Gary Poteat was the husband of Susan Poteat, KidneyCAN’s Medical Science Liaison. Gary and Susan were married for 43 years. Since Gary’s diagnosis of Stage IV kidney cancer in 2007, both Gary and Susan have been active advocates for research funding and trial participation.
The KidneyCAN community is saddened to share the loss of Gary Poteat. Gary was diagnosed in 2007 with Stage IV kidney cancer, and in the 15 years since, he and his wife Susan have contributed enormously to research progress and advocacy efforts. 

Gary Neal Poteat, age 68, of Beavercreek, Ohio, was born October 17, 1953, in Marion, NC, and passed away peacefully September 12, 2022, at Hospice of Dayton after a 15-year battle with kidney cancer.  He has been surrounded and lifted up by friends and family supporting him throughout.

He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Susan Crenshaw Poteat, brother Michael Poteat, daughter Oden Hughes, and grandson Ted Ransome.  He was predeceased by his parents George P. Poteat, Jr. and Virgie (Biggerstaff) Poteat and his sister Elizabeth (Betty) Ann Snead.

After high school, Gary joined the Navy, where his memory and mathematical talent made him stand out, and he was quickly accepted into their nuclear power program.  He also was among the few who were selected for the NESEP program, which enabled him to attend college on a full Naval scholarship at Auburn University where he received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry.  He later transferred to the Air Force and went on to earn a Master’s degree in Radiation Physics and ABR certification in Therapy Medical Physics. Gary retired from the Air Force as a Major.

His attention to detail and ability as a natural teacher of others made him stand out in his work in medical physics. He continued his work as a medical physicist in radiation oncology at multiple medical facilities throughout his professional career. He also supported his wife in her return to school with him at University of Kentucky to become a medical physicist, and they shared much of their professional career even after his cancer diagnosis.   Gary enjoyed helping cancer patients and was proud of his contributions as Chief of Physics at WPAFB Cancer Center and Mt. Carmel Healthcare System in Ohio.

3D Printed Kidney with Kidney Cancer Tumor - by Michael Whitley
Gary loved the outdoors and used his free time gardening, hiking, and photographing flowers.  He was talented with woodworking and could fix anything.  He was a voracious reader, loved history and current events, and was a walking encyclopedia with an inquisitive mind and a love of learning.

After his diagnosis in 2007, Gary advocated with others for much-needed kidney cancer research funding and trials.

He and Susan were very active in the kidney cancer community, and they shared generously with others the knowledge they learned from Gary’s experiences.

In addition, Gary used his technical and teaching skills as research grant reviewer for the DOD CDMRP program and as mentor for other patients learning advocacy roles to enlarge the pool of patients and caregivers working together toward a cure for kidney cancer.  He participated in multiple trials and encouraged other patients to promote progress with their own participation.

Gary was a hard worker, a helper, and a teacher in all aspects of his life.

He was much loved by his family and friends, and he inspired patients around the world with his perseverance.

A private Celebration of Life will be held September 24, 2022, in their community in Beavercreek. A family service will be arranged in East Tennessee in April 2023.

Michael Whitley - Living with Kidney Cancer
Gary and Susan celebrated their 43rd anniversary in March 2022. He and Susan were very active in the kidney cancer community, and they shared generously with others the knowledge they learned from Gary’s experiences. 
Michael Whitley - Living with Kidney Cancer
Gary participated in a number of trials during his 15-year battle with kidney cancer. He advocated for research funding and encouraged patients to promote progress with their own participation.

The KidneyCAN team offers our sincerest condolences to Susan and Gary’s family.

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