April 23, 1948 — May 30, 2013
Gary was born to I.G. (Buster) and Dorothy (Dolly) Brown as the oldest of seven children, raised in rural Walla Walla on a farm which he credits today as having the most positive influence in his life.
Gary delighted in caring for or raising all kinds of animals, especially the unusual, orphaned or injured, including pigeons, deer, beaver, skunks, monkeys, cockatoos, cockatiels, parrots, crows, magpies and dogs. He was most happy having something to care for. In his youth, he was active in 4-H for many years, and was always busy on the farm with chores and other odd summer jobs. He was willing to do just about anything.
After high school, Gary enlisted in the Navy, serving several years in the submarine service. Soon after returning home, Gary was employed by the Walla Walla Fire Department as a firefighter. His memories of those years and the coworkers who became his friends remained dear to his heart to the end.
Following retirement from the Fire Department, he spent decades in the landscape business, including his own company, Landmark Landscape, then as head landscaper at Whitman College for many years. His breathtaking design of his own yard is a true testament to his passion and brilliant creativity.
Gary loved the outdoors. Camping trips, fishing, travel or boating were favorites with him and his children. Being from a large family, gatherings for any occasion were very important and a joy for Gary. Telling stories and laughing came easy.
Gary cherished his children. Being a father and grandfather gave him even more joy and purpose in life and filled his heart with pride. Gary was a friend to many. Like his father, if he met someone new, before long he would have found some similarity in their lives or a mutual friend and then both their lives would be richer for having met him. Gary will be remembered for his big heart and willingness to always help wherever needed. He spoke freely of his faith and enjoyed stimulating conversations regarding any subject. His very inquisitive mind kept him always researching and studying new ideas. Over the past year, Gary found great joy in his daily visits with his mother, as they both enjoyed their cup of coffee and talked about their favorite memories.
Gary is survived by his mother; his children, David (Emily) Brown and Jeanette Brown (Aron Hammond); step-daughter, Tonyel (Matt) Nelson; granddaughters, Ryan, Casey and Honor Rae; brother, Jeff (Michelle) Brown; sisters, Linda Paradise and Sharon (Bob) Dodgin; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. Gary is preceded in death by his father; stepson, Christopher Mattson; brothers, David Brown and Robert Brown; and sister, Debra Hansen.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Gary M. Brown memorial fund through the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder St., Walla Walla, WA 99362. Memorial services will be held at the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home on Wednesday, June 5, 2013, at 2 p.m. with Rev. Steve Morris Officiating. A Potluck reception will follow the services at Jeanette and Aron’s home. Directions will be available. Friends and family are invited to sign the online guest book at www.herringgroseclose.com.