Cover photo for Gary M. Drobny's Obituary
Gary M. Drobny Profile Photo

Gary M. Drobny

Gary passed away Thursday, April 2, 2020 at his home in Gobles.

He was born October 24, 1943 in Kalamazoo, the son of Edward and Vawn (Campbell) Drobny. Gary proudly served his country in the U.S. Army serving in Germany during the Vietnam War.

As a young boy Gary was a member of the FFA and 4-H. He liked spending summers at Baseline Lake, waterskiing and riding horses. He was an Otsego High School graduate and attended Michigan State University’s Agricultural Program.

For many years he worked on the family farms with his father and brother and most recently with his nephews until his retirement. In his free time he enjoyed hunting, watching things grow, trips to the casino, playing poker and his dog, Mason. More than anything he loved spending time with his friends and family especially his grandchildren. In 2002 he married Harriett Smith who survives.

Also surviving are his daughter, Christine (Russ) Carpenter of Portage; step-sons, Gary Hawley of Gobles and Jimmy Hawley of Florida; 6 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren; sister, Veronica (Ken) Crowell of Allegan and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Charles.

According to his wishes cremation has taken place.

Contributions in memory of Gary may be made to the

American Cancer Society


Messages of condolence may be posted at

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Condolence Messages

Tim and Marcia Quigley

April 2, 2020 at 5:31 pm

Dear Family of Gary,

We send our love and prayers to you all! May your memories of Gary stay in your heart and give you peace!


Duane Wine

April 2, 2020 at 9:34 pm

God bless you and your family.


Carl Wood

April 3, 2020 at 6:58 am

A good friend for a long time. we lost contact later in life, but not friendship he will be missed.


Vicky Dodds

April 3, 2020 at 8:01 am

So sorry to hear of your loss. Prayers to you and your family at this difficult time

Brett and Vicky (Crowell) Dodds


Paul Rizzo

April 3, 2020 at 8:13 am

Gary was a big part of my life working on the farms with his dad Ed and brother Charlie , great memories and good times. Sad to hear about Gary.


Robert A Kitchen

April 3, 2020 at 11:24 am

This is Judy “Drobny”Kitchen, I just saw Gary last week I will miss him greatly, my condolences go out to his family.


Jim & Patty Magierka Dyer

April 3, 2020 at 7:29 pm

I knew Gary when. We were very young,we played together between our farms.probably age 3.Then graduated same class.

Our prayers to his family.He will be missed


Ashley Babbitt

April 3, 2020 at 7:56 pm

We will very much miss Gary. So hard to believe he’s gone, he was like family to us. A great man. Harriet we are thinking of you. Bob sr. Bobby Jr. Ashley, Blakelyn, and Byron Babbitt.


Sharon Sinclair

April 3, 2020 at 8:46 pm

I am sorry to hear of Gary’s passing. My condolences go out to his family.

I am a voice from Gary’s past. He and I went to elementary school in Alamo in the two room school house. I have wonderful memories of that time. I remember Veronica and Charles and have some priceless picture of our class in Alamo including pictures of Gary as a 5 or 6 year old with no front teeth.

Please know that he will be missed.


Rick Fairfield

April 3, 2020 at 11:03 pm

I’ll miss ya oldtimer


Barry Junker

April 3, 2020 at 11:38 pm

First I would like to give my Condolences to All of Mr.Drobnys family.And end with a accompishment Gary and my dad (Bud Junker) did when they where young,as far as I know first time anyone in Gobles area to water ski ,stacked.Gary was the strong stocky man who carried my dad around Baseline on his shoulders.Never Forgotten.


Betty Billington

April 4, 2020 at 11:02 am

Condolences The family


D. Roger Mason

April 4, 2020 at 12:21 pm

Sad to hear of this loss. Charlie, Veronica and Gary were class mates with me at the Alamo Center School. We all shared our love for horses. My family were the owners of Mason’s Country Store so everyone was family in Alamo.



