Instead, he got up early to run the Father's Day Prostate Cancer Run/Walk every year.
RELATED LINK: The Gary Papa Father's Day Prostate Run/Walk
Gary lost his five year battle with an aggressive form of the cancer in 2009 but the run, and the effort to find a cure, continues.
In fact, Gary used spend a lot of time talking to men, encouraging them to talk to their doctors about getting tested for prostate cancer. Now one of his friends is carrying on that message.
"It can happen to anyone"
As a former NFL player, Carlos Bradley appears the picture of health. He whips other people into shape as the head trainer at the Aquatic and Fitness Center.
But last April, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
"The first thing I thought was 'Me?'" Carlos said.
That's when he realized it can happen to anyone.
"If it's on your genetic code already, if you're going to get it, you're going to get it," he said.
So now, as he motivates others to get fit, he also passes on this message:
"Men historically don't go to the doctor to get checked out but, if you don't go you can't find out. If you find out early you can do something about it," he said. "I also say to women with men in your life to encourage your men to go to the doctor."
For Carlos, he started getting checked when he was 35 because he has a family history of prostate cancer. His cancer was caught in the early stages and he had surgery to remove it. He says during his recovery he drew inspiration from his friend and ours, Gary Papa.
"He was a warrior in the way he went through his day and kept his lively attitude as much as he could," said Carlos.
Carlos also tries to pass on that inspiration every day, now as a survivor.
The Gary Papa Father's Day Prostate Run/Walk will be held on Sunday, June 20th.
For more information, or to donate, CLICK HERE.