January 1, 1965 - April 11, 2020
Gary Mathew Luster was born January 1st, 1965 at Euclid Glenville Hospital which I believe is now part of the Cleveland Clinic system. He was born just after midnight and was the first baby born in Lake County that year. He was the son of Jack and Diana Luster and was the youngest of three children with his brother Steve and sister Jackie. When Gary was 2 our family moved to Mentor which, back in the 60’s and 70’s, was an almost rural community, not at all like the busy city it is today. With the lack of electronic gaming systems, computers, and cell phones, we spent most of our days playing outside, although for Christmas one year we got the first Atari system with the rudimentary Pong game. It just didn’t hold the appeal that modern gaming systems have. We also had one of the first color TVs on the street, a huge draw for neighborhood kids, but that makes Gary sound ancient doesn’t it? And he would hate that. Most days we left the house early in the day and were lucky if we made it home for a bite of lunch, usually getting a peanut butter sandwich thrown to us from one of the neighborhood moms so we didn’t have to stop what great adventure we were having, and often not returning home until dinner. After dinner we were back at it, but we had to be home before dark because no one wanted to walk past the woods that surrounded our house once it got dark. During the day those woods were where Gary spent most of his time. Exploring, climbing trees, building a tree fort or swinging from a rope swing that the older teenage boys had attached to a big old tree. Gary’s love of animals and nature started here, and he was always bringing home some creature he had found in those woods. Snakes, bugs, salamanders, frogs, whatever he could catch. We also had quite a menagerie of domesticated pets in our house. Dogs, cats, a bird, fish, two hamsters and a guinea pig which he proudly named Guinness Piggus. As an adult Gary always had at least one dog in his home. He even tried owning a kitten once. Sadly, the dog was not a fan, so he had to give it to a friend to keep. Although Gary has had several dogs over the years, his most recent love was a St. Bernard/English Mastiff mix named Cooper. Cooper is a huge dog who thinks he is a lap dog and who has no sense of personal space. Gary loved to hike for miles with Cooper every chance he got, and they frequented the local metroparks. Gary grew up in a sports crazy family. The boys always had hockey games going and, if the rink wasn’t frozen, they played on the street in front of the house. Football games were also a regular occurance and if the weather was bad, they played indoors with our dad on his knees trying to tackle the boys. Some of the neighborhood dads constructed a baseball diamond in a field down the street, complete with a backstop. We all spent hours playing on that field. Gary excelled at baseball. He was coached by my father and made the All-Star team nearly every year. He also was an avid volleyball player. Gary loved all Cleveland sports but was a die-hard Cleveland Browns fan. He spent most fall Sundays tailgating in the Muni lot and sitting in the Dawg Pound cheering on the Brownies. In high school Gary struggled to choose a path in his life. None of us were surprised when he joined the Navy. Most of the men in our family were military men. In the Navy he thrived on the structure and discipline. He got to see parts of the world that he never would have had a chance to see. He learned so many skills and earned many awards and honors. After he left the Navy he joined the Reserves where he volunteered to be called back into active duty more than once. Many times he couldn’t tell us where he was going or what he was doing, but he was a proud to serve his country. Gary was loved by so many. I cannot tell you how many people have reached out to me heartbroken about this great loss and always relaying their admiration for him along with a funny story or memory they had. His girlfriend Lisa says every day with Gary was an adventure. Between long hikes with Cooper, motorcycle rides on Gary’s pride and joy; a 2012 Harley Davidson Fatboy, and riding the neighbor’s motorized wheelchair to the ice cream shop up the street, they tried to live every day to the fullest. He was an outgoing, funny, conservative, Republican who loved a good debate. Those conversations were banned at family gatherings! He loved getting together for birthdays, holidays and family reunions, which were such a huge part of his life growing up. His passing leaves an enormous hole in our family and he will be greatly missed by all of us.
Gary Mathew Luster was born January 1st, 1965 at Euclid Glenville Hospital which I believe is now part of the Cleveland Clinic system. He was born just after midnight and was the first baby born in Lake County that year. He was the son of... View Obituary & Service Information
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