Gary Lane Delp, 73, of Valdese, passed away in his home on April 13th, 2023 after a valiant battle with cancer. He was born on June 1st, 1949 in Saltville, VA to Carl (Foot) and Hattie Delp.

He is survived by his wife, Phyllis, son Chad (wife, Tennile), and daughter Leigh Ann Delp. He is preceded in death by his parents, his brother Bill Delp, sisters Doris Doyle & Donna Barr. In addition, he is survived by brothers Charlie, Johnny and Tony Delp, sisters Janie Sword and Kay Anderson. Also surviving are numerous in-laws, nieces & nephews.

Gary graduated from Saltville RB Worthy High School in 1967. He then earned a Fine Arts Degree at East Tennessee State University. While in college, he met and married his wife, Phyllis.

After graduation, Gary, and Phyllis moved to Valdese NC to pursue teaching careers. Gary taught Pottery and Art for 30 years at Freedom High School. He also served as Head Soccer Coach throughout much of his teaching career. He was well known for his pottery, particularly his face jugs.

In his two decades of retirement, Gary loved gardening in his yard with Phyllis, and visiting his children in Paris and Honolulu. He was an avid golfer and soccer fan, attending numerous soccer matches around the world. In addition, he served as a Councilman for the Valdese Town Council for 10 years.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Burke County Friends for Animals, as he was also a loving father to many pets over the years.

Gary was a cherished husband, father, brother, teacher and friend, having a positive and meaningful impact on the lives of all who knew him.  He had an unmatched sense of humor and a true zest for life. A celebration of his life will be held in June. He will be forever loved and remembered.

An online guestbook and obituary are available at

Heritage Funeral Service and Crematory is assisting the family.