THE PASSING OF VETERAN AGRI-MARKETER GARY VINCENT
Jul. 12, 2021
Source: Peterson Funeral Services
Defined by many as "one of the good guys" Gary Lee Vincent was called home July 8, 2021. After battling idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), he went out on his terms surrounded by his beloved wife of nearly 55 years, his children and grandchildren. Always a Cyclone, he passed wearing Cyclone red.
Growing up on a diversified livestock farm in Southeast Iowa, his love of agriculture blossomed. Gary and his favorite milking short horn cow, Miranda, teamed up to win champion dairy awards at the Washington County Fair and performing well at the Iowa State Fair. It is also where he spent countless hours as a voracious reader with a particular passion for Mark Twain novels. He would combine these two youthful passions to develop a career as a successful award-winning agricultural journalist.
While he loved Miranda, he loved Rosemary Sheets from nearby Talleyrand even more. Overlooking the perceived challenges of a protestant/Catholic unification, he and Rosemary were joined in marriage November 26, 1966. He sold his beloved Miranda to purchase Rosemary's wedding ring, which is a true sign of dedication for any proper farm boy.
Upon their marriage, Gary returned to Iowa State University in Ames where Rosemary worked to pay his way through college to earn a degree in Agricultural Journalism. Gary was a proud member of the Iowa State University Singers, a reporter for the Iowa State Daily, and farm reporter for WOI radio.
Agriculture was the foundation of his life, and it was important that he pass that passion along to his boys, Robert Harold and Gregory Lee. In 1975 he and Rosemary purchased an acreage in Carlisle, Iowa, where the family developed a passion for raising and showing crossbred sheep. He was proud to help his sons win many county fair championships and become competitive at the state fair with home bred and home raised club lambs from G&R Acres.
Gary was dedicated to ensuring his boys had opportunities for life experiences that extended beyond agriculture. This meant sacrifice of his time and potentially career goals because he actively engaged in his sons' activities. He taught them to love golf.
While he didn't wrestle growing up, he became passionate about the sport at Iowa State where he watched Cyclone legends Chris Taylor and Dan Gable dominate the sport. He passed that passion to his sons and attended every high school match for each of his sons. Earlier, he had dedicated his time as a Little League coach.
His career began with KRNT radio and TV, where he was a state house reporter. There he learned from Iowa Governor Robert Ray the value of treating everyone with respect. This was a lesson he instilled in his boys and anyone he coached.
He later went to work at Successful Farming magazine in Des Moines, where he was recognized with multiple awards for his writing and reporting ability. This afforded him the opportunity to document some of the most vibrant times of the 1970s agriculture boom, as well as the most devastating agriculture experiences of the 1980s farm crisis. His career also included leading farmer tours through several foreign countries, including a highlight of traveling to the former Soviet Union in 1988.
As a member of the American Agriculture Editor's Association (AAEA), Gary helped navigate some of the most challenging times in the group's history. He became a member of the board of directors, eventually rising to the presidency in 1983. Numerous industry leaders to this day consider Gary a mentor and his impact will live for generations.
Later Gary would help found the agriculture marketing firm FALCON Communications. Under Gary's leadership, FALCON took home the Best in Show PR campaign for the National AgriMarketing Association. His career in agricultural marketing communications continued at other agencies until he retired. Like most self-respecting agency types, he didn't really retire and became a consultant where he worked with a few select clients.
This retirement did afford him and Rosemary the ability to spend winters in Arizona where they renewed friendships with Carlisle locals and developed new relationships with people from across North America. They played a lot of golf together in the winters.
Outside of his career and family obligations, he loved to golf. Ever the coach, he taught Rosemary to love and play the game, as well. That lead him to coaching Rob and Greg that if their wives wanted to learn golf they shouldn't take on the coaching role. Reality was also important to him.
His passion for 4-H began with his and Miranda's partnership, and he passed that on to Rob and Greg with the family's sheep operation. Gary would become long-time club leader for the Carlisle Ridge Riders where he, again, helped guide countless kids in their projects and helped them develop as people.
Gary would continue his contributions to Iowa 4-H long after the show ring boots were put away by taking a role on the Board of Directors for the Iowa 4-H Foundation.
His passion later in life became his grandkids. He loved to watch them grow and develop as athletes, scholars, cheerleaders, dancers, performers, readers, livestock showmen, and most importantly decent human beings. They are his legacy and were among his most proud achievements.
Gary is survived by his wife Rosemary, sons; Robert Harold (Molly) of Polk City, Iowa and Gregory Lee (Kayci) of Smithville, Missouri, grandchildren; Allison, Andrew, Karsen, Reagan, and Jordan, brothers; Mike (Connie) Vincent of Keota, IA., and Charles (Patty) Vincent of Wellman, IA., and a sister-in-law Kathy Vincent.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents Robert and Esther (Kephart) Vincent, and a brother Bill Vincent.