Gary Zeve Sobol

July 29th, 1939May 14th, 2022

Gary Sobol died of complications of a well lived life on May 14, 2022 in Boulder, CO.
 
Gary Zeve Sobol was born in Hartford, CT on July 29, 1939 to Henry and Josephine Sobol. He lived in a nice, predominantly Jewish, neighborhood with his parents and older sister, Beverly, and one younger sister, Roberta. Gary loved his family, baseball, and his dog Ginger who accompanied him on his paper route. Life changed forever for Gary, when, at age 9, his mother became ill and died of colon cancer. Little memorabilia of his mother remained, things were burned due to the fear at the time that cancer was contagious. This unimaginable loss shaped Gary’s formative years and prepared him for a lifetime of fighting through insurmountable health challenges with a shrug of the shoulders.

Gary’s family moved to live with his “old country” grandparents in a rougher part of Hartford. Gary shared an attic space with his father. His father ultimately re-married and they moved again. He had a rowdy group of friends through high school, his stories of adventures and mishaps were very entertaining – and some of the stories served as framework for pranks initiated by his children during their own high school years. Gary graduated from Hartford’s Weaver High School, Class of 1958. Gary fondly talked about a memorable concert in Hartford: Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, and Chubby Checkers. Gary drove a 1952 Plymouth and he and his best friend Steve Goldberg remained in contact through 7 decades.

Gary married Agnes Marley and they started a family in South Windsor, CT. He worked at Hamilton Standard; they made propellers and eventually spacesuits. He attended Hartford Technical College and graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering. MAI was his first job in the computer business (electronic instead of keypunch). He was a repair specialist. Gary and Agnes had four children (3 girls and 1 boy). Gary got a job offer from a company Storage Technology Corporation (STC) in Boulder, Colorado and they moved across the country in January of 1976. His career in computers and data storage systems included NBI, Solbourne, Sorbus, and Array Technology.  
 
The move to Colorado transformed Gary; he quit smoking, lost weight and became a mountaineer/hiker and avid runner. He ran a variety of races with a pack of friends who hiked, biked, skied and ran together. Gary was one of the founding members of this unofficial running / biking club in Boulder affectionately referred to as the “Dawn Patrol.” On New Years Day morning, 1977, Gary and other members of the Dawn Patrol met at the Basemar Shopping Center to run to the top of Flagstaff Mountain; they did not realize at the time that more than 40 years later, regardless of the weather conditions, the Flagstaff New Years Day tradition would continue.  
 
Gary’s daughters all graduated from CU, his son from Boston College Law School. In 1990, Gary married Anne, and started long distance mountain running. Gary was often spotted running for hours and hours in the foothills above Boulder with his amazing dog Pepper. While running marathons is enough for some people, Gary was not satisfied and for a period of years, he participated in the Leadville Trail 100. Yes, that’s right, 100-mile trail race over mountains…     
 
Gary returned to StorageTek, became a marketing manager and traveled extensively before his retirement in 2004. He thrived on action and fast pace. A STK executive once described Gary as a “unique force of nature that brings his entire self to whatever he does.”
 
Gary had a lifelong love of sports which he enthusiastically passed on to his family. He was a longtime CU Buffaloes football 50-yard line season ticket holder and rarely missed a football game. In his later years, his love of baseball continued as he closely followed the Colorado Rockies. 
 
In retirement health issues didn’t slow Gary down much, despite surgery for genetic colon cancer. After he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2008, Gary started a non-profit exercise program where he enthusiastically taught classes; at one point, teaching nine times per week. After much success locally, he traveled the US to teach and train instructors. More than 2,800 people in 21 States have participated in Gary’s classes. He had discovered the joy of helping others!
 
He moved to Sunrise Memory Care on April 21, 2022 where he was comfortable and well cared for. The family is grateful to the staff at Sunrise and Gracia Hospice. 
 
Gary’s children will forever be grateful to Anne for her fierce love and support to Gary over the years.  
 
Gary was predeceased by his older sister, Beverly Schachter of Milford, CT. Survivors include his younger sister, Roberta Hebor of Buckeye, AZ; his wife Anne of Boulder, CO; and his children, Karen (Greg) Mueller of Highlands Ranch, CO, Sue (Dave) Brown of Lafayette, CO, Janet Borchert of Erie, CO, Dave (Cara) Sobol of Dover, MA. Also, Jeremy (Sabine) Hackney of Interlocken, Switzerland, and Katy (Scott) Boyd of Erie, CO. He bragged about his 17 amazing grandchildren whenever he got the chance.

 

Services

Friends are invited to join the family in a celebration of Gary’s life at Unity of Boulder Church (2855 Folsom St.) Friday July 29th, 10:00 am. A casual reception at the church will follow. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Gary’s honor to the Davis Phinney Foundation or a charity of your choice.

Cemetery

None

Location

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Church

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Condolences

I am so sorry for the loss to so many people that Gary made a positive difference in their lives. I enjoyed reading the wonderful tribute that is posted on this site. I especially want to let Anne know that she is in my thoughts and prayers and I'm so glad we had a chance to meet Gary and see you at one of our grammar school reunions when we met at your old Guerneville home. I felt you and Gary were so blessed to have found each other. I'm wishing you comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter tokiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, gentle hugs when spirits sag, friendships to brighten your being, beauty for your eyes to see, confidence for when you doubt, faith so you can believe, courage to know yourself, and love to complete your life. Sincere condolences, Kathleen Lewek
Anne and family, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. We only met Gary the one time in Guerneville, at your family Home Anne. Although the meeting was brief, it was always enhanced by the stories that were shared then and later. We felt like Gary was part of our “River Rat” family. Reading the history of this man makes me wish we had known him better. We hope that the many memories and stories told will comfort each of you. Nothing better to leave behind than a life well lived. You will remain in our hearts. Mila and Dan Spengler
Anne and Family, We are so sorry to hear of your loss. We only had the opportunity to meet Gary the one time in Guerneville at Anne’s family home. We enjoy Gary’s humor and stories, and learning of His tenacity and strength of character through later updates. From the time we met, Gary was always a part of the “River Rats” family. Reading this beautifully told history of his life makes only wish we had been able to know him better. What more could any one of want to leave as a legacy than a life well lived. Our hearts and thoughts will be with each of you. Mila and Dan Spengler
I worked with Gary at Solbourne and then again at StorageTek! He always had a positive word and a smile, even when things got stressful! He was so proud of his children (yes, we heard stories) and his grandchildren! The world has lost a very good man. Please accept my deepest sympathies. Warmest regards, Anne Skamarock
To Sue Brown and Family, I’m sending my deepest sympathies. After reading your father’s obituary, it made me wish that I could have met him. He seems like he was an amazing father, husband, brother, grandfather and friend. He touched so many people’s lives along with his forever companion’s Ginger & Pepper, including mine, by just reading his story! He faced his challenges with positivity and always with a smile. He gave his time selflessly to help others, lived an adventurous life and most of all he loved being with his family. I know the heartache you feel, words can’t describe. May you and your family hold close to your heart your treasured memories you shared together and with all those amazing stories he told, I hope it brings a smile to your face and peace in your heart. On Friday July 29th, I’m sure he will be smiling down on everyone as you celebrate his life and his Birthday! I hope you feel the love of others all around you especially during this time. Again, thank you for sharing his beautiful life story with us. My prayers are with you and your family~ Suzan Randall
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