Gary R. Gregory, 73, passed away at his home in Klamath Falls on Aug. 3, 2012, with family at his side.
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Gary was born on Jan. 4, 1939, in Ashland, Ore., to William M. and Alice Starrs Gregory. He was the youngest of seven children.
At the age of 3, Gary and the family moved to Dorris, Calif. He attended grade school and high school in Dorris, graduating in 1957.
He entered the Air Force and took his basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. Upon completion of basic, he attended Jet Air Craft Mechanics School in Amarillo, Texas, and after that was based at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Wash., where he met his future wife Marlena Shahan and they were married July 31, 1959, in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho.
They lived in Spokane until 1963 when they moved to Klamath Falls and he went to work for Maury's Foreign Cars as a Volkswagen mechanic. In April 1967, he opened Gary's Foreign Car Repair on East Main Street and in 1973 he and some friends built his new shop at 3435 Washburn Way, which he operated until June 1998 when he sold the building and retired.
After retiring from the automotive business, Gary took up woodworking and made beautiful cabinets and furniture for family and friends.
Gary was a member of the American Legion Post No. 8 and the 40/8 Voiture 222 in Klamath Falls. He served as Post 8 Commander and Chef de Gare of V222. He also served as Grand Nurses Training Directeur of Oregon with the 40/8 for more than 20 years.
Over the years, Gary enjoyed fishing at Jenny Creek and hunting, especially on the Eastern Oregon Desert. He was a very hardworking man and had many talents; he could fix and make anything. He custom built a one-of-a-kind Volkswagen pickup from a VW Squareback. He also built a number of Dune Buggies for himself and many of his friends. He enjoyed spending time with his two grandsons Cameron and Caleb and loved teasing them.
Survivors include Marlena, his wife of 53 years, son Brian Gregory, daughter and son-in-law Kathy and Andy Shadley, and grandsons Cameron and Caleb Shadley, all of Klamath Falls, brother and sister-in-law Donald and Sylvia Kempke of Vancouver, Wash., and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents William and Alice Gregory, brothers John and Bob Kempke and Bill Gregory, and sisters Arlene Arnold and Margaret Kempke.
Gary will be truly missed by the many people who knew and loved him.
Donations can be made in honor of Gary to the 40/8 Nurses Scholarship Fund or Klamath Humane Society or the
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 10, 2012, at Ward's Klamath Funeral Home with graveside services to immediately follow at Mt. Calvary Cemetery. Family and friends are invited to attend a reception following the graveside services at Hope Community Center at 2314 Homedale Road.
Published in Herald And News on Aug. 7, 2012