QU Cafe copes with loss of beloved coworker

On January 22, Quincy University’s cafeteria lost one of its beloved workers, Gary Salisbury. This was a tragic death that not only took the workers in the cafe by surprise but some of the students as well. 

Gary was a man who loved to be around people. No matter what the day was like or how busy the cafeteria was, he always came in with a smile and greeted everyone with love and happiness. He has been a member of the Chartwells staff since 2016 and planned on retiring from there when his time came, unfortunately, it came too soon. 

Gary was 66 years old and celebrated five of his birthdays with his family in the cafeteria. Many members of the Chartwells staff say that Gary was a fun and loving person whose personality could brighten anyone’s day. He mainly worked in the dish room which, speaking from experience, is very rigorous. 

However, that was no issue for Gary. Often working by himself, he never complained about not having enough help and attacked each and every shift with the same attitude. The members who work for the cafeteria say that Gary was one of the good guys.

“I was just working with him the day before and as soon as I clocked back in they said he was gone,” Chase Mangan, the head chef for Chartwells Dining, said. “It’s just crazy how one day someone can be here with you and the next day they’re not.”

“Gary had such a genuine heart for his job and that was transparent through his actions,” Corrie Wingerter, senior, said. “My first year at QU I remember me and my friends had a lot of plates and Gary was walking by and offered to take some of the plates to the dish room…It’s the small gestures that matter because it shows that he cared about us more than his job.”

Gary was a family member to other workers in the cafe as well. His sister Barbara Blake and his cousin Peggy Neff were also members of Chartwells Dining. They would often arrive and leave work together.

“That was my cousin and I’m going to miss him dearly,” Neff said. “You never know when the last bit of time you have with someone you love will be so it’s important cherish every moment that you have with the ones you love because you just never know.” 

When the dish room was busy and Gary would have to work by himself, his sister Barbara would drop what she was doing and come to her big brothers aid. 

“I didn’t want him back there working by himself because he has heart problems you know,” Blake said. “In our family we don’t leave anyone behind if there is help needed.”

It is a tragedy to lose someone that was so loved on the campus. Let us all strive to continue to hold the ones that we love close and remember that tomorrow is never promised to us. May God bless Gary’s family and friends as they cope with the loss of their loved one.

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