Greenlawn Funeral Homes • Cremations • Cemeteries - Northeast
3700 Northeast
Bakersfield, CA 93305
(661) 324-9701


1950 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Gary Wayne Champlin Sr, 66, of Bakersfield was born March 30, 1950 and passed away peacefully on September 18, 2016. He was known to most as "Champ". Gary was born to and proceeded in death by Merlin "Dugan" Champlin and Doris (Kelliher) Champlin, in Bakersfield, CA. He attended East High School, Bakersfield College, and Cal State Bakersfield on a tennis scholarship. Gary participated on the tennis team all through his high school and college years. Gary competed in many tournaments and championships throughout his career. He was a Conference Champion, California State JC Doubles Finalist, MVP, All American CCAA Tennis Champion, and winner of nine Kern County Open Tennis Titles. He was also a former member of the United States Davis Cup Team, World Tennis Team, and Tennis Patrons of Kern County.
He had an incredible love for the game. That love continued through teaching. Gary taught tennis for many years as the Director of Tennis at the Bakersfield Country Club and Laurel Glen Tennis Club. He enjoyed giving his grandkids lessons at the Bakersfield Racquet Club where he had a long history of playing tennis as a member.
Gary later became a Building Inspector for the City of Bakersfield for 22 years. After retirement, he went to work for WWCI. There he did quality control, plan review, and code compliance. Gary enjoyed the work he did and all the many people he met along the way. He was very dedicated to his jobs and well respected by so many.
Gary enjoyed golfing and being out on the course when he had the time and his health permitted. He was a great golfer who enjoyed the game, along with his son, Gary Jr. They played many tournaments together. Gary always enjoyed a little friendly wagering on the course; which he usually won.
In April of 2014, Gary under went a kidney transplant. His son Gary Jr, saved his life by donating one of his kidneys. The "Super Kidney," as he liked to call it, brought life back to Gary. He was so grateful to be able to be with his family longer.
Gary was married to his first wife Beverly for 16 years. He is survived by his 3 children, Caroline, Gary Jr, and Christina. His children, daughter-in-law, Rebecca, and son-in-law, John, gave him 9 grandchildren: Cameron, Tyler, Madison, Gracie, Luke, Charlotte, Cash, Alexander, and Ella. He is also survived by 4 great-grandchildren, Keyrah, Trystyn, Lylah, and Johnathon(JD).
Gary was survived by his wife Darlene of 19 years. He had 2 stepchildren, Johnny and Whitney, and grandson Sam, whom he loved as his own.
Gary is survived by his dear sister, Shirley, and her children Marianne and Tim. Gary and Shirley had a wonderful bond and loved each other very much. Gary loved to tease Shirley and would always jokingly let people know that she was his "older" sister.
Gary enjoyed BBQ's with family. He loved his family deeply and was so proud of them all. Anytime everyone could get together for a meal, it brought him so much joy.
No matter how you knew him, Gary, "Champ," or "Senior", he was our devoted father, husband, brother, uncle, and friend. He lived a great life and his presence impacted so many. He will be greatly missed.
A Celebration of Life service will be held Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at 10:00 at Greenlawn, 3700 River Blvd.
Published in Bakersfield Californian on Sept. 23, 2016
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