Gary Thomas “Porky” Dionne, age 82, of Harvey, entered eternal life Saturday, July 1, 2017, at his home.
Born March 10, 1935, in Marquette, a son of Thomas T. and Gladys (Pellitier) Dionne, Gary was raised in Harvey and graduated from Graveraet High School, Class of 1953. Following graduation, Gary embarked on a long career as an auto mechanic. He first began working with his father at Dionne’s Garage and continued working there until he became owner-operator of the business. The garage was first located in South Marquette on the corner of Division and Genesee Streets and later relocated to 1210 N. Third Street. Gary’s business grew and he became well-known for quality service and his gift to gab. He was a people person and possessed a strong work ethic. He retired in 1992 but still had a desire to remain active, so he went to work as a salesman with Carroll Motor Supply before his second retirement in 1994. Now he and wife, Sally, could relax and began wintering in Florida. Well, once again, Gary got himself a job, this time with the Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training Camp, working the concession stand. Here, again, he put his passion for people to work and enjoyed talking to the folks and being surrounded by people he could interact with. Throughout the years, Gary remained actively involved in the Marquette area community. He was a longtime member of the Chocolay Township Lions Club, holding all the offices plus zone chairman. He was well known for community service projects, especially for building ramps for the handicapped, and was a former member of the Masons where he served as a Shriner clown, which he so loved. Gary loved the outdoors, enjoying deer and bird hunting, rides in the woods, and just spending time with all that nature had to offer. A lifelong sports enthusiast, he played high school football and participated in track in his younger days and later served as a Little League coach and American Legion baseball coach. In later years, he became an avid, and almost obsessive, fan of the Detroit Lions and Tigers. Gary was a member of the former Grace United Methodist Church where he assisted with parish projects in many ways, especially at potato sausage making time, and currently attended Prince of Peace Lutheran Church.
Survivors include his wife and high school sweetheart, Sally Jean (Swanson) Dionne, whom he married August 28, 1954; four children, David (Marcia) Dionne and Scott (Sue) Dionne both of Marquette, Mary Purvis of White Fish, MT, and Lori (Keith) Rietman of Chattanooga, TN; eight grandchildren, Danielle (Keith) Dickson, Bradley Dionne, Ashley Dionne, Tom (Lindsey) Dionne, Michelle (Craig Warner) Dionne, Amber (Roger) Rudd, Bobby Purvis, and Sara Rietman; five great-grandchildren with two more soon-to-be; his sister, Marlene (Ron) Manning, a brother, Paul (Ronee) Dionne; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Mary Gale Dionne.
The family will receive relatives and friends at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Harvey, on Friday, July 7, beginning at 12:00 noon until the time of service at 2:00 pm Friday afternoon. Rev. James Duehring, pastor, will officiate. A reception will follow in the church fellowship hall.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Bay Cliff Health Camp or Shriners Hospital.
The Swanson-Lundquist Funeral Home is serving the family, where condolences may be expressed online at swansonlundquistfuneralhome.com
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