Cover photo for Gary Paul Sholders's Obituary
Gary Paul Sholders Profile Photo
1966 Gary 2023

Gary Paul Sholders

May 10, 1966 — February 22, 2023

Gary Paul Sholders, 56, stepped into heaven unexpectedly on February 22, 2023. Gary was born on May 10, 1966, to Gerald (Bud) and Kay Sholders in El Dorado, Kansas. He grew up in Newton alongside his sisters, Marcia (Whiting) and Patricia (Deutschendorf) and graduated from Newton High School in 1984.

Gary enlisted in the United States Navy in August of 1986. He was a Petty Officer Third Class, and worked as a Radioman. He served aboard the USS John A. Moore, FFG-19, and served two tours in the Persian Gulf. He served in the Navy from 1986 to 1993 and maintained his reserve status until 1996. While in the Navy, he earned the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Letter of Commendation, the Naval Reserve Sea Service Ribbon, and the First Good Conduct Medal. 

After being honorably discharged from the Navy, he turned to civil service, working as a 911 Dispatcher for Harvey County. He later became a Sheriff’s Deputy at the Harvey County Detention Center, where he served as a third-shift supervisor. Following his career in law enforcement, he then worked at the House of Glass for 18 years before returning to law enforcement at Hutchinson Correctional Facility as a Facility Maintenance Supervisor. 

Due to declining health, he went into early retirement. It was at this time that he rekindled his passions of woodworking, cars, attending sporting events, and spending time with his family. If you were to spend five minutes with Gary, you would hear all about the Chiefs and his unwavering love for his grandkids and how he was so proud to be their "Pa". Those were both a big deal to him, but his absolute faith and trust in Christ were at the center of every decision he made in the past 16 months. God was the driving force behind Gary’s service to the community and his family. He also cared for his parents in their home, making sure they were well taken care of. Whether that was through preparing meals, cleaning, grocery shopping or just being a faithful presence, he was always willing to serve.

Through personal trials, he became a Certified Peer Mentor at Mirror Incorporated and then joined the Community Chaplain Response Team, acting as the Supervisor of Ministry Operations. His work at Mirror and CCRT, impacted many lives through his counseling, listening, coordinating, serving, and helping people face their battles. 

Gary started his own family when he married Julie Blevins in Long Beach, California in August 1988. They moved to Kansas in late 1989 along with four-month-old Christopher Adam. Lynsey Marie was born October 1992 and they divorced in 1994. He then met Lori Schroeder and married her in October 1996, gaining a son, Austin Luke. From this union, Kirsten Kay was born in November 1996. They divorced in February 2022. 

Gary is survived by his parents, Gerald (Bud) and Kay Sholders of Newton, Kansas; his two sisters, Marcia (David) Whiting of Fort Worth, Texas, and Patricia (Troy) Deutschendorf of Newton, Kansas; his four children, Christopher (Elizabeth) Sholders, Lynsey (Wesley) Oldenettel, Austin Schroeder, and Kirsten Sholders, all of Newton, Kansas; his seven grandchildren, Gavin Sholders, Rowan Oldenettel, Karsyn, Paetyn, and Taelyn Schroeder, and Oliver and Kinsley Sholders, all of Newton, Kansas. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and nephews, who adored him very much. 

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Jack and Doris Sholders, and Isaac (Bill) and Ruth Sexton, and his great Aunt Betty Farrow, who had a very special place in his heart. 

By Gary’s request, he was cremated and will have his ashes spread in the Pacific Ocean in honor of his Naval service sometime in the summer of 2023. There will be a memorial service at Newton Bible Church, 900 Old Main, Newton, Kansas, Saturday, March 4, 2023 at 10 a.m. with a lunch to follow. In honor of his dedication to the Chiefs, please wear Chiefs gear or Chiefs colors for his memorial service. 

In lieu of flowers, a GoFundMe account has been set up to help offset funeral expenses and travel arrangements for his burial at sea.

One of his last texts speaks loudly in his absence: "Trust in the Lord, He knows the outcome. God will lead and I will simply follow." 


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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

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