The sweetest gift of all

$100K donation honors late baker, teacher


As he helped unveil the cake-shaped check, Gus Cargile couldn’t help but think of his daughter.

“Gary made all of my birthday cakes,” Cargile said of his daughter Gary Homan.

When Cargile turned 95 this year Homan didn’t make his cake. She died in November 2016.

As a result of Homan’s love for baking and DMC, an anonymous donation of $100,000 was made to the DMC Development Foundation in her honor on Nov. 8 at the Restaurant Management Building on West Campus with Homan’s family and friends.

Homan started her own baking business in 1994 with the help of her father.

“I paid the lease for the whole first year,” Cargile said. The whole family pitched in to help where they could.

Before opening her bakery, in the Gulfway Shopping Center, Homan was baking out of her house.

Homan’s second passion, according to friends and family, was teaching. She dedicated an abundance of her time to the baking program at DMC.

Claudia Hurt, assistant professor of baking, gave a tearful tribute to her longtime friend and mentor.

“It didn’t matter what it was,” Hurt said. “She would turn around and smile and say, ‘It’s not the end of the world.’”

Hurt recalled a time when she was decorating a large, intricate wedding cake but the icing and decorations were too heavy.

“In walked Gary,” Hurt said. “She found an old turntable and helped me re-ice the cake at the venue. She would tell you the reality of the (baking) life and she always paid attention to details,” Hurt said.

Culinary students prepare to serve guests at the check presentation on Nov. 8 on West Campus.
Students in the culinary program prepared hors d’oeuvres for guests to enjoy after the check was unveiled.

The donation has already helped 16 students in the program, said Mary McQueen, executive director of the Office of Development and the DMC Foundation.

“Eat, drink, be merry, and know you’re celebrating a wonderful life,” McQueen said at the end of the presentation.

Guests were treated to ornate cakes made from scratch and hand decorated by current baking students and hors d’oeuvres made the culinary students.

Teary-eyed friends and family enjoyed the snacks while reminiscing about Homan.

“Something my mom loved was teaching others and she loved Del Mar,” said Mike Homan, Gary’s son. “She’d be really happy (about the donation).”

Cargile, who has already sent out invitations for his 100th birthday, said he hopes more people will follow in his daughter’s footsteps.

“I hope other people do this — get into bigger things,” he said. “Maybe this will even entice others to donate to the school.”
DeeDee Coleman, a baking and pastries student, serves a piece pumpkin chocolate cake with pumpkin cream. All of the cakes at the event were made from scratch and hand decorated by the students.

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