Gary Fred McBride was born April 11, 1931 in Safford, Arizona, to Harold McBride and Fay Nelson McBride. Gary was raised in Safford and graduated from Safford High School in 1949. Gary then served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Minnesota/Wisconsin area. Upon his return from his mission, Gary enrolled in Eastern Arizona College where he graduated with a degree in Automotive.
Gary was drafted into the US Army and served time in Korea. Gary recieved an Honorable Discharge in 1956 and returned to Arizona where he enrolled in Arizona State University. While attending ASU, he met Ruth Whitmer and the two were married June 1, 1956. Gary graduated from ASU in 1958 with a Bachelors Degree in Secondary Education-Industrial Arts, Automotive.
Upon Gary graduating, he accepted a position teaching high school, first in Tucson, AZ then in Phoenix, AZ. In 1966, Gary accepted a teaching position at Eastern Arizona College in Thatcher, AZ. Gary taught automotive for 22 years and retired in 1988.
Gary was a life long member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Gary held many positions in the church but enjoyed his work with the youth the most. Gary enjoyed playing the guitar, working in the yard, building models, working on cars and spending time with his family.
While married to Ruth, they were blessed with four children, Pamela (Curtis) Harris, Susan (Tony) Goodman, Gary (Carrie) and Steven (Heather). In 1976, Ruth passed away. In 1988, Gary married Williamena (Billie) Wray, which brought seven additional children into his life. Mike (Diana) Wray, Dan (Lois) Wray, Michelle (Paul) Gutierrez, Bob (Cheryl) Wray, Cindy Clonts, Esther (Bill) Fish and Mary (David) DeLaLoza.
Gary is survived by his wife, Williamena, his children, Pamela, Susan, Gary, Steven, Bob, Cindy, Esther, Mary, 34 grandchildren and many great grandchildren and siblings, Jeanette (Ladd) Mullenaux, Kathleen (Keith) Crocket, Robert (Sharon) McBride. Gary is preceded in death by his parents, Harold McBride and Fay McBride, three children Mike Wray, Dan Wray and Michelle Gutierrez; Wayne (Linda) McBride-brother, Ladd Mullenaux-brother in law.
On January 28, 2023, due to health issues, Gary passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his family.
Funeral services for Gary will be conducted Saturday morning, February 18, 2023, at 10:00 a.m., at the Safford Stake Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Concluding services with military honors conferred by the Gila Valley Veterans Honor Guard will follow in the Safford Cemetery.
The family will receive friends Friday evening, February 17, 2023, from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., at the Vining Funeral Home and Saturday morning, February 18, 2023, from 9:00 a.m. until 9:45 a.m., at the Safford Stake Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Relief Society Room.