He earned the title of the Santa Clarita Valley Man of the Year and died after giving generously to the community for many years.
But at Gary Condie’s funeral on Wednesday in Valencia, his family and friends focused on remembering him as someone who was much more than his philanthropy.
“Gary was such a caring soul,” Jim Ventress, a longtime friend and former executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of the Santa Clarita Valley, said at the memorial. “He cared about his family, his business, his church and the L.A. Dodgers. After that, he found time to help his community. He and Myrna (Condie’s wife) volunteered for many nonprofits, and Gary wasn’t just about writing a check, he was also about volunteering his time and leadership.”
Condie, founding shareholder of CPA firm Condie, Thomas & Harbo, died Jan. 1, his birthday. He was 76.
About 300 people from in and around the SCV, including the Santa Clarita City Council and local community leaders, gathered to remember Condie at his funeral, which was held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Valencia Stake Center.
Among those in attendance was Condie’s daughter, Heather Condie Lake, who shared memories about her father to an overflow crowd at the church, describing him as hardworking and dedicated.
“I want to say that, overall, my father grew up a poor farmer and learned the importance of getting as much education as you can, and that was one of his parting words to me, as well,” she said. “His father sent him off to college with $1, and he said, ‘Good luck, son.’ And my dad knew that (the $1) was quite the sacrifice for the family, and he made money out of that.”
With that dollar, Condie got his shoes shined to land a job at Albertson’s to help support himself through college, and eventually start his career despite health complications, including a brain tumor.
Due to his declining health, Condie had a bucket list to complete before his death, including his desire to live to his birthday, the day he died, so that his wife could receive a tax deduction, Lake said to attendees, highlighting her father’s humor.
Condie and his wife, who celebrated 50 years of marriage two years ago, fostered more than a dozen children and are well-known for their philanthropic work in the SCV, including donating time and money to the SCV Child & Family Center and the SCV Boys & Girls Club.
He is also a founder of the Henry Mayo Newhall Health Foundation, for which he recently spoke at the opening of the hospital’s new patient tower, and is known for being a major supporter of the William S. Hart Union High School District. He won SCV Man of the Year in 2005, and was honored in The Signal’s SCV’s “51 Most Influential,” as well as named a recipient of the College of the Canyons’ Silver Spur Award, which is given to the college’s biggest supporters.