Gary J. Redmond of 125 Cayuga Street Extension, Trumansburg, passed away unexpectedly at home on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 at the age of 63.

Born on August 10, 1947 in Oneonta, Gary was the son of the late Gerald and Doris (Lape) Redmond. He received his Bachelors Degree from Cornell University and moved out West. In 1988, he opened Regional Access out of his home in Ithaca.  

Long before locavore was a word and sustainability the guideline for responsible citizenry, Gary's commitment to supporting and connecting local farms with markets defied conventional wisdom.  He believed deeply that all participants in a food system should be treated fairly and equally, and that profits were secondary to good health and community. Over his 22 years of developing this concept, his work impacted countless people and small businesses throughout the country.  Gary's voice and insight have been in high demand in recent years as the momentum and message of his early work reached greater audiences.  

The growth of his company was boot strapped entirely with personal savings and through reinvestment of small profits year after year.  In 2007, after tremendous growth and outgrowing the initial warehouse space in Trumansburg, Gary was able to purchase a much larger and functional facility just outside of Ithaca.  He was excited to have reached a new level with the business and to be in a position to reach an even wider community.  Through multiple hardships, both personally and professionally, Gary rose each day to continue his mission, with a smile and enthusiasm that was contagious and evident in all that he did.  To work with Gary was to know the meaning of selfless commitment to a greater good--he approached nearly impossible challenges lightly and encouraged laughter, good will and a love for food in the workplace.  

A Sauna Before You Sauté.

Gary's interests were vast--yet nearly everything that peaked his interest was centered around his core principals of sustainability and good health.  From an interest and commitment to alternative fuel production, to his love of native plants (especially those high in Omega-3's) to his recent love of rowing, he loved life to it's fullest.

Gary's love for saunas and their healing effects was legendary, as were his culinary abilities.  He loved developing recipes to perfection and would openly share his ideas, insights and always, a sauna.  It's possible you haven't lived completely if you never tasted one of Gary's corn fritters. 

As a father and grandfather, Gary maintained the center - nurturing and supporting growth and change in his gentle way. He loved to gather the family together and to nourish them with his latest food finds and innovative recipes.  Gary was so proud of his children's achievements: from the success of the Sim Redmond Band, to having both daughter, Anna and oldest son, Asa join him at Regional Access. Gary counted so many in his sphere of influence as family - his wisdom and gentle way will reverberate as we continue to come together, grow and become the sustainable, vibrant community that he envisioned. As our gentle giant would say: Red Beans and Ricely Yours.

In addition to his parents, Gary was preceded in death by his wife, Daisy Redmond. He is survived by three children, Asa (Stephanie) Redmond of Ithaca, Simeon (Cheyenne Cardamone-Knewstub) Redmond of Danby, and Anna (Christopher) Lampman of Enfield; four grandchildren, Gavin, Jezebel, and Tristan Gary Redmond, and Zolton Lampman; two sisters, Joyce  Redmond Lowe of Dryden and Deborah Hamm of Burlington Flats; his long time partner, Peggy Aker, and her daughter, Devi Willett; and many nieces and nephews.

Burial will be held in Greensprings Natural Cemetery on Saturday, April 2, 2011 at 2:00pm. A Celebration and Gathering will immediately follow at the Regional Access Warehouse, 1609 Trumansburg Road , Ithaca . The family invites everyone to come and celebrate Gary ’s life and bring a dish to pass to share at Regional Access.

In lieu of flowers, the family will be organizing a barn raising and work party at the old Regional Access Warehouse on 125 Cayuga Street in Trumansburg. Donations of time and materials to restore and re-beautify would be greatly appreciated. Donations can be made to the Estate of Gary Redmond, care of Anna Lampman at Regional Access, 1609 Trumansburg Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850.