Gary “Gus” Johnivan

Resided in Escanaba, MI
Died January 10, 2024

Gary “Gus” L. Johnivan, age 72, of Escanaba, passed away on Wednesday, January 10, 2024 at his home after a courageous fight against cancer.


Gary was born on May 7, 1951, in Escanaba, the son of Arnold and Lucille (Vasser) Johnivan. On June 3, 1972, Gary was united in marriage to the former Linda Dillabough. Together they shared 51 wonderful years.


Gary worked for most of his life for New Page, retiring after 28 years. He also served 20 years in the U.S. Army National Guard before his honorable discharge. Gary had a passion for singing. He sang with various bands and also at the local nursing homes. He had a great voice that will be missed by so many. But most of all, Gary cherished the time spent with his family and especially his grandchildren.


Gary is survived by his loving wife Linda; daughter Mischelle (Josh) Swanson; brother Dennis (Gail) Johnivan; sisters Shirley Pardee, Bonnie Cartwright, Gladys Johnivan, and Betty (Louis) Stamp; grandchildren Audrey and Aaron Swanson; as well as several nieces, nephews, and cousins.


Gary was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Bernard Johnivan, William Johnivan, Robert Johnivan, Ronald Johnivan; sisters Barbara Couillard and Mary Gorzinski; and daughter Cheryl Lynn Johnivan.


In accordance with Gary’s wishes, no services will be held.

15 Tributes for “Gary “Gus” Johnivan

    Gary has been a part of my life for 51 years,He was an example of Christ in all he did. He was a kind, gentle, loving man. He married my aunt when I was 9. I remember how he helped with homework and when I was learning multiplication he showed me a trick with 9’s I’ve never forgotten. He was a wonderful family man. I adored how he loved my aunt Linda and my cousin Mikki. He was that show up in the moment grandpa to Audrey and Aaron. He was never a public show of affection kind of guy, but you knew you were loved. He went above and beyond to help his friends and family even people he didn’t know. He made them feel loved and appreciated. He would go to nursing homes and sing for the residents just to let them know they were special. My uncle will be so missed by everyone here, I love you Uncle Gary. Thank you for being such a positive male role model in my life.

    Gus! I will so miss your beautiful voice. Steve and I loved to dance to your slow songs! A karaoke night at Amvets will never be the same! Linda and family, much love to you! Steve and Kay Johnson.

    Gus, such a pleasure singing with you at the Amvets. You will be missed! Thoughts, prayers and hugs to you Linda and your family.
    Such a beautiful couple you two!!
    Love, Sheree & Bob Smith

    Linda and family , so sorry to read about Gary in the paper . Have been wondering how he was doing and since I hadn’t heard from you I thought ok . My heart hurts for all of you and for us as friends . Way too early!! Please keep in contact and let me know how you are. I have lost contact with so many since retiring in june . Was so easy to keep up with everyone as you came to the office. Prayers and peace . Love kaylan

    So very sorry to hear of Gary’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you Linda and family. I got know Gus while working at the mill. What a great guy. I’ll always remember him eating Hershey candy bars every day and not gaining a pound. He will be greatly missed.

    Linda and Mikki-
    I am so sorry and sad to hear of Gary’s passing. He was such a wonderful person. Praying for peace and healing for you all. Rest in peace Gary.

    Linda. I an so sorry to hear of Gary’s passing away. He was such a nice man. Sending prayers and hugs for you and your family!

    Linda, so very sorry for the passing of Gary. We sure enjoyed seeing you when he played at Bishop Noa, I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
    Take care
    Bonnie DeMay

    Heart felt condolences to Linda and family in Gary’s passing, I enjoyed working with Gary at the mill and especially enjoyed singing with him, he is deeply missed by anyone who knew him, Rest In Peace my friend, A Good Ole Boy you’ll always be!

    Linda, this is a voice from the past when we both worked at Elmer’s and actually when you first met Gary. The last time I ran into you two was at the Family Inn a few years ago.
    Such a nice man, with that shy smile and quiet way about him. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.
    Hugs to you and yours!
    Bonnie Sheffer Cowell

    Linda and family so sorry for your loss of Gary I also enjoyed working with him and he always had time to stop and talk when we ran into each other.Loved listening to his music I know he loved it Prayers go out to you and family.

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