Gary J. Koly

Gary Koly

Gary Joseph Koly, born February 19, 1949, stepped into Eternity on Tuesday evening, January 12th, shortly after 6pm, leaving behind a legacy of countless changed-lives – and a hole in the hearts of all those who loved him.  Gary was preceded in death by his father and mother, Joseph and Mayme Koly, leaving behind his wife of 42 years, Nina (Usyk); four children: Josiah (Jemima), Katrina, Tabitha, and Cynthia; his sister JoAnn (Art, deceased) Thomas and his nephews Thomas (Lisa) and James Thomas; additional nephews, nieces, cousins and relatives.

Gary surrendered his life to Jesus Christ on July 20, 1976, while he was incarcerated.  His wife, Nina (Usyk) Koly, came to faith the following month.

Gary and Nina were united in marriage on March 3, 1979.  In January of 1983, Gary joined the staff of the Gospel House Church as the Director of Prison Ministry.  In 1993, Gary and Nina traveled to the Ukraine and adopted Josiah and Katrina.  More recently, they have also adopted their grandnieces, Tabitha and Cynthia.  In 2012 he co-founded True Freedom Ministries, an organization which has grown to become Ohio’s largest prison ministry.

 Gary spread joy, laughter, and the Gospel everywhere he went, with an infectious smile and a zeal for life.  He pioneered modern prison ministry in Ohio, leading tens-of-thousands of prisoners to a saving faith in Jesus Christ.  In the weeks, months, and years ahead, every soul saved and every life touched through the work of True Freedom will only be an extension of his ministry.  As Gary always said of his Lord and Savior: “He Can Change You!”   

 Due to the limitations of COVID there will not be a funeral service. A memorial service will be scheduled and announced at a later date. 

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