GARY DEAN McCULLOUGH

GARY DEAN McCULLOUGH WAS BORN JULY 19, 1936 IN LAMONI, IOWA, TO HILTON AND ZORETTA STRAIGHT. HE WAS WELCOMED INTO THIS HOME BY THREE SIBLINGS, DONALD, BEATRICE AND MONTE. SHORTLY AFTER THE BIRTH OF GARY, HIS MOTHER PASSED AWAY AND HE WAS SOON AFTER ADOPTED BY HIS AUNT, MABEL McCULLOUGH. THIRTY YEARS LATER CLINTON JOINED THE FAMILY AND GARY FINALLY BECAME A BIG BROTHER.

ON JULY 29, 1956 GARY MARRIED MERILL STARMER OF DIAGONAL, IOWA AND TO THIS UNION THEY HAD FOUR DAUGHTERS, BRENDA, RENEE, SONDI AND TAMARA, WHO IN TURN GAVE GARY AND MERILL EIGHT GRANDCHILDREN AND FOUR GREAT-GRANDCHILDREN.

THROUGH THEIR YEARS OF MARRIAGE THEY HAD MANY ADVENTURES AND WERE INVOLVED IN NUMEROUS BUSINESS ENTERPRISES OF MANY KINDS. GARY WAS ALWAYS LOOKING FOR “CUTTING EDGE” OPPORTUNITIES AND AS THE FAMILY HAD BEEN INVOLVED IN A FARM MACHINERY DEALERSHIP IN MOUNT AYR, IOWA, GARY SAW AN OPPORTUNITY WHEN IT PRESENTED ITSELF AND BECAME THE WESTERN CANADIAN DISTRIBUTOR FOR A NEW TECHNOLOGY. HE WAS ONE OF THE FIRST ENTREPRENEURS TO INTRODUCE FORCED AIR GRAIN DRYERS TO THE FARMERS OF THE WESTERN PROVINCES. IN THE ENSUING YEARS GARY WAS INVOLVED IN THE ICE BUSINESS IN THE LOWER MAINLAND AT A TIME WHEN AN ICE MACHINE ON EACH FLOOR WAS UNHEARD OF. HE WAS A PARTNER IN G & L FARM EQUIPMENT AND WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN DEVELOPING MANY NEW IDEAS, SUCH AS THE TRUCK MOUNTED BALE STABBER WE SEE SO OFTEN NOW.

THE FAMILY OPERATED A LARGE COW-CALF OPERATION IN EAST PINE AND GARY LOVED TELLING THE STORIES REGARDING THE ADVENTURES AND ANTICS THAT WERE A PART OF LIFE ON THE FARM. LATER ON HE AND MERILL WERE THE MANAGERS OF A GOLF COURSE, SKI HILL AND THEN GARY ALONG WITH CLINT AND THE REST OF THE FAMILY, DEVELOPED A SUCCESSFUL SIGN BUSINESS AND SECURITY COMPANY.

GARY HAD A SECOND CAREER WHICH ENCOMPASSED HIS STRONG CHARITABLE AND FRATERNAL INTERESTS. HE WAS A PROUD FREEMASON OF ALMOST 47 YEARS AND N THAT TIME HE FORMED MANY STRONG FRIENDSHIPS WHICH ENDURED TIME AND DISTANCE. IN 2003 GARY WAS HONORED BY BEING APPOINTED AN HONORARY SENIOR GRAND WARDEN OF THE GRAND LODGE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA AND YUKON. IN THE WELL OVER 100 YR HISTORY OF FREEMASONRY IN B.C., GARY IS ONLY THE FOURTH TO HAVE BEEN BESTOWED WITH THIS HONOR. HE WAS ALSO A VALUED MEMBER OF THE ORDER OF EASTERN STAR, ROYAL ARCH FREEMASONS AND HE WAS A VERY ACTIVE SHRINER AND OVER THE YEARS HEADED MANY COMMITTEES IN ORDER TO HELP THE CHILDREN CARED FOR BY THE SHRINE. GARY TOOK HIS FRATERNAL RELATIONSHIPS VERY SERIOUSLY AND LOVED CONTRIBUTING TO THE WELL BEING OF ALL THESE ORGANIZATIONS.

GARY McCULLOUGH STRIVED TO EXCEL AT ALL HE DID. IN HIS YOUNGER YEARS HE WAS A COMPETITIVE TRAP SHOOTER WHO WAS CORPORATELY SPONSORED BY REMINGTON EVEN THOUGH HE WOULDN’T GIVE UP HIS WINCHESTER. HE WAS A PAR GOLFER AND RUMOR HAS IT THAT HE WAS SHARP ENOUGH ON A POOL TABLE THAT WHEN MONEY CHANGED HANDS, IT GENERALLY FOUND ITS WAY INTO GARY’S POCKET.

GARY HAD MANY ADVENTURES IN HIS LIFE WHETHER IT WAS GETTING INTO MISCHIEF WITH RONNIE SHIELDS OR KEEPING EVERYONE ON THEIR TOES ON MANY OF HIS FRATERNAL OUTINGS. HE DID A STINT IN THE US AIR FORCE WHICH ULTIMATELY SAW HIM STATIONED IN GUAM IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC. HE HAD MANY STORIES RELATING TO THIS TIME IN THE SERVICE , NONE OF WHICH CAN BE SHARED TODAY.

