Gary was born in Dubuque, IA to Ruby Kennedy Altman and Robert Altman, growing up with three loving sisters. After graduating from Dubuque Senior High School, he enlisted in the Coast Guard where he was awarded the Good Conduct Medal in 1964. His favorite assignment was being stationed in Alaska, forever in awe of the beauty of land and sea.
In 1975 Gary met and married Karen Tegeler Callahan of Albany, IL. They first met at Pearle Vision in Clinton IA, where Karen worked. You could say it was love at first sight. The blended family included sons Tom and Bill and daughter Stacy. They lived in Camanche, IA, for 15 years before moving to Bellevue, NE.
Gary worked as a purchasing agent at PCS Nitrogen/Arcadian in LaPlatte, NE, and Hawkeye Chemical in Clinton, IA. Previous jobs were at Williams White, Getty Oil, Sundstrand and Foster Grant. He was a member of the board of the Selective Service System for 20 years. He was a member of the American Legion Millard Post #374 and the Bellevue Lions Club.
Gary loved to cook AND he loved to eat. He had a great sense of humor, as his many dear friends confirm. He liked to tease and joke with everyone and tell dad jokes. He taught his children home and auto repair techniques, and taught all the grandchildren how to fish. He loved to drive and had many convertibles and motorcycles over the years. Gary had a great love for Western films and Native American culture.
Gary is survived by his wife of 47 years, Karen; stepsons Tomas (Sheryl) Callahan of Countryside, IL, and William Callahan of Naples, FL; his daughter Stacy Altman Bedford of West Des Moines, IA; grandchildren Patrick Callahan of Countryside, IL, Alyssa (Logan) Anderson of Windsor Heights, IA, Timothy Callahan of St. Louis, MO, Nicholas Bedford of West Des Moines, IA, and Cassandra Callahan of St. Louis, MO; sisters Susan (Gordon) Manning of Wilton, IA, Cindy (Donnie) Hammond of Jackson, GA; first wife and mother of Stacy, Diane Towne of Marseilles, IL; several cousins, nieces and nephews.
Also the little dogs Bodie, Potato, Bella, Tito and Charlie, and the little cats Felix, Livi and Maurice.
He was predeceased by his parents, Robert James Altman and Ruby Ruth Kennedy Altman, and his sister Virginia Altman Williams.
Services for Gary will be private. He will be interred at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery in July 2022.
The family thanks Omaha and Des Moines VA Medical Centers for the excellent care Gary received there for many years. Donations in his memory may be made to the Gary Sinise Foundation https://www.garysinisefoundation.org/give/ or American Legion Millard Post 374 http://post374.org/contact.shtml