Obituary: Gary Mace, 1949-2023 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Gary Mace, 1949-2023 

Engraver's work can be found on the Vince Lombardi Super Bowl trophy

Published March 22, 2023 at 6:00 a.m. | Updated March 22, 2023 at 11:49 a.m.

click to enlarge Gary Mace - COURTESY
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  • Gary Mace

Gary Mace, 73, of Shelburne, Vt., left those he loved on Saturday, March 18, 2023. In his quiet, self-effacing way, Gary touched many people, more than he will likely ever know. As a devoted husband, father, brother, grandfather, uncle, brother-in-law, and friend, if you asked, he showed up in so many ways for the people around him. He will be deeply missed.

Gary was born on November 26, 1949, in Colchester, Vt., to David and Elizabeth (Goodrich) Mace. He grew up as the youngest of three. As a military family, they lived all over the world, in Guam, Scotland and France. However, Gary was always a Vermont boy. He spent many summers at his grandparents' farm in Williston, Vt., and attended Lyndon Institute in the Northeast Kingdom for high school. He graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in art in 1972 and was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.

Shortly after graduating, he met his best friend and the love of his life, Harriet (Gluck) Mace. Together, Gary and Harriet would go on to start a hand-engraving business, Mace Engravers, which they ran together for 47 years in Burlington, Vt.; grow a beautiful family with their boys, Justin and Adam; and over the years, build a huge network of personal and professional friends, who have been forever touched by their endless generosity and kindness. If you ever met Gary and Harriet, you’d understand. You would likely find them together — walking at Shelburne Farms, working at the engraving shop, visiting their boys and beloved grandchildren, or simply being in their garden picking fresh vegetables for their daily salad. Happiness was simple — be with the ones you love, help where you can, and keep showing up and doing the right thing.

While humble, Gary was a true jack-of-all-trades. At Lyndon Institute, he was president of his class and cocaptain of his high school’s football, basketball and track teams, and he received a scholarship to Maryville College in Tennessee to be a quarterback on the football team. After one year, he returned to Vermont and transferred to UVM. He was an avid gardener and would produce incredible meals every summer from his vegetable garden. If something was broken, he could likely fix it. He built and remodeled his home and camp on Lake Iroquois and restored a 1971 Land Rover. Gary was a master hand-engraver who did inscriptions and artful designs for jewelers all over the country. In addition to the countless pieces of jewelry which passed through his hands, his work can be found on the Vince Lombardi Super Bowl trophy, clock dials and gunstocks. Perhaps most noteworthy was the humility with which he so expertly practiced his craft.

Gary was a great bow hunter and looked forward to hunting season each year, as he got to spend several days with his closest friends at their “deer camp” in Pawlet, Vt. Other than being with his wife, children and grandchildren, Gary was truly his happiest on his long weekends in Pawlet. More than anything, Gary loved his family and friends.

He is survived by his wife, Harriet; their sons Justin and his wife, Robin, and grandsons, Brody and Ryder, and Adam Mace and his wife, Shauna, and their two daughters, McKenna, and Riley; his forever-loving sisters, whom he adored, Norma Dion, and her husband, Bob, and Davey DeGraff. He is predeceased by his brother-in-law Jerry DeGraff and nephew Matt Hauke. He is also survived by his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Lenny and Brenda Gluck, and several nieces and nephews.

We all have fond memories of him at their house and camp and on visits to Jacksonville, Fla., and Philadelphia. If you ask his grandchildren, they will tell you tales of driving the boat on Lake Iroquois, tubing, fishing and drawing with “Papa Gary” or “Papa.” Every chance he had to see his grandchildren and their many activities, he was there with a proud smile on his face. He always made time for those he loved and gave us so much. To have known Gary was a gift, and we are forever grateful.

A celebration of Gary’s life will be held on Tuesday, March 28, from noon-3 p.m. at All Souls in Shelburne, Vt.

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