Gary L. Kalapinski, 71
LYNN — Gary Lee Kalapinski, of Lynn, passed away on Sunday, Sept. 8 at the age of 71 years old. After a hard-fought battle with cancer, he died peacefully with all of his girls (his wife Elaine, and his daughters, Leah, Sarah and Becky) by his side.
Gary was born on April 27, 1948 in Lynn to Sarah Francis (MacDonald) Kalapinski and Henry Kalapinski, both of Lynn. He was a loving younger brother to Paul Kalapinski of Marshfield and James Kalapinski of Lynn. He attended Classical High School (’65) and spent two years at Northeastern University.
Gary was a Navy veteran and proudly served as a radarman on the USS Forrestal in 1967. He showed us a glimpse of his strength, bravery and genuine care for the well-being of others while serving on that ship during a tragic accident.
Gary met his wife, Elaine, while dressed as a woman at the Porthole Pub on Halloween in 1970. His charm and quick wit captured her attention and they later married in 1972. Together they raised three daughters through a life of love, laughter, stubbornness and a special kind of humor.
Gary had many, many, many friends and acquaintances. As the president of the Honeybee Bowling League at Metro Bowl in Peabody for 25 years, a member of the team at M.C. Heald Liquor store for 30 years (from where he hooked his girls on Juicy Fruit gum), jobs at General Electric, US Filter and work as a mason alongside his buddy Skippy DeLuca, he touched so many lives. He also captured the hearts of the many, many nurses he encountered at Salem Hospital, Encompass Health and Rehabilitation in Beverly, and finally, the Kaplan House in Danvers. Even through a long and harsh illness he kept his sense of humor and concern for others ahead of any hardship he was dealing with personally. All will miss him dearly.
More recently, he spent his time enjoying his eight grandchildren, writing some of his famous poetry, playing Words With Friends with anyone who would accept his invitation, and watching all Boston sports teams dominate. Appropriately, he passed away during a Sox/Yankees series and on Patriots opening day.
Gary leaves behind his wife, Elaine (Bryant); his daughters, Leah Warren of Lynn, Sarah McIsaac of Salisbury and Becky Benowicz of Medford; his sons-in-law, Chris Warren, Rick McIsaac and Scott Benowicz. His eight grandchildren (Brooke, Brady and Brenna Warren, Matthew, Christopher and Riley McIsaac; and Kaye and William Benowicz) will all miss their Papa G as will his older brother Paul Kalapinski of Marshfield. Gary was a proud uncle to many nieces and nephews.
Gary would have said, “It’s a beautiful thing …”
Service information: Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, Sept. 12 from 3-7 p.m. at CUFFE-MCGINN Funeral Home, 157 Maple St., Lynn, followed by a funeral Mass on Friday at 9 a.m. at St. Pius V, Lynn. Burial will follow St. Josephs Cemetery, Lynn. The family requests donations in his memory to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123, or to The Disabled American Veterans, P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301.