Around age 12 the family moved to Boise, Idaho and he attended Ustick School and then Boise High School. After not attending regularly and riding his motorcycle down the hallway, he and the school parted ways prior to graduation. He later completed his GED and attended Boise Junior College. He earned a degree in welding and excelled in that field. He was a jack-of-all-trades. He was a welder, logger, truck driver, and millwright.
He was married twice before he found the love of his life Merry in 1975. They married at Church of the Wildwood in Featherville, Idaho on March 21, 1976. As newlyweds, they followed work with the truck, moving 10 times in 18 months throughout Utah and Arizona before returning to Idaho. Their first daughter April was born in Boise in 1979 shortly before moving to Alaska for the first time. He enjoyed driving truck for a living and he was proud to drive the largest and longest lowboy that was in Alaska at the time. They returned to Boise where their second daughter Amanda was born in 1982 and then back to Alaska the family went until 1985 when they settled down in Kamiah, Idaho for good. He worked as a millwright for a number of years at the local lumber mill.
Gary was known for his incredible sense of humor and his hilarious stories of life’s adventures. He had a big heart and especially had a soft spot for animals and kids. He loved family, restoring classic cars, camping and fishing, country music, good Westerns, and he hated horses and ladders. He was a dreamer and a schemer where he tried his hand at gold mining and raising ostriches, always looking for the next “get rich” opportunity.
He was preceded in death by his father Frank, his mother Matilda, his sisters-in-law Connie and Abby, and brother-in-law Steve. He is survived by his wife of 45 years Merry, which was his longest relationship aside from his iconic mustache. He is also survived by his daughters April (Keith Blankenship) in Kamiah and Amanda (Keith Benz) in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. In addition, he is survived by two daughters from a previous marriage, Mike and Connie. Also surviving Gary are his seven siblings: Dale (Rose), Glen (Dani), Beth, Demma, Jack, Kim (Joy), and Ruth (Mike), lifelong friends Kathy Clymens and Curtis Purdy, and a very extensive family. He was also preceded in death by his pet bobcat, BC.
A celebration of his life will take place on June 19, 2021 in the Kooskia City Park at 1 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Animal Ark of Idaho County, P.O. Box 412 Grangeville, Idaho 83530.
“By God, Woodrow; it’s been one hell of a party.” -Gus McCrae