Cover photo for Gary Maddox's Obituary
Gary Maddox Profile Photo

Gary Maddox

May 26, 1947 — February 26, 2024


Gary Maddox

Captain Gary Maddox, age 76, of Sapphire, NC, passed away on Monday, February 26, 2024. He was born in Cold Spring, NY, to the late Robert Sr. and Virginia Maddox.  

Gary attended Haldane High School, where he excelled both scholarly and athletically. Even though he was busy playing all sports imaginable, he still had the time to meet the love of his life, Linda Maddox.

Gary enjoyed being with his family and friends for any occasion. He was a doer in the ultimate sense. Thankful for every day on this earth, he took thousands of pictures of sunrises and sunsets. An average day could consist of a round of golf, taking Willie to the lake, hitting the gym, stopping by Ingles, and getting home in time to fire up a tasty steak and a martini mixed to perfection. He was the Chief-Mixologist of his household. Over his lifetime, he developed personal and professional relationships that would last a lifetime. His jovial personality, honesty, and integrity made him someone that everyone wanted to get to know and grew to love.

Upon graduating from the SUNY Maritime Academy at Fort Schuyler, his career began at the age of 25 with the Gulf Oil Corporation. (1969-1975) where he worked his way from a Third Mate to a Chief Mate. Desiring more time with his family, Gary joined the Tampa Bay Pilots as one of the youngest members of his time. Over 38 years, he safely piloted over 8500 vessels on the waters of Tampa Bay. He quickly ascended towards several leadership positions, including Board of Pilot Commissioner, President of the Florida State Pilots Association, and later the VP of the South Atlantic Region of the American Pilots Association, where he remained until 2013.  He selflessly served out of his passion for influencing change.

When it came time to retire from the Pilots in 2013, Gary and Linda moved permanently to Sapphire, NC where they had been building ties for decades prior. Gary quickly found ways to connect with the community.  His favorite pastimes were hiking, fly fishing, and riding his motorcycle with his wife and friends.

Retirement didn't last long, as his overwhelming passion for animals led him to get "involved" with the Cashiers Highlands Humane Society. This "involvement" put him on the board in 2015 and, thereafter, the President from 2018 through 2024. Under his vision and leadership, alongside a team of equally committed people, the organization grew and thrived to what it is today. Gary further developed donor relationships and created Hikers-for-Hounds, a group of like-minded individuals with a love for dogs and the mountains. You couldn't go anywhere without him stopping to talk to someone he knew. You would have thought he was the President of Sapphire Valley.

Gary would listen without judgment and offer his guidance and knowledge without a glimpse of condescension. He was known to all as the light in the room, evoking smiles from everyone he came across. He was masterful at bringing the best of anyone or anything he encountered, and always led by example. He left everything better than when he found it. He was "The True Gentleman".

He was predeceased by his son Jason Maddox, a brother Robert Maddox (Helen), and a sister Geraldine Maddox. He is survived by his wife, daughter, Amy Holway (Chris), and grandchildren, Gannon and Paloma. Gary will be dearly missed by many.

A Celebration of Life will be held in Sapphire, NC, at 2:00PM on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at the Sapphire Community Center ( Ski Resort), 207 Sapphire Valley Road, Sapphire, NC 28774. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Cashiers Highlands Humane Society.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gary Maddox, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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