Gary Faull, co-host of charitable car shows, dies at 75

Gary Faull was a go-to guy.

If anyone who’d attended Montgomery or Santa Rosa High in or about 1960 had a question about a fellow alum, Faull was the person to ask.

His wife of 55 years, Carol, said that to their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, “he was who they called when they had a problem.”

Gary Faull was generous with his time, too, if anyone wished to tap his experience with fighting cancer, trap-shooting or restoring classic cars.

“My husband really didn’t know a stranger,” said his wife.

Her husband, the Marine Corps Reserve veteran, teenage shooting champion and co-host of annual charitable car shows died May 20 at the age of 75.

A Santa Rosan nearly all his life, Gary Faull retired more than a decade ago as a heavy equipment operator and truck driver.

He was a preschooler when his parents, the late Donald and Rosemary Faull, moved from Illinois to Sonoma County shortly after World War II. One activity the entire family enjoyed was trap shooting.

“They were very good at it,” Carol Faull said. As teens, Gary Faull and his brother, Danny, traveled far and wide for shooting competitions. Gary Faull emerged from a 1957 competition as the Grand Pacific Junior Champion.

He attended Santa Rosa High and was among the students who moved to Montgomery when it opened in 1958. He graduated from the new school in 1961.

While serving in the Marine Corps Reserve he became a teamster. Through the course of his career he operated heavy equipment for CalTrans and drove trucks for Ghilotti Construction Co.

Highly sociable and eager to be of help to others, Faull kept track of fellow graduates of Montgomery and Santa Rosa High from the late 1950s and early ’60s. “He was kind of the glue that held them together,” his wife said.

Carol Faull said her husband also was instrumental in the lives of all six of their children. “He called them every day, every one of them,” she said.

In recent years, Gary Faull was moved by having lost loved ones to cancer, and by fighting the disease himself, to co-sponsor a benefit car show at one of Santa Rosa’s Sam’s For Play Cafes. He and the cafe’s founder, Sam Anker, donated proceeds from the event to Memorial Hospital or to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“He was planning one (of the fundraising car shows) in March,” his wife said. “He just wasn’t able to do it.”

Weakened by his long struggle against cancer, Faull seemed to will himself to stay alive to meet two new great-grandchildren, twins. They were born May 13 at the Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical Center.

He died at home in Santa Rosa one week later.

“The doctors were really amazed that he fought it as long as he did,” his wife said. “He’d tried everything. He fought it to the bitter end, I have to say that.”

Beyond the many people in his life, Faull looked forward to arising each day to spend time with his Labrador retrievers and his 1947 Chevy.

Predeceased by one son, Jason, he is survived by his wife and daughter, Monet McElderry, of Santa Rosa; four sons, Dereck, Shawn and Traves Faull, all of Santa Rosa, and Scott Faull of Klamath Falls, Oregon; eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.