AUBURN — Francis G. “Gary” Fedigan, 78, of Genesee Garden Apartments, Auburn, passed away peacefully Sunday evening, Nov. 5, 2017 at Auburn Community Hospital with his loving family at his side.

He was a life resident of Auburn, the son of the late Theodore and Mary Ryan Fedigan. Gary or “Papa Bear,” as he was affectionately known by his family and friends was a West High School graduate, class of 1957. Gary was a U.S. Army veteran during the Vietnam era, where he was part of the Big Red One Infantry, while stationed mostly in Germany.

He was a very devout Catholic and communicant of St. Mary’s Church. Gary was employed for more than 15 years as a corrections officer at Auburn Correctional Facility and more recently had worked security at Auburn Community Hospital for more than 12 years. Some of Gary’s passions included dancing, walking just about anywhere, watching sporting events and an occasional trip to OTB to see his equestrian friends.

This all paled in comparison to the love he had for people, especially his family. Papa Bear’s sense of humor, charismatic smile, loving nature, and lengthy storytelling will forever be remembered and truly never duplicated — a true “legend” in his own mind.

He is survived by his loving companion of several years, Pat Strecker; two daughters, Michele (Kevin) Jones, and Suzanne (Chas) Corey-Allen; a son, Gary (Regina) Fedigan, all of Auburn; nine grandchildren, Stefanie (Mike) Corey, Sarah (Damian) Whitaker, Melissa (Eli) Corey, Danielle Fedigan, Erica Fedigan, Jack Corey, Ryan Fedigan, Mimi Allen and Rory Allen; four great-grandchildren, Ava, Griffin, Liam, and Stella; six sisters, Marlene (Wilson) Long, Donna Major, Carol (Tom) Galbally, Mary Catherine (Ron) Shortsleeve, Cindy Fogg and Linda (Phil) Hale; four brothers, Jack (Kathy) Fedigan, David (Carol) Fedigan, Bobby (Dawn) Fedigan and Jimmy Fedigan; sister-in-law, Sandy Fedigan; brother-in-law, Tom (Debbie) Conner; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

In addition to his parents, Gary was predeceased by his wife, Ann Conner Fedigan; granddaughter, Jessica Gentile, and brother, Billy Fedigan.

Friends and relatives are invited to join the family at 11 a.m. Thursday in St. Mary’s Church for Gary’s Mass of Christian burial. Calling hours are from 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Pettigrass Funeral Home, 196 Genesee St., Auburn. Any co-workers are welcome to come early before their shift at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the funeral home. Burial with military honors will be in St. Joseph’s Cemetery.

The family would like to thank the staff on the second floor at The Commons for their loving and compassionate care that was shown to Gary during his stay.

In honor of his late granddaughter, Jessica Gentile, the family requests any contributions to be made in his honor to H.E.A.L., P.O. Box 458, Auburn, NY 13021.