Robert F. Gathercoal
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September 20, 1960 - April 8, 2014
Robert F. Gathercoal, 53 of Stayton died Tuesday April 8th at Salem Hospital Bob was born on September 20, 1960 in Portland. He was the son of Forrest "Spike" and Joan Baines Gathecroal. He was a long time member of the First United Methodist Church of Corvallis. He played drums in the Church Folk Choir and enjoyed playing in the family band with his parents. During his youth, he enjoyed swimming, studied martial arts and was an avid reader. Bob graduated from Corvallis High School and received his bachelor's degree from Oregon State University. He earned a post graduate degree in Law Enforcement from Western Oregon University. He had a distinguished career in law enforcement as well as the US military.
Bob married Kristi Breshears. The couple has three children, Alexander, Eden and Brendan. He was a devoted husband and father—adored by his children who called him "Daddy Bob."
Bob served with the Silverton Police Dept. since December 2001. During his career with the department, he held the position of Patrol Sergeant and Senior Officer. He was awarded the Silverton Police Department Medal of Valor in 2009.
Bob began his law enforcement career in 1992 when he started working for the Linn County Sheriff's Office. He was employed by the Oregon Department of Justice in the Child Support Program from 1997 to 1998. He then accepted employment as a Police Officer with the Myrtle Point Police Department from 1998 to 2001.
Bob Gathercoal honorably served over twenty-one years in the military. He began his military career with the Oregon Army National Guard in 1977. He served with the National Guard until moving to Active Duty in the Marine Corps in 1980. He served three years attaining the rank of Sergeant of the Guard in charge of a security section of Marines, attached to the Marine Security Guard on board the USS Holland.
In 1987 Bob served an additional four and a half years in the 101st Airborne Division obtaining the rank of Staff Sergeant. He served as Assistant Brigade Operations Sergeant for over one year and throughout his deployment to Saudi Arabia and Iraq in support of Desert Shield/Desert Storm.
In 1992 Bob continued his service in the US Army Reserves. He was attached to the 104th "Timberwolf" Division working five years as a Drill Sergeant and Senior Drill Sergeant. He earned five separate titles of Drill Sergeant of the Year, finishing second in the Division Drill Sergeant of the Year competition in 1997. He completed his assignment as the First Sergeant of a Reserve Drill Sergeant Company.
Bob was awarded the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Award of Merit, Drill Sergeant Identification Badge, five Army Achievement Medals, Air Assault Badge, three Army Commendation Medals, Army Good Conduct Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, and two Army Reserve Components Achievement Medals.
He is survived by his wife Kristi Gathercoal, children Alexander, Eden and Brendan, his mother Joan Baines Gathercoal and his sister Susan Jean Thayer.
Bob was a caring police officer and a devoted family man who will be remembered with great love.
A Celebration of Life is set for 11:00 am, Saturday, May 31st at the First United Methodist Church in Corvallis. Private inurnment will be held at Oak Lawn Memorial Park. The family requests memorial donations in his name be directed to the United Methodist Church music fund and the Corvallis Humane Society in care of McHenry Funeral Home 206 NW 5th St., Corvallis, Oregon 97330. Please leave your thoughts and memories for the family at www.mchenryfuneralhome.com.
Published in StatesmanJournal on May 15, 2014