A professional photographer for his whole life, Gary was first and foremost a photojournalist who captured life as reflected through the incredible lens of his eye. His work was to document joy, sadness, empathy, the state of the union, beauty, animals, nature, and family. Gary shot for the Rocky Mountain News, Associated Press, New York Times, the LA Times, and others. His work took him to the Arctic, the Fiji Islands, Africa, Spain, and across the United States. As a freelancer in Denver, New York, and Maine for more than forty years, he built treasured friendships with other journalists with whom he honed his talking skills as many can attest. He was a right-handed, left-eyed shooter, which is the best kind of photographer.
Both raised in Colorado, Gary and Jeanne married in 1963. Together, they read a lot of Mother Earth News and the writings of the Nearings and became enamored of the homesteading life. Attracted initially by the boat school in Lubec, they moved to Maine in 1976. The Guisingers built a house in the woods, heated and cooked solely with wood, planted a vegetable garden, erected a pole barn and put two horses in it, and worked and played outside. Like many in Washington County, Gary applied himself to the task of earning a living in many different ways, including cutting wood, shooting photos for The Quoddy Tides, and opening the PB&J General Store in Eastport. Ultimately, Gary and Jeanne opened Guisinger Photography in Perry where Gary brought his artistic approach to capturing people’s personalities on film. He had a gift of talking with people in ways that helped them give in and be themselves. He could talk to anyone about anything. He was dragged from film to digital photography kicking and screaming, but applied himself to learning this new set of tools and gradually (grudgingly) embraced it for the ease of finding new ways to express himself through photography.
Water and wilderness were some of Gary’s greatest loves, and he spent years tacking his Hunter 22’ Sally Rose up and down Passamaquoddy Bay and through Head Harbor Passage, camping with his family in the Rocky Mountains, kayaking the coast of Maine, canoeing rivers and lakes, and cross country skiing whenever and wherever he had the opportunity. Animals were another of his great loves, and his most faithful dog, Jackson, followed Gary across the rainbow bridge just two days after we lost Gary.
Gary had a razor sharp wit, loved a good/bad pun, and could quote Seinfeld chapter and verse. Sometimes prickly on the outside, he was made of heart and generosity on the inside. He had deep empathy and compassion for animals of every species, but did not suffer human fools gladly. He had an opinion about everything and was right as often as not. He was goofy, caring, thoughtful, and generous. He was either fiercely independent or impossibly stubborn depending on who is telling the story. He was loath to end a conversation. He was a loyal friend, husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and son. He is deeply and profoundly missed.
Gary is survived by his wife of 59 years, Jeanne; son Brett and his wife Nancy of Beverly, MA; daughter Penny and wife Kara McCrimmon of Trescott, ME. He was Papa to Sammie, Drew, Abby, Owen, and Robin, and taught them that it’s okay to be ridiculous. Gary is also survived by his sister, Peggy and family of Castle Rock, CO, and his brother-in-law Ed and family of Spokane WA.