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Gary E. Dias, 61, of Ridgway, died Jan. 28, 2011, at Elk Regional Health Center following a lengthy illness.
He was born May 8, 1949 on Motherâ€™s Day in Ridgway, the son of the late Eugene Charles and Lucille Evelyn Shilk Dias.
On Jan. 22, 1970, he married Vicki Ann Ryan, who survives, at Faith United Church of Christ.
He enjoyed being a part of the working class and began his working career while still in school at the age of 13 on various surrounding farms in the area. He had spent numerous years in powdered metal plants and on construction work before becoming employed by the Borough of Ridgway in 1974 and retiring from there in 2005 as Director of Public Works after 32 years of service.
He enjoyed the â€śwonders of natureâ€ť in all aspects and the welfare of wildlife was an important part of his life. He was a committed member of the National Rifle Association and fought behind the scenes against those who would threaten our freedoms. A common, humble man of simple pleasures, he enjoyed his short-lived retirement and his family to the fullest.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, Jason E. Dias; a daughter, Jolene M. (Jeff) Stenta; four grandchildren, Bryce E. Dias and Calvin P. Dias and Aaron Stenta and Brianna Stenta, all of Ridgway; two sisters, Marlene (Richard) Delhunty and Evelyn (Edward) MacDonald, all of Ridgway; a brother, Joey Dias of Ridgway; a sister-in-law, Karen (Chuck) Cleaver of Ridgway; two brothers-in-law, Pat (Chris) Ryan of Brockway and Michael (Kerry) Ryan of Texas, numerous nieces and nephews; and by his dear companion, Ruby.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his mother-in-law, Edythe C. Ryan; a sister-in-law, Amy Ryan Uglow; and by his brother-in-law, James â€śButchâ€ť Ryan.
A memorial service for Gary E. Dias will be held on Monday at 2 p.m. in the Meehan-Shilk Funeral Home. Officating will be Mr. John Smith.
Interment will be in Ott Cemetery.
Friends will be received at the Meehan-Shilk Funeral Home on Monday for one hour prior to the service.
Memorial donations may be made to the Elk County Humane Society or to Home Care of Ridgway.