Gary Singer, whose family owned Merchants Automotive Group for 60 years and who chaired its board, is being remembered as part of a generous family who gave often to the Manchester-area community.
“He was a great giver of everything: time, money, accolades, support,” said former Mayor Ted Gatsas, a close friend who recalled playing Little League with him and his brothers.
Singer, a lifelong Manchester resident, died Tuesday at 67 after battling cancer.
For more than a half century, Singer was part of the Merchants Automotive Group, which became a nationwide player in the fleet vehicle business.
The family car business started at the corner of Valley and Willow streets in Manchester in 1962 and moved to Hooksett later that decade.
This year, the family sold Merchants to two investment firms, Bain Capital and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.
After the family learned it was to receive a Granite State Legacy Award in 2018, Gary Singer told the New Hampshire Union Leader that “my parents very strongly believed in giving back to the community.”
The annual Gail Singer Memorial Blood Drive in Manchester is named after Gary’s first wife.
During the 1990s, the family donated about $600,000 to help fund Singer Family Park, which hosted concerts and soccer games along the Merrimack River. The property later became the site of a city ballpark that carried the Merchants name during several years of sponsorship.
The family also donated $250,000 for a pedestrian bridge over the Merrimack River and funded part of the Irving and Bernice Singer Pedestrian Bridge, which spans the Piscataquog River.
“I don’t think there’s a better example of a family that could be more deserving of this award,” former Manchester Mayor Bob Baines said in 2018. “They have set an example for others to follow.”
Gary Singer is survived by five brothers — Stephen, Alan, Robert, Jeffrey and Stewart — and his sister, Joy.
Shiva will be at Chabad, 1234 River Road, Manchester, Thursday 8 a.m.-noon and 3:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.; Friday 8 a.m.-noon; Saturday 6 p.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday 8 a.m.-noon and 3:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.; and Monday 8 a.m.-noon and 3:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made in Gary’s memory to support Dr. Richardson’s Myeloma Research Fund at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168 Boston, MA 02284, or Chabad of New Hampshire, designated for the Gary Singer Memorial Fund.