Gary E. Phelps

Nov 27, 1939 - Jul 22, 2014

Guest Book

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Rest in peace Gary, only thing we had in common was our family, Your mother,which is my great aunt Franchise. we talked always about grandma Barnes... i wished i meant you sooner.. will always miss you, Thank you for all your information on Grandma Barnes...


I know Gary will be greatly missed by his family and the Washington bluegrass community. He was so faithful to the music. I will miss you Gary, but I am so thankful for your musical encouragement over the years.

At Gary's celebration of life I could not get up and give the speech I wanted. When I cry, I cannot talk and I didn't think I could make it through without doing so. I just wanted to say it was nice to hear that Andy was privileged that Gary had chose her for his wife for 53 years. I would say that it was a privilege to have her for a sister-in-law for 53 years. I believe Gary and Andy were soul mates. He didn't get to choose me, I just happened and he had to live with that!
When Gary...

Gary was a fine example to all of us how we should be towards others. He was kind, humble, gave of himself to others, loved his family with all of his heart. His kindness and smile made you always want to talk with him and you came away feeling better. Loved bluegrass music and the people involved, who are like family. Gary will be missed, but all of our life's are better because of him. RIP Gary!!

Will miss your great humor and music! Rest In Peace in Gods hands!
A friend in Bluegrass, and comedy songs, and country! Love it all!!
SallyGene DeBriae in Ryderwood !

Was a great man he was one of my favorite customers on Mondays and I really enjoyed seeing pictures of his grand daughters and the stories he shared about them.

Gary was a very sweet, kind and funny man who will be greatly missed by all his bluegrass music buddies. His warmth and good humor brightened my day many times. I send my condolences to his family. I'll be singing some songs in his honor for a long time.

Gary was one of my all-time favorite people at the Mt. St. Helens bluegrass festival. He was a very kind man with a great sense of humor. Our whole band will miss him very much.

Rob Hakanson
Great Northern Planes bluegrass band

Gary was the first bluegrasser I met when I moved from MD to WA in 2003. I saw an ad that a bluegrass band was going to be performing at a local store. It was at that show that I first spoke to Gary during a break. He gave me such a great bluegrass welcome! Our friendship really grew over these last 11 years and I will miss seeing Gary at all the bluegrass events, listing to him pick, enjoying his sense of humor, and our many conversations. To Gary's family...I'm sharing in your sorrow at...


Gary's Obituary

Gary Eldon Phelps passed away suddenly from a heart attack July 22, 2014. He was born in Olympia, Washington on November 27, 1939. He graduated from Olympia High School with the class of 1958. He joined the Navy and spent a year in Kodiak, Alaska. He then served on the USS Rochester and USS McKean touring the Pacific. After leaving the Navy, he and his wife settled in Auburn, Washington. He graduated from St. Martin's College with a degree in Education. Gary started his teaching career as a kindergarten teacher in Oakville. He then began teaching fourth grade in Onalaska and later retired after 17 years in the district. Gary also served on the Rochester School Board for several years.He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Andrea; two children, Todd (Brandy) Phelps and Bethany Phelps; five grandchildren, Jaymi Phelps, Michael Ready, Aaron Carlson, Izzabella Phelps, and Elizabeth Phelps; and his sister, Roberta Stanford.Gary's greatest passion was Bluegrass music. He was a past president of the Washington Bluegrass Association. He played the fiddle with the Lewis County Pickers and other bands. Gary was often seen sporting the t-shirt of the latest bluegrass festival that he had attended. Gary also enjoyed working on the family property; Tending to the timber and the land, and replanting trees for the future. He also loved the outdoors, hunting, fishing, crabbing, and digging clams. Gary was very active in his grandchildren's lives. He devoted his weekends to following his granddaughters' softball teams and was a regular volunteer at their schools. Services to celebrate Gary's life will be held 12pm Monday July 28th 2014 at the Swede Hall 18543 Albany St. SW. Rochester, WA. Private family burial will be held earlier that day.Please share your memories of Gary by signing the online guest book.

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