was a friend to all and legendary for his sense of humor. He was also well known as a man of strong convictions who would always do what he thought was right.
Gary is survived by his wife, mother, four children, his sisters, Shirley of Sacramento and Charlene of Porterville, and many other family members.
A memorial funeral mass was held Saturday, Oct. 7, at St. Clair's Catholic Mission in Three Rivers. On Wednesday, Oct. 11, Gary was laid to rest with Military Honors in St. Thomas Cemetery in Faulkton, S.D., near his departed family.