Biography: Gary Saunders, affectionately known as “Bat”; a named gained as a child for the amount of the Bat candy he would consume, was born in Harlem Hospital on November 16th 1953. Not sure if Loretta was aware then, but she just gave birth to a man that would truly become the real-life definition of a legend.
Gary matriculated through New York City public education; playing High School basketball at Westinghouse and graduating with the honor of Salutatorian. He concluded his academic career after one year at City College on a basketball scholarship.
Gary engaged in various endeavors that eventually coined as one of the most influential men in Harlem, particularly during his golden era, the 70s and 80s … the “Good Gettin’ Money Days”.
Gary met Sharon and they fell in love; a love that seemingly exceeded time and existed within a world of adoration. Gary often referred to Sharon as his soul-mate and proved to preserve the relationship from which manifested. They were later married and from this union came one child; Nachez Yvette Saunders, his “Poop-Poops”.
Gary later became a Foreman for the Central Park Conservancy and was a functional asset to that institution for over 15-years. While employed by this organization, Gary obtained an Advanced Certificate in horticulture from the prestigious Columbia University – He was definitely a master of many trades.
Gary was not fully engaged with institutionalized religion but was a firm believer in God and knew that the blood of Jesus would protect him through this journey.
Everyday, after a hard days work, Gary looked forward to his wife’s cooking. He enjoyed listening to music, especially while riding in his car. He also enjoyed watching old black and white western movies; in fact he gave his grandson the nickname “Cass” after a cowboy in one of these classic films. Gary cherished family time and looked forward to our scheduled family cookouts in the park every year. He also required that his grandson Cass or “Pop-Pop Boy” spend, at the least, every other weekend at his house!
Gary touched so many lives. He was loved with reverence and will truly be missed. He leaves to mourn his passing; his devoted wife Sharon and adoring daughter Nachez - to whom he credits with his happiness; a loving mother and father; Loretta and Cortly Wilson, children from previous relationships; Shawnese, Gary, Guy and Whitney; and brothers, Reginald and Louis. Gary also leaves behind a host of other family relatives and friends.