Taras Thomas “Terry” Gach

Taras Thomas “Terry” Gach, 64, of Saranac Lake, passed away on Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017, following a heart attack. Terry was grieving the loss of his wife, Mary, who died from a brain tumor in February.

They leave behind three sons: Chandler, 21, Connor, 25, and Taras R., 27.

Terry was born March 4, 1953 in Royal Oak, Michigan. He grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he graduated from R. Nelson Snider High School in 1971. Terry and Mary were married in 1988 and lived in Encinitas, California for nearly 20 years before moving to Saranac Lake in 2006. They were committed parents that were involved in the lives of their sons.

Terry enjoyed coaching the boys in sports and in life. As a youth basketball coach, Terry would reward selflessness on the court with post-game Tootsie Pops. In baseball, Terry was known for taking the blame with the crowd if, as a third-base coach, he waved a runner home who was subsequently thrown out. In Saranac Lake, Terry enjoyed going for drives in his Jeep and taking the family’s dogs, Willy and Koda, for long walks in the woods. He liked to cook and was known among family and friends for his unique twists on the dishes he prepared. Among the many things that could make Terry laugh and smile was his favorite TV series: “Two and a Half Men.”

Professionally, Terry’s welcoming demeanor allowed him to excel in working with people and managing institutional relationships. After graduating from Purdue University in 1978, Terry held a variety of sales and marketing positions in Indiana and Wisconsin. He later spent over two decades at non-for-profit medical research foundations, including 17 years at the Burnham Institute in La Jolla, California and six years at the Trudeau Institute in Saranac Lake. Terry’s focus in this industry was on fundraising and enhancing relationships between the organizations and board members, donors, governments and the local community to support research to find life-saving treatments.

He is survived by sons Taras R. of Washington, D.C., Connor of Manhattan, New York, and Chandler, at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point; and his siblings Diane Horning (Greg) of Chesapeake, Virginia, Kimberly Sneden (Marc) of Marshall, Michigan, and Chris Gach (Nancy) of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Terry was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Mary Ann Herber Gach, and by his parents Taras B. and Jacquelyn Gach.

Arrangements are in the care of Fortune-Keough Funeral Home in Saranac Lake. A private memorial service will be held at a later date.

Friends are invited to share memories of Terry on the funeral home website or by mail to P.O. Box 1331, Saranac Lake, NY 12983.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Tri-Lakes Humane Society in the care of the funeral home.