Gary Steven Alms

February 7, 1953 ~ February 20, 2024 (age 71) 71 Years Old
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Gary Alms Obituary

Gary Steven Alms, age 71, of Rockford passed away peacefully at his home on February 20th. Born February 7, 1953, Gary was the third of eight children born to Ed & Betsy. He was a 1971 graduate of Guildford High School. Gary started his working life as a fast-driving mechanic, spending much of his youth learning all about cars at his father & uncle’ shop. Later in life, he ended up leveraging his mechanical know-how and entrepreneurial spirit to open a shop of his own, Alms Automotive, in Belvidere. He always made sure his kids Charlotte and Jesse had a running car to get to school and work. Gary had an unmatched work ethic and continued working up until his passing. We always wondered when he would find the time to sleep, and now he finally has.

Gary lived a full life with his wife, Patti, leaving a trail of smiles everywhere he went. Whether watching the Bears or being Volun-TOLD at the Rockford Verdi Club or Boylan High School, Gary would always be the first to lend a hand with a smile on his face. Gary enjoyed golfing with friends with a beer in his hand, trips to the lake, and was typically the last person on the dance floor at any wedding or party. Spending time with his family and grandkids brought him an abundance of joy and love - Silly Grandpa Garbear was one of a kind. He just wanted to make people laugh and have a good time. He wore his heart on his sleeve and made sure that those around him knew they were loved.

Gary’s life took a dramatic turn in the summer of 2019, when he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. The love and support of his family and friends pushed Gary forward and, in the summer of 2020, he reached his goal of receiving a lifesaving bone marrow transplant. Less than 2 weeks before his passing, he had his 3 ½ year post transplant check up and received the “all clear”. His family will forever be grateful to the doctors, nurses, staff and volunteers at UW Health in particular Carbone Cancer Center and Dr. Arik Hall. The last 3 ½ years was a blessing and a second chance to Gary, and he lived accordingly.

Gary is survived by his wife Patti Alms and their beloved dog Cooper; daughter Charlotte Alms and son Jesse (Danielle Ebany) Alms; step children Josh (Laura) Carlson and Kelsey Carlson; grandchildren Graham, Paleigh, and Avery, who were the lights of his life; siblings Tom Alms, Pat Aden, Doug (Liz) Alms, John (Karrie) Alms, Joanne (Sam) Smith, Nancy (Rob) Lamb, and Ed (Lori) Alms; nearly 30 nieces and nephews; and 32 (and counting!) grand nieces and nephews.

Gary is preceded in death by his parents, Ed & Betsy; sister-in-law Linda (Nance) Alms; nephew Brian Aden; and great-nephew Evan Aden.

Memorial service will be held for family and friends at Rockford Verdi Club on March 3rd at 1:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Gary’s name to Carbone Cancer Center of UW Health.

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Memorial Service
March 3, 2024

1:00 PM
Rockford Verdi Club


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