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Gary James Palmieri

Obituary for Gary James Palmieri

February 27, 1947 - June 15, 2019
San Antonio, Texas | Age 72


Gary James Palmieri, loving husband, father of two and PawPaw of five went to be with his Lord and loved ones on Saturday, June 15, 2019.

Born February 27, 1947, in San Antonio, Gary was the youngest son of Anthony "Tony" Palmieri and Lorraine Lacey Palmieri. Tony was a World War II vet who served as a Combat Engineer in the Battle of the Bulge and retired from Prassel's Lumberyard in San Antonio after the war. Lorraine was the first hostess to work for the original Handy Andy grocery stores and worked for many years greeting and assisting shoppers. Gary and his brother, Ronnie, grew up in San Antonio and were blessed to spend Sunday dinners with family and weekend trips to their grandfather's ranch. Gary was a talented football and baseball player who played on several teams throughout his childhood.

Gary joined the Navy in 1966 and served as an Interior Communications Electrician-Petty Officer Third Class until 1969, followed by three additional years of service in the Naval Reserves. Gary started his career at the San Diego Naval Station where he completed electronics school. He then boarded the USS Shasta, which moved to Newport News, VA, to be completely rebuilt at a civilian shipyard, Horn Brothers. Gary's talent stood out and he was selected to join a skeleton crew to work with the civilians and rebuild the ship. Once rebuilt, the USS Shasta was set as an ammunition ship serving the Mediterranean during the Vietnam War. On the USS Shasta, Gary was in charge of the electrical switchboard for the ship, the Giro Compass, the interior communications and all telephones, electronic charts and plotters.

After his service to his country, Gary returned to his hometown of San Antonio where he made his career as a construction superintendent and designer. He worked for The Hasslocher Family for many years, supervising the build of many of the Jim's restaurants, the restaurant at the Tower of Americas and building the Magic Time Machine in San Antonio, supervising the one in Austin and designing and supervising the one in Dallas. In his 20s, he was one of the youngest superintendents for the size of these jobs. He then went into business for himself, founding Palmieri Construction.

In the summer of 1974, Gary met the love of his life, Cherry Bott. They were introduced by friends at a water volleyball game. Gary played on a local team and Cherry and her friends had come to watch and cheer the team on. Once they met, they were inseparable. In early 1975, they pledged their commitment to each other and married among friends in family in Tyler, Texas, Cherry's hometown. They resided in Hollywood Park, Texas, and raised two children.

Over a forty-year career, Gary was renowned for his craftsmanship, artistry and attention to detail. He leaves a large footprint all over San Antonio and surrounding areas. His designs and buildings include Two Step Restaurant & Cantina, Tui Stepi's Osteria and Margaritaville restaurants. His specialty was taking structures and remodeling them to bring their original craftsmanship to life in a modern building. Two Step Restaurant & Cantina, built in a 100-year old barn, showcases Gary's design talents. All of these preserve his personal artistry and designs.

Gary's children and grandchildren were his life. Known as Big Daddy to his daughter and PawPaw to his grandbabies, Gary was not willing to let anything take his will to live. Gary conquered Melanoma Cancer three times, enduring multiple surgeries and two rounds of year-long chemo. He courageously fought Pulmonary Fibrosis, a disease he suffered from after his service to his country exposed him to asbestos and other substances. Gary never let the disease slow him down or prevent him from doing the things he loved, and he never complained of pain.

Gary loved to live life. He was constantly entertaining and hosting family and friends with his home cooking. He loved to sit on the beach with his family or fish at his floating cabin. His home was his oasis. His handiwork and talents remodeled the original home and expanded it over the forty years he lived there to include two workshops and a pool. He constantly had a project or two going on the house and a boat in the workshop that he was refurbishing. When not at home, he could be found cruising in his hot rod—a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro—or hitting the blackjack tables in Las Vegas.

Many loved ones cleared the path for Gary, including his beautiful mother, Lorraine, and his heroes—his daddy, Tony, and grandfather, Arvel Cornelius Lacey. Gary leaves behind many loved ones that will miss him until they meet again, including his loving wife, Cherry Palmieri, daughter Lacey Deady and her husband Chris, son Anthony "Tony" Palmieri. Grandchildren: Schelby, Mecayla, Christopher, Jett and Kash James. Brother Ronnie Palmieri and his wife Nancy, niece Leah Fasone and her husband Jason, niece Cara Palmieri Callahan. Great-niece Cailin Fasone and great-nephew Carson Fasone.

Celebration of Life, followed by visitation with family and an invitation to share stories/memories of Gary
Monday, June 24, 2019
5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Visitation with Family
6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Celebration of Life
Porter Loring Mortuary North
2102 N Loop 1604, E
San Antonio, Texas 78232

Memorial Service
Tuesday, June 25, 2019
10 a.m.
Concordia Lutheran Church
16801 Huebner Road
San Antonio, Texas 78258

In a private ceremony, Gary will receive military honors during his inurnment at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, Gary would like you to donate to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation ( and support others who suffer from the same disease that cut his life short

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Porter Loring Mortuary North

2102 North Loop 1604 East
San Antonio, TX 78232
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