After an extended illness, Gary went home to be with the Lord, his Savior on July 17, 2015, at the age of 71. He was surrounded by family members.
Gary was born on January 31, 1944, in Tacoma to William “Bill” and Mary Elizabeth Oldfather. After his graduation from Wenatchee High School in 1962, Gary started working at Great Northern Railroad (Burlington Northern Santa Fe) in Wenatchee. He married his high school sweetheart Judy Carstensen on Feb. 21, 1965. In December 1965, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and fought in the Vietnam War as a frontline radio operator, attaining the rank of SGT E5. He was awarded the Bronze Star and was honorably discharged in November 1967.
After his discharge he and his wife Judy moved to Seattle, where his daughters Denise and Kristi were born. He returned to work for the railroad. In 1972 the family moved to Quincy, where Gary continued working for the railroad as a signal maintainer. Gary retired from the railroad in 2003 with 41 years of service. When his girls were young he was involved in the Quincy Jaycees, coached fourth- through sixth-grade grade boys’ basketball and taught hunter safety classes. He enjoyed fishing and camping with his family as well as trap shooting and golf. After retirement he and his wife Judy moved out to the Quincy Golf Course, where he enjoyed golfing almost every day during the summer. They were “snowbirds” and spent each winter in Sun City West, Ariz., where Gary practiced his mighty drives and did have a “hole in one” in 2013. In later years, they added bingo to their activities.
His final weeks were under the care of Central Washington Hospital, Confluence Health and CWH Hospice. The family thanks all the staff for their affections, kindness, compassion and support.
He is survived by his beloved wife Judy of 50 years; his daughter Denise Miller of Cashmere and daughter and son-in-law Kristi and Jeff Hawk of East Wenatchee; granddaughter Aleshandra Miller and grandsons Christopher Miller, Colby Hawk and Conner Hawk; sister Carrol (Jim) Reeves of Richland/Melbourne, Ark.; and brother Donald (Joan) Oldfather of Clayton, Calif. He is also survived by a number of nieces, nephews and cousins who adored him and who will miss his stories, humor and laughter. He was preceded in death by his parents William and Mary Elizabeth Oldfather and son-in-law William Ray Miller Jr.
Friends and family are invited to a celebration of his life to be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 25, 2015, at the Quincy Free Methodist Church in Quincy, with Pastor Ed Burns officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Gary’s name to the Hospice Foundation of NCW, P.O. Box 3406, Wenatchee, WA. 98807-3068, or a charity of your choice.
Please leave a memory for the family or sign its online guestbook at www.Scharbachs.com. Scharbach’s Columbia Funeral Chapel in Quincy is assisting the family.