A good man and a kind soul, Gary Michael Drabik passed away peacefully at his home on January 5, 2018, surrounded by his family and love.
Gary, son of Donald and Dolly, was born on July 21st, 1959 in Detroit. He grew up in Bay City, Michigan where he and his siblings Linda, Kathy, Ken, and Brian kept their parents busy. He attended St. Hyacinth School and Bay City Central High and went on to graduate from Central Michigan University.
On April 21, 1990, Gary married Sr. Mary Beth Roach. They lived in Madison where they raised two wonderful children, Danny and Maura. Gary was very proud of his children, his second "son" Patrick and the good people they have become.
Gary loved the outdoors and treasured the times he spent fishing at the family cottage at Roach Lake. His brothers-in-law affectionately nicknamed him the "Fishing Pol" recognizing his proud Polish heritage. An extremely hard worker, avid Michigan sports fan, grill master, animal lover, corny Facebook poster - Gary was a wonderful husband, father, brother, and friend.
The family appreciates the support provided by Agrace Hospice, the Queen of Peace community, the doctors at UW Health, their extended family and many friends.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at OUR LADY QUEEN OF PEACE CATHOLIC CHURCH, 405 S. Owen Dr., Madison, on Thursday, January 11, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. with Msgr. Kenneth J. Fiedler presiding. A visitation will be held at OUR LADY QUEEN OF PEACE CATHOLIC CHURCH, 405 S. Owen Dr., Madison on Wednesday, January 10, 2018, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and at the church on Thursday from 10:00 a.m. until time of the mass.
In lieu of flowers, please consider paying it forward to someone in need.
Cress Funeral & Cremation Services
3610 Speedway Road
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My condolences to the Drabik family. RIP my old friend!
Mary Beth (Batone) Maura & Danny. Where do we start. Manny, memories that will live with you forever with Gary - your dad. He had a heart of gold and all his memories will be with you all forever. Your mom/grandma will watch over him. We send love & strength to all of you during this difficult time. Love Ann Devine Davidson
Mary Beth,Laura and Danny :I am so sorry for the loss of your husband and father .I did not know Gary personally that well except for a meeting or 2 @ school ,but I do know what kind of role model as a dad he was for his 2 great kids and their personalities.Try to keep all of those great memories of Gary in your hearts forever.God Bless you during this most difficult time.............Nick Burrows EHS Counselor
Dear, dear Mary Beth and family, my heart aches for you!! I occasionally read the Cress obit section to see if anyone I or my folks knew have passed. My jaw dropped when i began reading Gary's obituary. Although I never met him, I remember accolades about him from you, your dear Mom from my now deceased folks. As you know, the Roach family has always been important to us and knowing all of you through the years brings a smile to my face as I write this. The last time I saw you was when you, your Mom and another friend had come to Portland for a weekend. More great memories and hearing your Mom's fabulous "belly laugh" brings me more smiles. Welcome all the support that you have and cherish the memories. Years from now you too will smile and laugh when remembering moments. Like his big catch from Roach Lake....and even the thought of frying all those fishes for your own version of the great Wisconsin fish fry. Sending you only love, prayers and bright lights, David Kotz and Barry Goldminz
Gary quickly became one of my 3 best friends in the 36th Street 'Hood in the South-end (also known at times as North Saginaw) upon my family's move when I was 11 to Bay City. He was one of the first kids in the area to welcome me cheerily to the local gang and I was grateful to have and share his companionship, fine sense of humor, and inquisitive and irreverently carefree ways as we roamed around our turf. I can hardly begin to remember or catalogue all the good times we had and our (mostly) innocent attempts at boyhood mischief while fishing in the river at the old Cass bridge location, swinging around and smoking at the alkali, bike riding, baseball, Broadway City Dairy cones, and general roughhousing and horseplay, including at good 'ol St. Hyacinth beginning in 6th grade. Then one summer night in junior high while at a party down the street at the Mika residence, someone came rushing up and suddenly screamed that there was a fire nearby, and as Gary looked down the block and we began running towards the flames there was a loud explosion and we realized incredulously the blaze was coming from the Drabik house on the corner of Polk! In the aftermath and months that followed I.found myself impressed and pulled in by Gary's maturity, levelheaded demeanor, and overall consistent strength of character. I also remember in the spring of 1974, ninth grade, all the fun we had at Linda/Augie's wedding reception and how charitably Gary and his dad Don helped insulate me from some youthful indiscretions I participated in that helped me cope with the potential consequences. On New Year's Eve '76, our senior year, the blowout party that began near our 'Hood on Garfield Ave. and ended up across town at one of the wildest high school parties, Gary again had my back. During College he was the loyal Bay City friend that came to Ann Arbor to visit me. The trips to Houghton Lake to hang with Spence and his dad Earl Webb who was amazed upon witnessing Gary's bottomless pit appetite, and our other up-north shenanigans. Our Mt. Pleasant midnight "Animal House" excursion from Bay City in May, 1982 when Gary had several of our backs and the laughter flowed 'till our insides literally hurt.
