Cover photo for Gary Lynne Mahaffey's Obituary
Gary Lynne Mahaffey Profile Photo
1953 Gary 2020

Gary Lynne Mahaffey

October 22, 1953 — April 4, 2020

Gary Lynne Mahaffey was born 10/22/1953 Amherst TX and died 4/4/2020 age 66.

He lived in Lubbock until 1997 then moved to Amarillo where he made his home of 22 years.

Gary is survived by wife of 32 years Carri Mahaffey of Amarillo; sons, Paul Mahaffey of Austin, Troy Mahaffey of Amarillo and Trent Mahaffey of Dallas; brother David Mahaffey and wife Mary Jane of Lubbock; nieces, Jennifer Albalos and Misty Gibson both of Lubbock; sister in law, Vicki Harrison of Lubbock (brother Larry deceased); nephews, Jon Harrison and Jim Harrison both of Lubbock; sister-in-law Sharon Mahaffey of Plano (brother Ron deceased); sister, Rebecca Dana of Lubbock; nephew, Steven Dana of Louisville; brother-in-law, Thomas Henderson of Hiram GA (sister Renee' deceased); niece, Arden Ward of Shelter Island, NY; brother-in-law Von Newcomb and wife Dellene of Thailand; nephew, Josiah Newcomb of Jackson, MS; nieces, Anna Newcomb of Jackson, MS and Jessie Newcomb of Nashville, TN; brother-in-law Craig Newcomb and wife Jessica of Seattle, WA; father-in-law, Clarence Newcomb and wife Geri of Rye, CO; and mother-in-law, Margaret Newcomb of Ft. Collins, CO.

Gary was a member of Coulter Road Baptist Church and sang in the worship choir. He also sang with the Joy Singers.

Gary loved travelling with Carri to spend time with family and friends. He also enjoyed travelling and supporting WTAMU Athletics.....Lady Buff Volleyball, Buff Football, Lady Buff and Men's Basketball, and with a special place in his heart, Lady Buff Softball. Gary enjoyed fishing with "the boys" and finding treasures and phones at auctions, antique and thrift stores.

Worked part time at Wrangler Pumping the past 3 years and retired with 42 years at AT&T.

A Man as Tall as a Mountain

Written by: Anna Newcomb (Niece)

Uncle Gary was as tall as a mountain, with a southern twang in his voice that rumbled like rocks underwater. He was as placid as a slow running river with the glitter of unpanned gold shining from the riverbed. The terrain of Mt. Gary consisted of a bushy beard, a baseball cap, and a Yeti in hand. Like the same camping spot you visit every summer, he was a constant in my crazy childhood, always materializing with my Aunt Carri whenever we visited my grandparents in Colorado. Aunt Carri and Uncle Gary, a rhyme that was never separate in my head.

Uncle Gary was one of the uncles I knew best. He liked fried pies and collected Snoopy phones. Well actually, any kind of telephone. Old phones, multiple copies of Garfield, Snoopy, and Mickey Mouse collectable phones, even a telephone booth are stashed in his house or garage. He was always on the hunt for another treasure. Nothing made him happier than getting out the paper at Grandma’s and seeing what garage or yard sales there would be in the area. Sometimes he would leave at seven in the morning to make sure he didn’t miss anything and would come back after going to five different stops, new treasures in the back of his car, for a cinnamon roll or two the size of one of his big hands. Then he’d go out again, with my mom and Aunt Carri, looking for the next great find. As a kid I thought it was hilarious how much he loved to shop, as much or maybe even more than my mom.

Almost every year we saw them, he and Aunt Carri would take Jess and I on a niece shopping trip, normally to Kohls. I always felt so special and important because they didn’t have any girls and we are the only nieces.

I remember one time when I was twelve, spending hours at the store. Jess and I tried on tops and dresses and skirts, modeling each choice for our enthusiastic audience. And when we had picked out too many cute things, Uncle Gary looked over our haul and slowly said in his gravely drawl, “Well now, what about accessories?” So we spent another half hour looking at purses, shoes, jewelry, and hats.

Afterwards, we went to get a snack at Wendy’s. The three of us ladies each got a small chocolate Frosty. Uncle Gary got two cheeseburgers and fries. To Jess’s and my amazement, he said that after that kind of shopping, he needed a snack to hold him over until dinner.

The same amazement was compounded every Thanksgiving we celebrated together. Uncle Gary would have just one more slice of pie and then be the first to start the turkey sandwiches for dinner.  I guess it takes a lot of fuel to keep a mountain going.

Now it may be because I mostly saw him when he was on vacation, but Uncle Gary was the definition of late afternoon sunshine. Every morning, he and Grandmarmee would share the paper, both sitting on the couch and trading pages. In the afternoons, he loved to go upstairs and keep up with his sports teams and then take a nap.

It was only as I got older that I noticed the half smile as he said something dryly from his corner, or the twinkle in his eye as he teased my aunt, or the way he would emphasize something by pronouncing it strangely to make us laugh.

Uncle Gary and Aunt Carrie loved art and New Mexico and always said we’d go up together. Spring breaks at my art school were busy and it never seemed like the right timing on my end, but they made time to drive to Mississippi for my senior art show. To love me so well by once again materializing to support and be with family. Uncle Gary carried around a camera the whole gallery opening and took pictures like he was taking pictures of one of the professionals in Santa Fe.

After the art show, we went to my brother’s house where I watched the man as long as a river stretch out on the floor and crawl around with my one-year-old nephew. Eyes gleaming, he crawled after the toddler. Their laughter was the harmony of a cricket and a mountain river.

Today, my Uncle Gary ambled up to Heaven and it feels so wrong and broken. We knew he wasn’t doing well, but it still felt too soon, too fast for a man who liked to take his time. I’m going to miss seeing him pull up to the driveway, get out of the car, and stretch. He’d adjust his baseball cap and scratch the top of his head. Walking up to us, he’d rumble his hello, and engulf  each of us in a hug as wide as a mountain.

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