Gary H. Ellison was born in Tacoma, WA on October 1st 1940 to Lester and June (Ailport) Ellison. Gary died on March 21st, 2017 at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Gig Harbor surrounded by family and friends after a brave battle with cancer.
Gary graduated from Clover Park High School and attended the University of Puget Sound as well as Pierce Community College. Gary worked for the Boeing Aerospace Company for the vast majority of his career. Starting in the 1960’s, Gary worked on many of the company’s groundbreaking new planes as an electrician, and was eventually promoted to the quality control sector of Boeing and retired as a supervisor after 40 years of service. During his career he attended many air shows around the world as a Boeing employee and greatly enjoyed those trips. He also worked on the challenging project to configure the 747 to transport the NASA Space Shuttle from coast to coast on top of the giant plane.
Gary served honorably in the Washington National Guard from 1962 until the 1980’s years and retired with the rank of Colonel.
He was long a long time member of the Tacoma Elks Lodge #0174.
A genuine and pragmatic man, Gary would offer advice and knowledge the way he saw the world. In truth, he was usually right. He could be counted on to know the facts as well as find humor in most any situation.
Gary never knew a stranger. He valued relationships and was not quick to judge. He could strike up a conversation with anyone anywhere anytime. He was especially kind to those who cared for him during his medical issues both in the past and even until the very end.
At different stages of Gary’s life he developed new passions and interests: motorcycles, flying both single engine planes and helicopters, skiing with his boys, landscaping, classic cars, travelling and collecting with Burnetta and ultimately a great passion for golf. Many of his last years were spent in the company of his late father and good friends at the Highlands Golf Course. The nine holes were as important as the almost daily time spent there over coffee and the friendships created in the clubhouse. The memories for those who knew and valued Gary will be shared for a very long time.
He will be deeply missed by many: Burnetta, his wife of 35 years; sister Alberta Livengood (Robert) of North Carolina; sons Gary Warren (Robin) of Salem, Oregon; Jeff of Gig Harbor and Evan of Tacoma; Burnetta’s children Burnie Gabrielson (Nancy); daughters Nancy Tew (Jim) and Tammy Melville (Dean) all of Puyallup. Gary was blessed with 7 Grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. All were important to and well loved by Gary.
Gary’s parents Lester Ellison and June Breckenridge as well as brother William (Bill) Ellison preceded him in death.