Gary Gaines

Obituary of Gary G. Gaines

Gary was born in Coeur d’Alene and was indeed a son of northern Idaho. His birth interrupted a family huckleberry picking trek on a hot summer day, July 18, 1937. On the same day, Gary’s grandmother, Bertha Gray, gave birth to her 13th child (Shirley), who would become Gary’s aunt. The only child of Clifford Lewis (Bud) and Bonnie Alene (Gray) Gaines, Gary spent his early years surrounded by grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in Rathdrum, Idaho. Gary quickly followed some well-worn footprints in becoming a lifelong outdoorsman with his extended family, that made their living in the woods. When World War II began, the family moved to Des Moines, Washington, where Gary continued his discovery of the outdoors in the tides of the Pacific Ocean while his dad worked in the Todd Shipyards for the war effort. Gary modeled a sense of integrity and honor that stayed with him his entire life and was always there to stand up for the underdog. Returning to Rathdrum, Gary attended northern Idaho public schools while working various jobs and then graduated from Coeur d’Alene High School in 1955. He took full advantage of his father Bud’s mechanic skills to keep a ’37 Chevy Coupe running the streets of Coeur d’Alene. Gary always seemed to have a nose for where the fish were biting and the bucks rutting. After high school, he attended North Idaho College, where he met and married Charlotte Johnson. A good student with an aptitude for math, Gary’s heart, and soul belonged to the great outdoors, and his need to support a young family followed him there. A major heartbreak came with the birth of his first daughter, Glori Gineen, who only lived a few days before passing. Gary’s daughter, Cameo Gaye, was born in 1961 and was followed by Marc Gray in 1962 and Cheriene Joy in 1966. Gary introduced his family to all things that made him who he was: honor, integrity, work ethic, and the great outdoors. Gary joined Washington Water Power (Avista) as a meter reader, leading to a lifelong career as a lineman. Gary and the children moved to St. Maries in 1974. In 1981 he met and married Virginia (Ginny) Gaines. Ginny and her two children, Kristen and Danny, joined Gary to forge a new family. A true love for the outdoors was the foundation of all the family did together. Fishing together on the Chain Lakes and the St. Joe River were just the appetizers for a shared family passion for elk hunting. Gary was well known for his fishing and hunting skills, and he shared his love of the outdoors with anyone willing to come along and learn. Indeed, those skills have been passed to generations to follow (not to mention numerous workmates, friends, and neighbor kids). Gary loved golf, hunting, and fishing because they each demanded the ability to problem solve in a physically demanding way. Known as an excellent teacher, Gary has taught many people the challenging game of golf and volunteered countless hours to the St. Maries Golf Course and high school golf team. Gary was a competitive golfer and particularly enjoyed his time with Mens’ League. However, playing with Marc, his son-in-law Dale, and all the grandkids was always the time he appreciated the most. Gary lived for a better day, a better round, a better season, a bigger fish, a better life. If we could choose a single word to describe our husband, father, grandfather, uncle, or friend, it would be “true.” He was true to himself, faithful to others, and true to God. Gary is survived by his wife Ginny, children Mitch and Cammy Lawrence, Marc Gaines, Cheriene DiNoia, Dale and Kristen Johnson, Danny and Kim Felton, grandchildren Dewey and Sunni Appleford, Sean and Laci Literal, Nick and Mackenzie Genatone, Colin and Ali McInnis, Nicholas Lawrence, Earl Gaines and Maren, Thomas DiNoia and Megan, Joe Gaines, Addison Johnson, Camden Felton, HanSena DiNoia, Cade Felton, and great-grandchildren Haylee and Hannah Appleford, Avery and Ashton Literal, Taycen, Kenna and Jimmer Genatone, Mari McInnis and Presley Gaines. A memorial service to celebrate Gary’s life will be Sunday, May 15, 2022, at 1:00 pm at the Elks Lodge in St. Maries. A gathering to share a meal will follow.

Memorial Service

1:00 pm
Sunday, May 15, 2022
Elks Lodge
628 Main Street
St. Maries, Idaho, United States
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