And most of all, I also will never, ever, forget the solace and genuine comfort that Gary bestowed on me and our entire Family on Seventh Street in being there and continually helping us cope with the deepest sorrow imaginable after the 1988 military death of my brother. And his gentle checking up on me and my state of mind many times for many years thereafter, and his selfless and determined internet research to doggedly try and unearth more information about the true cause of the Marine Corp's blunder that triggered that terrible accident.
We remember the few times we were fortunate enough to get together with Mary Beth (God did Gary love and appreciate you!) as well as Danny and Maura when they were young. We wished we had seen you all more and talked a number of times over the years about coming to Madison.
Our thoughts go to Mary Beth, the kids, and Linda, Kathy, Kenny and Brian. What a strong family! I look back fondly on the poker games at the Drabik residence sometimes joined in by Grampa Don while Dolly threatened to leave him behind at home as they became possibly late with their planned social function those night(s).
It was so great to see him at our recent Class of '77 reunion this past September and spend time talking before and after the event. He will be missed by all of those who knew him well!!
As I reflect on this piece, it occurs to me that it might seem this is all about me, but actually, it's all about Gary and the impact he has had on me.
What a friend, father, husband and man he is.........Keep the faith, Mike and Molly Fleming.
Dear Mary Beth, Danny and Maura, Truly a heartache and a loss for you. John and I send our deepest condolences and pray your memories and the legacy Gary left you with will comfort you. love, John and Penny Richert
We grew up together in the ol Southend of Bay City, only 4 or 5 Blocks away. Facebook wants a blessing for us allowing us to reconnect and have a little fun remembering. We are all Blessed to have known this Man. He made me smile and laugh 99% of the time we talked.
Rest In Peace my Friend.
God's Blessings to all of you affected.
So sorry for your loss. Went to school with Gary. May you find comfort in the word of GOD.
What a great pleasure knowing Gary Drabick. Great brother-in-law. Very funny, very sharp.
One of the nicest guy I ever met. We are going to miss you and your laughter Gary.
An old freind from the South end, high school and many occasions thru the years. Visits at CMU, Houghton Lake, and others created many stories and memories. A recent nite on the town in Bay City, hitting some old haunts, seeing some old pals will be among many cherished memories. I thank God for the opportunity to have Gary in my life, and know I will see him again...waiting to greet me while at the grill, cold one in hand.
Life was never about Gary, it was about how welcomed he could make you feel. He simply let you know how important you were to him, every time you saw him.
My deepest sympathy to Mary Beth and family. Louise (Carey) Couillard
Gary was a high school classmate. Doubt I've seen him without a smile on his face. It was wonderful seeing him at our reunion. No one could have guessed how ill he was. He had that great smile all evening long and brought smiles to all of us. God has another angel watching over us. So very sorry for your pain.
Sue Simpson Kusmierz
Please accept my sincerest sympathy. I will keep you in my prayers as you mourn the loss of your loved one. I hope you find comfort in the loving memories and support of family and friends.
Our deepest condolences to you and your family for your loss. May you find comfort in your treasured memories of Gary with family and friends. You are surrounded by a very loving community that will care for you and lift you up during this sad time.
Sincerely, Terry and Melissa Allen (Sister Mary Touchdown's sister) Phx., AZ
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