Gary passed away at Olympic Medical Center after a brief illness.
He was born to Claude and Florence (Strasburg) Barnell in New Ulm, Minnesota. The family moved west to Vancouver, Washington, during World War II.
His father died when Gary was 7 years old and Gary's brother, Joel, was 4.
His childhood years were spent in Cle Elum, and he graduated from Cle Elum High School. After high school, he attended Central Washington State and Olympic College in Bremerton.
He joined the Coast Guard for a 20-year commitment and retired as a master chief from the Coast Guard cutter Campbell.
Gary volunteered many years at the old Lincoln School with the Clallam County Historical Museum. He had been a longtime member of the Roslyn, Washington, Eagles. He loved to play darts.
He is survived by wife Marybeth, whom he married in 1966 at St. Joseph Church in Oradell, New Jersey; daughter Carla McConaghy of Longview, Washington; granddaughter Courtney McConaghy of Port Angeles; sister Marge (Tamplen) Campbell and her husband, Ray Campbell, of Naches, Washington; brother Gordon Tamplen of Panama City, Florida; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his mother; brother Joel Barnell of Eagle River, Alaska; and stepfather Porter Tamplen.