Gary Dean Archer
You know, not many people get the opportunity to write their own obituaries. I have not only been lucky enough, but I have had the time to write it the way I wanted it written.
I was born in Butte, Montana, on April 4th, 1953, to Wilbur and Lora Archer. I was one of eleven children and was lucky enough to have been the middle child. This taught me to reason with both my older siblings and my younger siblings. This was important in my working careers as it taught me how to work outside the box. My thought processes allowed me to communicate with my older clients as well as my younger clients.
On June 5th, 1971, I married my soul-mate, Jerrilea Hawkins, who was my high school sweetheart, and we have been married forty-one plus years. Jerrilea has been the love of my life, and she supported every decision I ever made. Behind every good man is a great woman and we hold testimony to that saying. I married Jerrilea for better or worse, in sickness and health till death do us part; it appears that I did my job.
On December 11th, 1972 we had our first child, Sharlea Rae Archer (Alsager). Sharlea was a gift from God because she had the opportunity to grow up with us. We were so very young, and Sharlea helped us mature. On April 27th, 1976, we had our second child, G. Phillip Paul Archer. Phil was all boy and was like a second gift of God. Phil taught us patience. Surprise, surprise, surprise.
Jerrilea and I were always joking with each other, and we made each other laugh every day. We laughed about everything. I told her I had read an article that said lack of sex caused prostate cancer, and I was sure that I was going die of cancer. Jerrilea told me then if I didn't die of prostate cancer she would know I had a few girlfriends. In June of 2002, I received a phone call from my urologist, retired Dr. Bill Jones. Dr. Jones called me and said he had some bad news and some good news for me. I asked him for the bad news first, and he told me I had prostate cancer. I asked him what the good news was, and he said I would not die the week he was going to be in Maui. I called Jerrilea, and she came to my office where I told her the news. I told her that she should have let me have those girlfriends, and she replied, "It might be too late for you, but I will work on saving those other guys." That was how we dealt with this news, "laughter". My first surgery was in August of 2002, and we discovered the cancer had spread. I had my second surgery in December of 2002 to remove the prostate at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. I lost so much blood during surgery they had to give me two pints of blood. I am convinced one of the pints came from a black man and the other one came from a gay man because when I left the hospital I had rhythm and feelings.
I have been so lucky to have survived this disease for the past ten years as I was able to see and get to know my Grandchildren. Sharlea Rae gave me Andie Dean, my dancing machine. Sharlea has recently brought Jerry Watkins into our world and I am grateful that such a wonderful man will be here to care for my daughter. Phil has given me Austin Aaron Scott (Hummel), Braxton Coby, Adrienne Ryan, and Logan Paul. Phil has also given me Krysti (St.John), a great daughter-in-law and mother to my grandchildren. I have had the opportunity to get to know my grandchildren and to love them with all of my heart. My grandchildren are lucky to have such great parents. Andie is a very gifted child, incredible dancer, and will go on to many great things in her life. Austin taught me how to be a Grandpa, and for that I will always be grateful. He has grown up to be a wonderful young man. Braxton and I have become very best friends, and we love the game of golf. Braxton will go on to achieve many great things. Adrienne is my girly girl and will either become a great cheerleader or Miss America. Logan is new to me, and I have not had the chance to figure out what he is going to do, but indications are he will be a great kicker.
I have had a most amazing life and worked in two industries. In my work life I treated everyone the same. My goal was to treat people how I wanted to be treated, and I succeeded in that. I loved my work and was very good at what I did. I have been preceded in death by my parents, my sisters Jeanne & Colleen and my brother Kim (killed in the line of duty in Vietnam), and many other loved ones. My remaining siblings are Ronald (Angie) Archer, Terry (Judy) Archer, Frank (Carla) Archer, Colin Archer, Lori (Joe) Harvey, Rodney (Shirley) Archer, and Doug (Jacque) Archer, and many nieces and nephews and cousins. I am also survived by my amazing and loving second family, George & May Hawkins, Lee (Angela Charles) Hawkins, Daniel (Joli) Hawkins, my surrogate son, Johnathan Woolworth (Emily) and numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.
I want to thank so many and will no doubt forget someone special, (sorry, not intentional) but here goes: Thank you to all of the Staff at MSTI's for their amazing care. Thank you, Dr. Dan Zuckerman & Mari Beth, for your kind and loving support throughout my battle. Thank you to Hearts for Hospice for sending my caring nurse Sharon. Thank you, Shah Afshar of Customedica, for being a great friend. Thank you to my many friends and the Ada County Sheriff's Office for all of your loving support.
Gary's Celebration of Life will take place on Saturday, February 9, 2013, at 2pm. This celebration will be at South Junior High Auditorium in Boise Idaho, 3101 Cassia Street. An open house reception will follow after at approximately 4pm until 10pm at The Event Center, Kleiner Park, and 1920 N. Records Avenue, Meridian, Idaho. Light food will be served and a no-host bar will be available.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to any US Bank location, where an account has been set up in my name by our dear friends or any of the following local charities: Family Advocate, Neighborhood Housing Authority, or Mountain States Tumor Institute.