On April 22, 2021, Thomas Gary Shrader, Sr. of Melbourne, Florida passed away peacefully, surrounded by loving family at Rockledge Regional Medical Center. Born October 13, 1944 in Camden, New Jersey, Gary lived 76 years and was preceded in death by his parents Marcus Bryan Shrader, Jr. and Mary Ann Berger, brothers Marcus and Lee Shrader, and in-laws Lambert Joseph (June) and Elizabeth Cecilia Hartman (Betty). Bet’s parents, June and Betty Hartman, loved Gary like a son.
Gary was a devoted, loving family man. He knew how to live and how to love. He is survived by his beautiful wife of 55 years Elizabeth H. Shrader (Bet), his daughter Jenifer Born, his son Thomas Gary Shrader, Jr., and his daughter-in-law Mechelle Shrader. Gary was a big brother to John Glenn Shrader, Maryanne Massey, and also to his Hartman family siblings Pat Schmidt-Rubino, Anne Murtaugh, Mary Hartman Parvis, Michael Hartman, and Robert Hartman.
Grandchildren Samantha and Jonathan Stowers, Alexis and David Miller, Brittany and Michael Rodriguez, Logan Shye, Rylee Born, Billy Shrader, and Emily Shrader all adored their “Grandad”. Gary’s eight great grandchildren are Morgan, Kendall, and Josslyn Miller, Avery and Callie Rodriguez, Jet Stowers, Madison and Quinn Shrader.
In Gary’s and Bet’s eyes, their 11 year old dog Bear was the perfect dog and they considered him a member of their family. Gary was an animal lover; pets were drawn to him.
Gary had a strong beautiful full voice and loved to sing and to perform. During high school, Gary played in musicals including The Music Man and My Fair Lady, among others. Throughout their relationship, Gary and Bet enjoyed performing together. They were members of multiple choirs over the years.
Born in close proximity to Philadelphia, Gary was a fan of both the Phillies and the Eagles. He enjoyed reading, boating, fishing, bird watching, playing cards, watching The Price is Right, and spending time with friends and family.
Gary was known for his integrity and strength of convictions. He had an incredible work ethic and provided well for his family. His life, especially in his youth, wasn’t easy, but he always persevered. After retirement, Gary, Bet, and their dog Bear settled in a lovely community in a beautiful home on the water. He would look out over the lake and remark humbly upon his and Bet’s accomplishments. He would often say, “Another day in paradise” as well as, “What did I do to deserve all of this?”
Gary’s Celebration of Life will be limited in attendance to family only due to an abundance of caution because of Covid-19. Thomas Gary Shrader, Sr. was a very special person; friends and family are fortunate to have known and to have loved him. His family appreciates the outpouring of love and support they have received during this time of grief.