Programming Alone

A Tribute To Philip Gordon Cary

My love for technology was "inherited" from my father.  We enjoyed all types of gadgets, and much of our communication was about the fun we were having with the (usually) cheap gadgets we would find and put to use - Raspberri Pi and maker board projects, Quadcopters, Amateur Radio, wearable tech, etc. 

He also - quite literally - taught me to program.  I had him as I high school math teacher my junior and senior years, and he taught me how to program the TI-82 calculators we used in class.  Later, he became a professor at the local four-year college and taught programming and networking.  I had him for six or seven computer science classes.  He was the best teacher I ever had the opportunity to learn from.

More importantly, he taught me about loving the Lord and  staying positive no matter what.  He taught me how to be patient with those who didn't deserve it (by being patient with me when I didn't deserve it) and how to love even when it hurts you to do so.  He taught me about sacrifice and humility - two traits men of his intelligence rarely possess. 

The bar is set high when attempting to emulate him, and I've yet to reach that bar.  However, he wouldn't care.  He'd tell me he is proud of me, and to keep doing my best.  That's what matters:  do your best, and keep making progress. 

He died June 20th, 2018.  Three months earlier, he'd been diagnosed glioblastoma - a terminal form of brain cancer.

I'll miss him until the day I see him again.


Though we grieve at the loss of his earthly presence, we rejoice that Philip Gordon Cary entered the presence of the Lord on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 after his journey on this earth ended at his son’s home in McCook. He was 68.

Phil Cary was born on March 8, 1950 to Gordon and Thelma (Buell) Cary in Greenville, SC.  He cherished his parents, and enjoyed a home full of love and faith. He grew up with three siblings - Stephen, Esther, and David - and enjoyed friendship and companionship with them until the final days of his life:

Phil married his high school sweetheart and one-and-only love of his life, Margaret Gray, on August 27, 1969 in Hot Springs, SD.  The two first attended Kansas City College and Bible School, where they met several treasured, life-long friends. Phil and Margaret finished their undergraduate educations at Kansas University, after which Phil earned his Master’s Degree in physics at the University of Missouri in Kansas City with the support and encouragement of his ever-loving wife. 

Despite the ability to enter many more lucrative career fields, Phil followed his calling into education - an occupation where he would touch thousands of lives over more than 40 years of service.  He became well-known for his engaging teaching style and his ability to take incredibly difficult subject matter and communicate it in a way that any willing student could comprehend. Even more importantly, he became known for his kindness and patience, and a smile that set the hearts of all granted the privilege to witness it at ease.  Those who got to know him more intimately knew that this character was a direct result of his faith in Jesus Christ - a living faith that impacted the lives of all who came into contact with him.

Phil was a loving father to his two sons - Chad Ryan and Kiel Tate -  and their wives, Heather and Melissa. His heart was especially filled with love for his grandsons - Jonas (14), Samuel (6), Sebastian (5), and Benjamin (19 months).  He enjoyed any activity with them that they wanted to participate in with him, and seeing them happy brought great joy to his life.

Phil was a life-long Amateur Radio enthusiast.  Having learned of the hobby from a missionary staying at his family home as a child, Phil developed a love for both the technical portions and the ability to communicate with other “Ham’s” world-wide.  He especially loved to meet with other members of the Pine Ridge Amateur Radio Club on Saturday mornings - a rendezvous he rarely missed.

Thus, memorials are suggested to the Pine Ridge Amateur Radio Club in care of Kiel Cary, 805 W. I St. McCook, NE 69001.  Phil often shared this passion with others throughout his life - especially those new to hobby - and the family desires to see his passion continue to encourage others despite the end of his earthly presence.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.  Carpenter Breland Funeral Home of McCook is in charge of arrangements.

Phil is survived by his wife Margaret of Chadron; sons Chad and wife Heather of Evans, CO, and Kiel and wife Melissa of McCook, NE;  four grandchildren; brothers Stephen and wife Grace Cary and Dave and wife Holley Cary; and sister Esther and husband Ron Allred.

He was preceded in death by his parents, with whom he now rejoices in Heaven.


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