Good die young
IN 2008 Garry Winkler of Maclean was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given eight weeks to live - but he defied the odds.
He lived on for almost nine months, spending those last extra precious months with his family and friends, and his wife and soul mate Kerri.
Garry died on Thursday, aged 45.
Yesterday he was farewelled by hundreds of people at St James Anglican Church in Maclean.
In his short life Garry achieved a lot and made hundreds of friends, especially in the Lower Clarence.
He was a popular green keeper at the Brooms Head Bowling Club, a fan of many sports and a lover of animals.
But most importantly, Garry was a proud father, brother, uncle, cousin, grandfather and husband.
Garry proposed to his wife Kerri last year, weeks after he was told he had cancer.
In September they were wed in a moving ceremony at the Maclean Bowling Club, where their love and commitment to each other lit up the room.
Garry said at the time that he felt like his treatment was going well and he hoped he could get a few extra months out of his life, to share with Kerri who he loved very much.
And he did just that.
At his funeral, Kerri said goodbye to her husband in a letter read by close friend, Peter.
“You will be in my heart and the heart of our family forever,” Kerri said.
“You are me and I am you.
“I will be waiting to se you in our love ranch in the sky, your loving wife Kerri.”
As his coffin was carried from the church, members from the Maclean and Brooms Head bowling clubs formed a guard of honour for their greenkeeper and fellow player.
In sickness and in health, Garry was a popular and much loved member of both clubs and their members showed out in force yesterday.
“There is a saying that only the good die young, and that is the case with Garry Edward Winkler,” Bruce Apps of the Brooms Head Bowling Club said.