Cover photo for Gary B. Vandusen's Obituary
Gary B. Vandusen Profile Photo
1943 Gary 2020

Gary B. Vandusen

March 28, 1943 — July 13, 2020

Gary B. VanDusen, 77, of Norwich, NY, and formerly of Syracuse, died Monday night, July 13, 2020, after he was struck by a vehicle while walking his dog.

Gary was born on March 28, 1943, in Syracuse and was a graduate of Onondaga Valley Academy and Syracuse University. He was the son Richard and Mary (Burgess) VanDusen. He retired from The Post-Standard in 2007 after almost 39 years. For most of his time at the paper, Gary was a copy editor, working on the copy desk and in the features, Neighbors and sports departments. While working in the features department he was in charge of the newspaper’s theater and music critics, working closely with Neil Novelli, Larry McGinn, William D. West and Suzanne Connelly, among others.

Colleagues who got to know Gary soon learned that behind his shy, quiet exterior he was a wordsmith who possessed incisive editing skills and a wit that was equally sharp. Some of them were surprised when Gary took up acting as a hobby and appeared in several Syracuse Shakespeare Festival productions. At The Post-Standard, he was a member of the Not Ready for A-1 Art Players, a group of night shift workers that staged skits. Gary was also an Army veteran, having served in Korea during the Vietnam War.

Gary is survived by his wife, Linda; his sister, Gail Thomas of Marcellus, NY; his stepdaughter, Keliane Wicks of Syracuse, NY; his stepson, Timothy Domick of Netcong, N.J.; and five step grandchildren. Gary didn’t like funerals and had said he didn’t want one, so there will be no services or calling hours.

As his former colleagues mourned his death last week, their grief was tempered by memories of Gary’s trademark humor.
A copy editor’s duties include writing headlines that will make readers want to read the accompanying stories. One ex-colleague recalled the time that no one seemed to be able to come up with a clever headline for a story about a certain dairy product — that is, no one except Gary, who stayed late that night and came up with:
“You have a friend in Cheeses.”
Then there was the time that the copy editors had a contest among themselves to see who could come up with the dullest headline. Not surprisingly, Gary’s entry was probably the best:
“Three Watch as House Painted Green.”

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