Gary was born in Sedro-Woolley, Washington on January 13, 1938 to loving parents, Shelby ‘Chub’ and Ruby (Parker) Talbert.
He attended all 12 grades of school in Sedro-Woolley, graduating with the SWHS class of 1956. Gary lettered in wrestling, worked on the Cub Newspaper and the Kumtux Yearbook.
Gary proudly enlisted into the US Marine Corp in June, 1956. He was stationed in both California and Alaska, serving as a Corporal and Tank Commander. Upon his honorable discharge he returned to Sedro-Woolley and worked as a logger. He later attended both Skagit Valley College and Washington State College. Gary lived in Hawaii for a year and then moved to the Bay Area in California, where he worked for Pacific Telephone as a salesman and later as the Sales Manager. He was a Loaned Executive for the Bay Area United Way Drives.
In 1974, Gary began working for his father-in-law as Vice President in charge of sales at the Oakland Athletic Club. He was instrumental in making the Club co-ed. Gary, along with his partner, purchased the Oakland Athletic Club in 1977. Later they sold the Club, and the partnership went on the build the San Jose Athletic Club. The San Jose Club became one of the largest, private, athletic and social clubs on the West Coast. The partnership sold the Club in 1989 and Gary began his retirement.
Gary was a lifetime avid hunter and fisherman, learning those skills from his uncle, Les Talbert. He hunted and fished from Alaska and Canada to South America, and most of the Western United States. While living in California, he was co-owner of several duck clubs.
Gary moved back to Washington in 2004 to marry one of his classmates, Claudean (Hanson) Davis, whose husband, Eddie Davis had passed three years earlier. This move back home gave him the opportunity to spend time with and be a caregiver to his aging parents. Gary and Claudean loved living at the beach on Whidbey Island and made many wonderful friends and enjoyed all the crabbing, clamming, and fishing the island had to offer. In Gary’s true fashion, most of the bounty was shared with neighbors, family and friends.
Gary’s hobbies included hunting, fishing, boating, gardening, WWII history, golfing and traveling. He was a huge Husky football fan. He traveled to Europe many times, visiting most of the countries. His favorite trips were a Camera Safari in Africa and visiting D Day’s Omaha Beach in Normandy, France. He traveled the Mediterranean by boat and also the West Indies and the Caribbean.
Gary lived his life to the fullest and was always known as a generous person. He had a soft spot in his heart for dogs, giving treats to all the dogs in the neighborhood each day, they loved him too! He was a patriot, he loved good food, he was a great storyteller, he made friends easily, and was a true and loyal friend. He helped those in need. Many young sailors serving at Whidbey Naval Air Base were recipients of his generosity.
Gary was the first ever Life Member of the Washington Waterfowl Association. He also served on the Board of Directors as well as Membership Director. He was a Sponsoring Life Member of Duck’s Unlimited, California Waterfowl Association, and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. He also was a volunteer and supporter of the Boys and Girls club of Skagit County.
Gary is survived by his loving wife, Claudean; son, Shannon (Natashia) Talbert and their children, Ryan, Garrett, and Carissa; daughter, Erin (Robert) Beall and their sons, Landon and Jake; two great granddaughters, Irie and Elle; the mother of his children, Loretta Talbert; stepchildren, Chery (Bob) Crane and Carol (Ken) Rindal; step grandchildren, Mandy, Heidi, Tyler, Kelsey and Cody; step great grandchildren; brother-in-law, Jack (Mona) Kerr and family; sisters-in-law, Laura Hanson and family, and Pat Hanson; childhood and lifelong friends, Bob and Stan; and way too many others to name.
Gary was predeceased by his parents; infant brother, Billy; good friends Ron and Leonard, and his black lab, Bozzie.
Gary was a loyal friend to many, with a kind heart of generosity to all. To be loved and missed by so many is a tribute to how Gary lived his life.
Gary’s family wishes to acknowledge the wonderful care and comfort provided by Hospice of the Northwest, especially nurse, Kim and the VA volunteers.
If remembrances wish to be made, please consider the Boys and Girls Club of Skagit County, P.O. Box 947, Mount Vernon, WA 98273, or the Washington Waterfowl Association, 10610 66th Ave., Puyallup, WA 98373.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 11:00, August 18, 2023 at Lemley Chapel, Sedro-Woolley, WA. A luncheon will follow at Sedro-Woolley Community Center, 703 Pacific Street.
This joyful celebration is a casual affair, please wear colorful dress in remembrance of Gary, who brought 85 years of joy, love and happiness into our world. Semper Fi.
Share your memories of Gary and sign the online guest register.