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January 3, 1947 ~ July 1, 2023 (age 76) 76 Years Old
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Warren Gary (Mr. G., Gus) Gustafson, 76, of Harwinton, passed away unexpectantly on Saturday, July 1, 2023. Gary was the beloved husband of 47 years to Lorraine (Steele) Gustafson. He was born on January 3, 1947, in New Britain and was the son of the late Elmer Gustafson and the late Alice (Brousseau) Gustafson Curran. Prior to his retirement, he had been employed at Patterson Oil Co and Ruwet Sibley.
Besides his wife, Gary is survived by his daughter Cherie (Gustafson) Lopes, his son-in-law Antonio (Tony) Lopes Sr., and his three grandsons, Antonio (AJ) Lopes Jr., Carmelo Lopes, and Marino Lopes of Torrington, CT. His sister and brother-in-law Sandra (Gustafson) Allen and Bill Allen of New Britain. His sister-in-law Joan Testori of Torrington. His brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law Frank and Virginia Steele of Berlin and John and Jane Steele of New Hartford, and many nieces and nephews. He was pre-deceased by his two brothers Jeffrey Gustafson of Wytopitlock, Maine, and Dennis Gustafson of Terryville.
Gary was a Vietnam Veteran who served in the US Army from 1965 to 1969. From 1967 to 1969 he volunteered for two tours of duty and was stationed at Pleiku. Throughout his life, Gary has been known for volunteering. He was a Scout Master for a Troop in Harwinton. He volunteered for Westside Volunteer Fire Department in Harwinton. He joined and contributed to efforts for AMVETs post-24 and the First Litchfield Artillery.
He had a business known as Phantom Sounds DJ Service, where he had the opportunity to entertain at many special events. He would enjoy setting up all his DJing equipment for the annual Harwinton Memorial Day Parade. He was most proud of his volunteering efforts for fundraisers and special events at Lone Oak Campsites in East Canaan. Gary, fondly known as Mr. G. with his family, camped seasonally for 31 years., Mr. G., with his beloved A-Team and Haunted House Family, worked on many events together, including Veteran’s Breakfast, Flag Retirement Ceremony, Wishes-On-Wheels, Jail & Bail, Pasta Fundraiser, Baked Potato/Corn Roast, and Haunted House. He enjoyed prop making, jerry-rigging together objects like MacGyver, and scaring everyone any time of the day. In his downtime, you could find Mr. G. “putzing” around making Dino Bones, Dunk Tank, Jail and Bail facade, and an endless amount of Haunted House props.
Throughout his 29 years of the Haunted House, he has had the opportunity to work with many “deadicated” and talented kids and adults. His apprentice Joey Atherton has been with the Haunted House show for 25 years. Mr. G and Joey had an extremely close bond with their imaginative, detailed visions of what each scene would look like. Joey, along with Mr. G’s family, will continue his legendary status and make the 30th Anniversary event epic in honor of him.
Calling hours to be held Wednesday, July 5, 2023, from 5:00 – 7:00 pm at Phalen Funeral Home.
A Celebration of Life will be held the weekend of September 9/10 at Lone Oak Campsites. For more details, please visit https://www.loneoakcampsites.com/jurassic. In lieu of flowers
to honor Gary, please consider planting a tree in his memory. Kindly visit phalenfuneral.com to send the family online condolences.