Cover photo for Gary Groat's Obituary
Gary Groat Profile Photo
1943 Gary 2017

Gary Groat

February 17, 1943 — September 3, 2017

Gary J. Groat

February 17, 1943 – September 3, 2017

Niles – Gary J. Groat, 74, was born on February 17, 1943 in Niles to Robert and Frances Groat.  He passed away at home on September 3, 2017.

He graduated from Buchanan High School and was part of the football team winning All Conferences, and held records that lasted for decades in track.  He also enjoyed competing in archery, riflery, and bait casting.  He attended Western Michigan University with a track scholarship where he earned a Master's Degree in Education.  He retired from Lakeshore High School after 35 years of teaching Auto Mechanics and Principles of Technology.  Even after retirement he continued to mentor the Electric Car Club that he had established at Lakeshore High School, and was proud of their 19 State Championships.  He enjoyed motorsports and competed in motorcycle hill climb, flat track, and ice racing.  But his favorite was Observed Trials where he had placed 1st in state and 4th in nation.  He had hosted Trials Meets and loved teaching others the finer points of Trials riding.  He was also active in the winter downhill skiing and snowmobiling.  He was disappointed that the lung cancer (and light snow fall) kept him from enjoying the out of doors this past year.

Gary is survived by wife, Sylvia; brother, Robert (Linda); son, Branden; daughter, Heather; and grandchildren, Sydney (Chris) Havens, Alex, Molly, and Megan.

Visitation will be from 5-7pm on Friday, September 8, 2017 in HALBRITTER WICKENS FUNERAL HOME, 615 E. Main St, in Niles.  Family and Friends may gather in Bethel Tabernacle Church 71378 Ironwood Dr., in Niles, for an 11am Funeral Service on Saturday, September 9, 2017, with visitation one-hour prior in the Church. Burial in Morris Chapel Cemetery.

Condolences from the family may be made at

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