It is with great sadness that the family of Gary Edward Bachers, 74, announces his passing on August 15 at his home in New Boston, Texas. He shared fifty years of marriage with his wife Gabrielle and defied all odds to create a new path for himself as an artist after a catastrophic stroke left him disabled at age 38.
Born in Winnipeg, Canada, he was the son of John and Marguerite. He graduated from the University of Manitoba, winning the prestigious gold medal for science as an undergraduate, and going on to earn a master’s degree in organic chemistry, and a medical degree. Following graduation, he was recruited by New Boston General Hospital as a family practice physician in 1977 and moved to New Boston with his wife and their first two children.
After only ten years as a popular doctor in New Boston, he suffered a massive stroke at age 38. Left with expressive aphasia and paralysis on the right side of his body, he was forced to retire from medicine.
In the final three decades of his life, he transcended his disability and created a new career for himself as an independent professional artist, a skill he discovered during stroke rehabilitation and mastered over several years. After winning multiple best-of-show awards at the Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council juried art exhibition in the 1990s, he began traveling with his wife around the country to art shows and festivals, where he won top awards for his intricate wax-pencil drawings which usually feature the motif of a full moon. His exhibitions were called “Silent Conversations,” referring in part to his aphasia following the stroke, and to his discovery of a new visual language of art.
Family and friends will fondly remember him for his love of the piano, which he played daily since childhood, almost choosing the path of concert pianist while in college. Among his passions were his koi pond filled with tropical water lilies, the novels of Iris Murdoch, Gary Larson cartoons, and Converse All-Stars.
Gary is survived by loved ones who will miss him dearly–his wife Gabrielle of New Boston, son Christopher of Texarkana, son Michael and daughter-in-law Allison, of Santa Fe, NM, and daughter Andrea and son-in-law Patton, of Amelia, Virginia, along with six beloved grandchildren, and cousins in Canada. He was predeceased by his father John, and mother Marguerite.
The funeral service will be held on Saturday, August 19 at 11 am at St. Mary’s of the Cenacle Church in New Boston. Family visitation will be at Bates Rolf Funeral Home in New Boston on Friday, August 18, 5 to 7 pm.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the National Aphasia Association or to a charity of your choice.