On October 13, Dr. Gary Annett, longtime administrator at Milford School District, passed away after a long illness in Memphis, TN. Dr. Annett was 72 years old, survived by his wife, Sue and his son, Luke.
Dr. Annett was born in Rayland, Ohio, the son of Emma and George Annett, on December 9, 1944. He graduated from St. John’s High School and Bowling Green University. He earned his Master’s degree from West Virginia University and his doctorate from Nova University. Dr. Annett spent his entire career in education, starting as an athletic director in Ohio before moving to Delaware. He worked as vice-principal in Lake Forest and then at Milford Middle School, becoming principal of the school in 1975. He remained in that position for 25 years before becoming Director of Personnel. He retired from that position in 2009. He was also an adjunct professor for Wilmington University, also retiring from that position in 2009.
Over the years, Dr. Annett won many awards, including Burger King’s Principal of the Year, Governors’ Advisory Council for Chapter I, Superstars in Education Award and Delaware Principal of the Year for 1992. Dr. Annett believed deeply that all children should receive the best possible education and, for over 40 years, worked toward achieving that goal.
“While working for the district and even following his retirement, he always wanted our students to receive the best education possible and wholeheartedly supported our teachers, support staff, administrators, schools, district and community,” Dr. Kevin Dickerson, Superintendent of Milford School District said. “Dr. Annett served the Milford School District as well as anyone could ever serve a school district. We are fortunate to have had Dr. Annett as a vital part of our district and community, and furthermore, for the excellence and dedication he provided during his time in Milford.”
Dr. Annett was passionate about football and was “truly an armchair referee.” His family states that he was able to call plays before the referee and was never wrong. He also had an uncanny ability to predict the weather regardless of the forecast.
“Even when there was a solid prediction of rain or snow, Gary would say ‘Nope, they’re wrong. It’s not going to rain today,’” his obituary read. “Then, he would explain why and he was right. He could call a fog delay before the fog ever settled in.”
When he was younger, Dr. Annett loved to fish, but when he caught a fish so large he felt he could never catch one larger, he stopped fishing. He also enjoyed golfing and could often be found on the course with his son, Luke, teaching him the nuances and fundamentals. Other pastimes included walking on the boardwalk, going out to dinner with his wife, reading historical novels or visiting local casinos.
Dr. Annett was a longtime member of the Rotary Club and, through that organization received many meritorious service awards, including the prestigious Paul Harris Award. He was dedicated to the mission and vision of the Rotary Club, serving as president as well as a member.
“We are saddened by the loss of Dr. Annett and our thoughts go out to the family in their loss of a wonderful man who contributed so much to the Milford School District and Milford community,” Dr. Dickerson said. “Dr. Annett was an outstanding professional, person, educator, mentor and community member who represented Milford School District in a distinguished manner for 36 years. His legacy will transcend through what we collectively accomplish throughout or district for years ahead.”
A celebration of Dr. Annett’s life was held on Friday, October 20 at Rogers Funeral Home. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Dr. Annett’s name to Just Us, c/o Cathy Askew, 7 Croydon Road, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971 or to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital for Children, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
Sign up for you free digital subscription of The Weekly Review, delivered directly to your email every Tuesday morning. A quick cover-to-cover read to catch up on the news of the week and experience great stories about our local communities. Sign up for your free email subscription below.