A reception honoring the life of William Gary Gresham, known as Gary throughout his life, will be held at the Gresham home in Pineville on Saturday, February 18 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Ashes will be scattered following the reception.
Gary passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, February 7, 2023, following a lengthy illness caused by a stroke in 2021. He was 80 years old at the time of his death.
Gary was a native of Rayville, Louisiana and a graduate of Rayville High School and the University of Louisiana, Monroe. He was employed for 38 years by the Office of Public Health. As a Sexually Transmitted Diseases Manager, he was domiciled in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Alexandria while eventually working in every parish in the state. He touched and aided the lives of many people. He was awarded the Charles E. Dunbar Civil Service Award for distinguished service to the citizens of Louisiana and the William F. Roy Award for excellence in his chosen profession.
Gary was a servant leader. He devoted many hours of his time and resources to charitable work. He was instrumental in the formation of Central Louisiana AIDS Support Services, serving as organization president and member of the Board of Directors for many years. He served on the Governor’s appointed board to address issues related to the AIDS epidemic. He was appointed to work with the U.S. Army and the U.S. Center for Communicable Diseases during this phase of his career. His work changed many lives and formed a basis for many of the later services developed to help those in need.
Gary was an individual with many and varied interests. He was an avid gardener of both food and ornamental plants. He fished and enjoyed nature in all its flora and fauna. He was a patron of the arts and of college sports, especially the teams at Northwestern State University. He liked to travel and experience the history and culture of other people, both at home and abroad. And, oh, did he dance! Moving from ballroom dancing to square dancing, Gary and his wife, Ann, became leaders in the square dance movement. They helped to start several clubs, and served as officers at the local, regional, and state levels. Their love of travel and dance blended nicely as they regularly danced in a multi-state area.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents, Jesse Claude Gresham Jr and Olla Mae Fayson Gresham; and brother, Jesse Claude Gresham III. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Theresa Ann Yates Gresham; his brother, Michael Rory Gresham and wife Beverly; four nephews; six nieces; and several great nieces and nephews. Ann wishes to give special thanks to several people who have given extensively of their time and resources to assist and to improve Gary’s quality of life during his lengthy illness: niece, Lyndi Yates Vincent and husband, Doug; cousin, Jackie Weaver; sitters, Preston Rose and Nicole Parker; friend and neighbor, Sue Burlew and husband, Gary; and his highly competent and devoted care team of Compassionate Care Hospice.