SPANAWAY, Wash. — Gary Kermit Wolfe passed away quietly on Thursday, July 25, 2019, from congestive heart failure.
Gary was born in Manistique, Michigan, on March 30, 1940, to Kermit and Emily Wolfe. He is survived by his wife Ardith; children, Glen and Angela Barnhouse, Ted and Carmen Wolfe and Lynn Leighty; grandchildren, Bobby and Connor Barnhouse, Alicia Martin; great grandchildren, Hudson Barnhouse and Jordan Martin; siblings, Jim and Linda Wolfe, Deloris and Wayne Christiansen. Gary was preceded in death by his parents, brother William “Bill” Wolfe and sister Beverly Green.
Gary spent his youth growing up in Upper Michigan and attended high school in Manistique. Gary often spoke of milking the cows and the many odd jobs he would do to earn money, including working at the paper mill. One of his fondest memories of being a kid was the treat of going to the movies. “Dad would give us 25 cents once a month or so if we had it; we could see a movie, get popcorn and a pop. It was a real treat.” Gary joined the Army in 1958 and faithfully served for 21 years before retiring in 1979. Upon retiring from the Army, Gary became an over-the-road truck driver for Oak Harbor Freight Lines. He spent many a night on the road building friendships along the way, until he retired again in 2003.
Gary enjoyed spending time with family and friends, his work with the Masonic Lodge, traveling, and telling stories to anyone he met. He was a larger than life individual with a love of cars, a quick wit and a gentle soul. He helped anyone in need and didn’t shy away from a good hand of pinochle.
The family invites those who were touched by Gary to share their stories at a celebration of life ceremony to be held Friday, Aug. 9, 1 p.m. at Fir Lane Memorial Park, Spanaway, Washington. A viewing will be held Thursday, Aug. 8, from 2 to 7 p.m.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Shriners Children’s Hospital.