April 4, 2020 at 10:19 pm

Veronica ,We’r so sorry for your loss.Are Condolence to you &,Your are in are thoughts&Prayers


Diane Drobny

April 4, 2020 at 10:44 pm

Very sorry to hear of Gary’s passing. Have so many memories of Bobby, Gary and Charlie on the farms. Many food and drink runs for the poker games too. They all worked hard and played hard. Love and thoughts with Harriet and family. Diane Drobny and family/


Marianne Drobny

April 5, 2020 at 12:18 am

So sorry to hear about cousin Gary passing. I haven’t seen him for along time except at funerals like Uncle Ed’s, Charlie, Aunt Vawn and Uncle Marion’s passing. It seems like everyone is so busy working/farming we don’t take time to visit nor “smell the roses” anymore, especially me.

What I remember about Gary was that he was by far my brothers best friend, he was funloving, liked adventure and was full of life. When the good Lord took Gary I know he wouldn’t have said to himself, I wish I would have done this or that because he would have already done it. I know this is especially hard for Veronica, Harriet and his family. My prayers and thoughts go out to each and everyone of you.



Bobbi Drobny

April 5, 2020 at 2:59 am

Remember him when I was little. My Dad’s cousin. He was super nice to me. Prayers for family and friends.


Linda Little

April 5, 2020 at 10:00 am

My prayers are with the family for strength, healing and Peace. Love you all

Linda Little


Marnie Junker

April 5, 2020 at 9:01 pm

My deepest condolences to “Uncle Gary’s” entire family. I have known him my whole life. He was always very good to me. He was always happy, chipper and loving. He was a great friend to my Dad and to my brother. My brother’s memory of Uncle Gary and my Dad water skiing, stacked makes me smile. Sorry I won’t be keeping my promise from last weekend to bring Dad out to see you. You will be missed dearly. Rest in Heaven. Xoxoxo


John Vanderhoff

May 9, 2020 at 10:14 am

Just received notice from my cousin Ellen that Gary passed away. He was a great boyhood friend. My mother and I would regularly visit her sister and family (Van Kesterens) who had an adjacent farm. Here, we rode horses and teased cousins. He was such a happy-go lucky guy, always a smile on his face.

I am saddened to hear of his passing and my heartfelt sympathy to family


Norene Van Kesteren Russ

May 13, 2020 at 11:22 am

I could not believe it when I heard that Gary was gone. I thought it should be some kind of mistake. I saw him last at Vawn’s funeral. We lived next to the Drobny family on D Avenue. They had dairy cows and a couple of horses while we had beef cattle and several horses. Our stallion occasionally got out.. and tangled with Drobny’s stallion . .. We (Loretta, Ellen,Norene, and Gail) grew up with Charlie, Veronica and Gary. Occasionally our cousin, John Vanderhoff came to visit… and if Gary was around… they always got into some mischief, usually terrorizing us girls.

As I got older and into high school… getting on that bus to Otsego every morning, Gary was my ‘brother’… and guard. He really watched out for me. I think that started when we were both small… and our parents got together every week to listen to the radio (the fights?) … BEFORE TV… Gary and I played on the floor in front of the radio… at our parents feet (Ed & Vawn with Ad and Lena Van Kesteren). The Drobny’s were just family! That tie has never really been broken.

Please know, Harriet…. and Veronica… that we have been praying for you in your loss. It delights me to read everyone’s condolences… Our youngest sister, Gail… died suddenly just after Gary… on the 19th. It somehow warms my heart… that Gary and Gail went ‘home’ at about the same time.


Stacy Lynn Leitch

January 28, 2021 at 9:39 pm

My condolences to the Drobney family. I am beyond saddened to see my friend, Gary, has passed away. I met Korn and his kind family in 2004. Harriette, Jimmy and Spike were immediately in my heart and family forever. I am so sorry I didn’t check on my loved ones more often, I’m now seeing some of the most unexpected people on this unfortunate list. I will never forget the fields through Timber ridge area, the absolute beauty I was shown from the window on D Ave…the feelings and thoughts I had each time I was fortunate enough to see the sunrise and set from that hilltop. Love, kindness and friendship. I

I am so sorry, Harriette, if you do see this. My heart is with you and is beyond saddened.


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