Gordon Garnhart: October 4, 1928 – December 20, 2023

Gordon D. Garnhart died unexpectedly at the age of 95, on 12/20/2023 at Regency of Whidbey in Oak Harbor, WA. He was born Oct. 4, 1928 in Buffalo, New York to George H. Garnhart and Gretchen N. (Shore) Garnhart. Growing up in North Tonawanda, New York he enjoyed his childhood, attended First Methodist Church, was active in the Boy Scouts of America and formed several life-long friendships. He earned his spending money mowing lawns, tending coal furnaces and delivering flower arrangement and bouquets on his bicycle for the local florist. His younger brother, David, was born in 1934, with whom he was very close. Their father died in 1942 when Gordon was not quite 14 yrs old, his mother managed to find work which allowed them to keep their house. Gordon enjoyed hiking, bicycling, camping and playing with their Boston terrier dog “Buzzy” and their Lionel electric train set. In August of 1945, at the end of his junior year in high school, his mother married Raymond Silcock. Subsequently Gordon and Dave acquired two older stepbrothers, Frank and Charles, and a younger stepsister, Florence. His new stepfather moved them all to Pasadena, CA, where Gordon earned his spending money as a hotel desk clerk, a helper in a hardware/gift store and later, helper in a large retail plant nursery. While attending Pasadena Junior College he met the light of his life, Shirley Parks, on a blind date. They dated for several years and were married June 25, 1950 in a double ceremony with Shirley’s sister, Charlotte and Richard Hauck. Gordon had just finished his junior year as a mechanical engineering student at UCLA and was planning to complete his studies in the following year. He was a member of the California National Guard, and when the 40th Infantry Division was activated, and was sent to Japan for advanced training then ultimately participated in the Korean War. On a weekend pass, while stationed in Japan, he climbed Mt. Fujiyama. He served in the 143rd field artillery as battalion chief of survey, attaining the rank of sergeant first class. He returned in the spring of 1952, and graduated from UCLA the following year. Their first child was born while he was still attending classes. Gordon’s entire working career of 33 yrs was with Western Gear Corporation. He held several important positions including field test engineer, service engineer, technical publications supervisor, project scheduler and computer applications specialist. He was on the field service assignment in 1955-1957 for 21 months at the Arnold Engineering Development Center near Tullahoma, TN. Then they made their home in Downey, CA until he was transferred in 1968 from the Lynnwood plant in CA to the Everett plant in Washington. He was on special assignment for six months in 1976 to Jamestown, North Dakota. He retired in 1986. Then in 1998 he and Shirley built a home and moved next door to daughter Linda in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, WA. Gordon was a member and participated actively in the First Baptist in Everett, and later First Reformed Church in Oak Harbor. He was a life member of the UCLA Alumni Association and Tau Beta Pi engineering scholastic fraternity, a member of the Technical Illustrators Management Association, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and a licensed mechanical engineer in the state of Calif. He was a life member of Alpha Masonic Lodge in Everett where he served as Master in 1980 and 1995, and the Scottish Rite, Valley of Everett, a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and the American Legion. In later years he was an active member of Whidbey Island Genealogical Searchers, and the National Model Railroaders Association. His hobbies included gardening, genealogy, model railroading, photography, and playing the piano by ear. He was a faithful loving husband and a devoted father. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Gordon was preceded in death by his parents, and his beloved wife of 68 years. He is survived by brother David of Roseville, CA, three daughters, Linda Preder of Oak Harbor, WA, Kathryn (Frank) Garnhart-Bushakra of Knoxville, TN, and Beverly (Gary) Micallef of Ellensburg, WA, 6 grandchildren, 8 great grandchildren and 2 great great grandchildren. A celebration of life service is being held at First Reformed Church of Oak Harbor April 13th at 1:00.