WHEN GARY AND MERILL FINALLY SLOWED DOWN, THEY COULD BE FOUND TRAVELING AROUND WESTERN CANADA AND THE USA IN ANY ONE OF THE RV’S THEY CAME TO OWN. GARY’S FAVORITE WAS HIS HOLIDAY RAMBLER MOTOR HOME AND WHEREVER HE WENT, HE COULD BE HEARD EXPOUNDING ITS FEATURES AND THE PERFORMANCE OF THE BIG DIESEL PUSHER. HE VERY MUCH LOVED CAMPING AND THE SOCIAL OPPORTUNITIES IT PROVIDED. IT SHOULD PROBABLY BE NOTED THAT WHEN HEALTH DICTATED THE SALE OF THE MOTOR HOME, ONE OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES HE AND MERILL FACED WAS THE CLEANING OUT OF ALL THE COMPARTMENTS AND HOW TO ORGANIZE THE ENSUING YARD SALE. IF THERE WAS A CAMPING RV-ING OR TRAVELING GADGET OF ANY KIND, IT COULD HAVE BEEN FOUND IN THEIR HOME ON WHEELS.

AS GARY’S HEALTH DETERIORATED, HE FOUND ANOTHER INTEREST IN MODERN TECHNOLOGY. HE BECAME AN AVID COMPUTER GEEK. HE ENJOYED THE FREEDOM IT AFFORDED HIM IN STAYING IN TOUCH WITH HIS FRIENDS, TRAVELING THE WORLD OR RESEARCHING ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING HE COULD ON THE INTERNET. ANY ONE OF HIS FRIENDS COULD ATTEST TO RECEIVING MORE THAN JUST AN OCCASIONAL EMAIL FROM HIM.

GARY VERY MUCH ENJOYED LIFE AND PEOPLE. TO HIM NO ONE WAS A STRANGER AND HE ENJOYED TALKING WITH EVERYONE HE MET. FAMILY GET TOGETHER’S WERE A FAVORITE OF HIS AND GARY COULD ALWAYS BE COUNTED ON TO PROMOTE A CARD GAME OR WATER FIGHT AND IF THE TIMING WARRANTED IT, A FOOD FIGHT WAS KNOWN TO BREAK OUT IF MERILL DIDN’T GET IT SHUT DOWN FIRST.

GARY DEAN McCULLOUGH PASSED AWAY ON JANUARY 26, 2008 WITH HIS FAMILY AT HIS SIDE AND WITH THE THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS OF HIS CLOSET FRIENDS. HE WAS A MAN’S MAN AND HIS LOVE OF FAMILY AND FRIENDSHIP WILL BE SADLY MISSED AND FOREVER REMEMBERED.

HE LEAVES TO MOURN MERILL, HIS LOVING WIFE OF 51 YEARS; HIS FOUR DAUGHTERS, BRENDA (GORDON) MYERS, RENEE (PHIL) HOCKING, SONDI (BILL) DAW AND TAMARA MARKLING; HIS EIGHT GRANDCHILDREN, JENN, SHANNA, LEIGH, KRISTAL, KAYLA, DALLAS, SHAYE-LYN AND BRENDAN; HIS FOUR GREAT-GRANDCHILDREN, TAYLOR, BRADEN, MACKENZIE AND CONNOR; HIS BROTHER MONTE (MARY) STRAIGHT; HALF SISTER HILDA-JEAN; BROTHER, CLINTON RICE ALONG WITH NUMEROUS NIECES AND NEPHEWS AND MANY MANY FRIENDS.

GARY’S DAUGHTER, RENEE, SUMMED UP WHO THIS HUSBAND, FATHER, GRANDFATHER AND FRIEND WERE AND WHAT HE STOOD FOR:

“DAD TOUCHED YOUR LIFE IN A DRAMATIC FASHION. HE WOULD NOT WANT US TO FOCUS ON HIS PASSING BUT ON HIS LIFE AND THE MEMORIES WE HOLD SO DEAR. HE APPRECIATED LIFE WITH HIS FAST-PACED DRIVE AND BUSINESS SAVVY. WHEN HE PUT HIS MIND TO SOMETHING, HE LET NOTHING STAND IN HIS WAY. HE WAS A VERY PROUD MAN, NEVER ASKING FOR HELP FROM ANYONE BUT WAS GENEROUS AND ALWAYS READY TO LEND A HELPING HAND TO OTHERS.”

“YOUR LOVE WILL STAY WITH ME FOREVER AND IT HAS TOUCHED ME IN PRECIOUS WAYS. THE VALUES YOU HAVE TAUGHT, THE CARE YOU HAVE GIVEN AND THE WONDERFUL LOVE YOU HAVE SHOWN HAS ENRICHED MY LIFE IN MORE WAYS THAN I CAN COUNT. WHEN I THINK OF YOU, I SEE A PART OF ME. I WILL THINK OF YOU FOREVER AND LOVE YOU FOR ETERNITY.”

 

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