Death of Gary Simard: A Heroic Father Who Saved His Son from Drowning

Gary Simard was a 44-year-old father of four from Methuen, Massachusetts, who died tragically while trying to save his son from a rip current at Salisbury Beach on September 20, 2023. He was hailed as a hero by his family and friends for his selfless act of courage. This article will explore his life, career, family, and death in detail.

From Haverhill to Methuen: Gary Simard’s Childhood and Schooling

Gary Matthew Simard was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, to Linda Simard and the late Gary Simard Sr. He grew up in Haverhill and attended Haverhill High School, where he graduated in 1997. He was an avid sports fan and played baseball and basketball in his youth. He also enjoyed fishing, camping, and spending time with his family.

gary simard and his children

Building a Legacy: Simard’s Work as a Carpenter

After high school, Gary Simard pursued a career in construction and worked as a carpenter for various companies. He was skilled at his craft and took pride in his work. He was also a member of the Carpenters Union Local 111. He worked on many projects throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire, including schools, hospitals, and residential buildings.

A Loving Husband and Father

Gary Simard married Alexis Tia Wronski in 2004 and they settled in Methuen. They had four children: Gary Jr., Matthew, A.J., and Olivia. Gary was a devoted husband and father who loved his family more than anything. He was always there for them and supported them in their endeavors. He coached his sons’ baseball teams and attended his daughter’s dance recitals. He also enjoyed taking his family on vacations to Disney World, Cape Cod, and Maine.

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gary simard with his wife and kids
Gary Simard with his wife and kids

Gary Simard had a large extended family that included his mother Linda, his sister Kelly, his brother-in-law John, his nieces Kayla and Kelsey, his nephew Johnny, and many aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. He was close to all of them and shared many happy memories with them.

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A Hero’s Sacrifice: Gary Simard’s Tragic Death and Lasting Impact

On September 20, 2023, Gary Simard and his family went to Salisbury Beach for a day of fun and relaxation. However, the weather turned stormy and the surf became rough due to the aftermath of Hurricane Lee. One of Gary’s sons got caught in a rip current and was pulled away from the shore. Gary immediately jumped into the water to rescue him, along with two bystanders who also saw the situation.

gary simard and his wife

The two bystanders managed to bring the son back to safety, but they lost sight of Gary in the waves. The first responders arrived shortly after and located Gary about 50 to 75 yards from the shore. He was unresponsive when they pulled him out of the water. They performed CPR on him and rushed him to Seabrook Emergency Room, where he was pronounced dead.

gary simard death cause

Gary Simard’s death was a shock and a tragedy for his family and community. He died as a hero who sacrificed his life for his son. His family remembered him as a loving, caring, generous, funny, and brave man who always put others before himself. His friends described him as a loyal, honest, hardworking, and fun-loving person who always had a smile on his face.

Simard’s funeral service was held on September 25 at Comeau Funeral Home in Haverhill. Hundreds of people attended to pay their respects and honor his memory. He was laid to rest at Linwood Cemetery in Haverhill.


NameGary Matthew Simard
Date of Birth1979
Place of BirthHaverhill, Massachusetts
Date of DeathSeptember 20, 2023
Place of DeathSalisbury Beach
Cause of DeathDrowning
Age44 years old
Spouse/WifeAlexis Tia Wronski
ChildrenGary Jr., Matthew, A.J., Olivia
ParentsLinda Simard (mother), Gary Simard Sr. (father; deceased)
SiblingsKelly Simard (sister)

More Than Meets the Eye: Some Fun and Surprising Facts About Gary

  • Simard was a fan of the Boston Red Sox, the New England Patriots, the Boston Celtics, and the Boston Bruins.
  • Simard loved music and played guitar. His favorite bands were Metallica, AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, Aerosmith, and Bon Jovi.
  • Gary had several tattoos on his arms that represented his family and interests.
  • Gary Simard liked to watch movies and TV shows with his family. His favorite genres were comedy, action, horror, and sci-fi.
  • Simard had a pet dog named Rocky, who was his loyal companion and best friend.
  • Gary was a generous and charitable person who donated to various causes and organizations, such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Wounded Warrior Project, and Make-A-Wish Foundation.
  • He was a handyman who could fix anything around the house. He also liked to build things for his family, such as a treehouse, a swing set, and a fire pit.
gary simard wikipedia
  • Gary Simard had a sense of humor and liked to make people laugh. He was known for his jokes, pranks, and impersonations.
  • Simard was adventurous and liked to try new things. He had gone skydiving, bungee jumping, zip-lining, and parasailing in his life.
  • Gary was a spiritual person who believed in God and prayed daily. He attended St. Monica’s Church in Methuen with his family.
  • He was a patriotic person who loved his country and respected the military. He had an American flag flying outside his house and wore a flag pin on his shirt.
  • Simard was an inspiration to many people who admired his courage, strength, and love. He left behind a legacy of heroism, kindness, and joy.


A self-motivated and hard-working individual, I am currently engaged in the field of digital marketing to pursue my passion of writing and strategising. I have been awarded an MSc in Marketing and Strategy with Distinction by the University of Warwick with a special focus in Mobile Marketing. On the other hand, I have earned my undergraduate degrees in Liberal Education and Business Administration from FLAME University with a specialisation in Marketing and Psychology.

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