YAKIMA - Larry Gilkey Jr., 64, of Yakima, beloved dad, grandpa, brother and uncle passed away peacefully April 13th at his home after a short but courageous battle with lung cancer.
Larry was born October 9, 1944 to Loren and Gail Gilkey of Yakima. He spent his entire life residing on the same family property in which he was born.
He graduated from Eisenhower in 1963, and joined the Marine Corp Reserve, where he served for 6 years. With his love for all things automotive, he went to work for Texaco, Wickstrom Motors, and Al Frank's Auto. The knowledge he gained from those early jobs inspired him to open Larry's Auto Sales in 1973. In his later years, he worked in construction, and drove a mean snow plow.
Larry had an immense love for cars, especially vintage cars. He often participated in car shows with the Vintiques Car Club of Yakima. His pride and joy was a 1973 white Chevrolet Caprice convertible that he loved to cruise thru town. Another passion was woodworking and he took great pride in building custom items for friends.
Larry was extremely proud of his children, Karen, Stacey and Marc, and loved sharing stories to his friends about them. He took a huge interest in his grandkids Tayler, Johnny and Hunter as they were truly the sunshine in his days. He participated every year in the Selah Days Parade with Hunter, and had several other traditions that he cherished with his grandkids, (especially the holidays).
Larry will be deeply missed by his family. We were so proud of him and his nonstop generosity. He loved to work in his garage and most times, that is where he could be found. He was such a helpful and kind man, he was the "go-to" guy who never turned a family member, friend or stranger away.
Larry is survived by his daughters Karen Gilkey (Glenn) and Stacey Sullivan (John); son Marc Gilkey; grandchildren Tayler & Johnny Sullivan and Hunter Gilkey; sister Patricia Stark (Ronald); brother Coleman Gilkey (Janie) and many nieces and nephews.
Larry is preceded in death by his parents Loren and Gail, and 3 nephews: Shad, Eric and Jason.
Special thanks to the following:
To our mother, Sue Anderson , who opened her heart and home to both families, staying right beside him to the end. They had a special connection with each other that never ended.
To Pat, Ron and family for the many hours spent with Dad at the hospital and home, and for the tremendous support they provided his kids thru this tough journey.
To Cole, whose loving support to his big brother meant so much to Dad.
To Uncle Mike and Aunt Delores, who have been a part of Dad's life for many years. Their compassion, guidance and continued support is so appreciated! Thank you for the great meals and for taking care of us.
To Memorial Hospital, (2nd floor), Memorial Hospice and North Star Lodge for the outstanding care they gave to Dad. Tracy and David you are amazing!
Lastly, A VERY SPECIAL THANKS to Dad for the unexpected snowfall the morning after you left us. We knew it was a "kiss" from you on your way to Heaven, a sign that you are well again.
According to his wishes, formal services will not be held. Instead, the family would like to extend an invitation to friends and neighbors to gather and celebrate his life at an open house. Please join us on Saturday May 2nd from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm at 3201 S Wiley Road.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Memorial Hospice or Northstar Lodge. Friends and family of Larry are encouraged to visit www.LarryGilkey.com and share treasured memories or funny stories about him. He was our quiet, gentle rock, and will be missed by so many.
Grieve awhile for me, If grieve you must,
Then let your grief be comforted by trust,
It is only for awhile that we must part,
So bless the memories that lie within your heart.
I won't be far away, for life goes on,
So if you need me, call and I will come.
Though you can't see or touch me, I'll be near,
And if you listen with your heart, you will hear
All my love around you, soft and clear
And then, when you must come this way alone...
I'll greet you with a smile, and say "Welcome Home"...