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Gary W. Bailes

06/12/1961 - 5/19/2019
Service Details
Viewing for Gary will be from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at Steward & Williams Funeral Home in Ellensburg. A Celebration of Life will be held on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 starting at 1:00 p.m. at the McIntosh Ranch in Ellensburg.
Obituary
Gary Wayne Bailes, 57, lifelong Ellensburg resident, died unexpectedly on Sunday, May 19, 2019, at Virginia Mason Memorial Hospital in Yakima, following a massive heart attack.

Gary was born June 12, 1961 to Floyd (Short) and Patricia Bailes. His older brother, Larry, was mad for weeks because they did not name him "Tony the Tiger". Gary was the youngest (but toughest) of six siblings and spent most of his childhood being tormented by his older brothers and sister. In turn, he went on to torment his nieces and nephews (and great nieces and nephews) for years to come.

He grew up about a block from the Ellensburg City Pool and as a youngster, would walk there every day in the summer. His love for swimming even led him to participate in the swim portion of the Whiskey Dick Triathalon, ONCE.

Gary developed an interest in farming when he was very young and before he could even drive, his mother, Pat, drove him out to work for Bob Poulsen. The Poulsen brothers always loved picking on Gary and jokingly nicknamed him "Eb" after the hired-man in the TV series "Green Acres". Gary worked for the Poulsen's for many summers and continued to help out whenever extra help was needed.

Gary attended school solely so that he could participate in wrestling and ended up graduating from Ellensburg High School in 1979. His proudest accomplishment- and one he spoke of for years after- was receiving the Bob Bennett Memorial award for wrestling. He always was a simple man.

Gary met Kimberly Brunson in 1983 through Kim's cousin, Randy Brunson. Although she can't quite remember why, rumor has it that Kim was the one who pursued Gary. They were married on February 21, 1987 and in their 32 years of marriage, had two children, Derek and Kelsey.

Gary began working for the Kittitas County Road Department in 1982 and devoted 22 years to the job. He then continued working for the State Department of Transportation during the winter months plowing snow and dealing with all of the "stupid drivers" on Snoqualmie Pass. We always enjoyed hearing all of the stories he would tell from his experiences on the pass. Gary also dabbled in tree cutting- owning his own bucket truck and chip truck. He did countless tree jobs for people in the area in his "spare time" and more often than not, these jobs were done as favors. He was always dedicated to his job in whatever line it was and was admired by many for his strong work ethic and his willingness to help anyone with anything.

Kim's dad, Tom Brunson, stole Gary from the Poulsen's and hired him (for free) to help out on the farm a couple years after he started dating Kim. Over the last 34 years, Tom was prepping Gary to one day take over the family farm. In 2010, Gary began leasing ground from Tom and purchasing his own farm equipment. Gary's son, Derek, started working alongside his dad and grandpa when he was 15 years old and in the recent years, started showing more interest in farming. Gary was so excited to show Derek the ropes and to be able to one day pass on the legacy of the farm.

Gary loved participating in Derek and Kelsey's activities while they were growing up and was always their biggest fan. He not only attended all of the baseball, softball, soccer, basketball, volleyball and 4-H functions, but took an active role in working with and even coaching them in sports.

In January of this year, Gary became a grandpa- although he was a "fur grandpa" long before that to Sir Ackley (the cat) and Miss Rogue (the dog) as he liked to call them. Gary would text Kelsey every morning to check in on the animals and never tired of receiving endless pictures of the two. Gary was also very much in love with his new grandson, Madden. He was so excited to watch him grow and to teach him the important things like "pull my finger" or "breathe deep, it'll be gone quicker." He already had jobs lined up on the farm for Madden and had big dreams of participating in his activities when he was older.

Gary is survived by his wife, Kim; son, Derek; daughter Kelsey (Damien) Roseberry and grandson Madden; mother, Pat Bailes; siblings, Ken Bailes, Sandy (Jim) Sperline, Jerry (Kathy) Bailes, Jack (Nancy) Bailes, Larry (Pam) Bailes; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Tom and Kathi Brunson; sister-in-law, Tonni Cameron; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Floyd (Short) Bailes and beloved cat, Staci.

Viewing for Gary will be from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at Steward & Williams Funeral Home in Ellensburg. A Celebration of Life will be held on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 starting at 1:00 p.m. at the McIntosh Ranch in Ellensburg.

Memorial contributions in Gary's honor are suggested to the Alzheimer's Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601 (www.alz.org), or to the Parkinson’s Foundation, 200 SE 1st Street, Suite 800, Miami, FL 33131 (www.parkinson.org).

Steward & Williams Funeral Home and Crematory of Ellensburg has been entrusted with caring for Gary’s family. Online condolences may be left at www.steward-williams.com
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