Gary William Reynolds was born on December 23, 1943 in Neodesha, Kansas to William M. and Leona M. (Maggie) (Jacobs) Reynolds. He passed away on May 30, 2017 at the Puget Sound Health Care System VA hospital after a brave battle against cancer. Gary attended schools in Neodesha and graduated in May, 1961. He won a Naval Reserve Officer Training (NROTC) scholarship and qualified for placement in the Scholarship Hall Program at the University of Kansas (KU), graduating in 1965, with a Liberal Arts degree (BA) as an English Major. Gary later studied for and passed the ASQC certification test for Quality Engineering. He was a member of Greater Puget Sound Phi Beta Kappa.
After being commissioned as Ensign, USN, Gary received specialized training in Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) skills prior to being shipped to Saigon, Vietnam in June 1967. While serving in Vietnam, he was a Patrol Officer on the River Patrol Boats in the Mekong Delta. He served as a US Navy Line Officer until 1975, at which time he was honorably discharged, and then as a US Navy Line Officer, US Navy Reserve, until 1983. Gary rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander during his service in the US Navy Reserve. He received several commendations and medals during his service, including the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V and two Presidential Unit Citations. He was very proud of having served his country.
Gary married Catherine Rickbone in 1970 and they later divorced. While married and living in Kansas City, Missouri he was employed by Milbank Manufacturing Company as an Inside Sales Manager. He moved to Seattle, Washington in 1979 and worked in a variety of Quality positions at Todd Pacific Shipyards and later did Independent Quality Assurance Consulting, and worked in several Quality positions, both in management and engineering, at Bell Illuminated Displays and Korry Electronics. He took special pride in having worked as the Quality Manager, International Ship Design, a NATO Project, in Hamburg, Germany in 1987. After retirement he spent much time serving as the family historian. He developed the Reynolds DNA project and served in a variety of positions for the Reynolds Family Association (RFA). Gary enjoyed living near the ocean above Puget Sound, gourmet cooking, good movies, reading books, especially Ernest Hemmingway, classical and country music, and he was a huge Seattle Seahawks fan.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents. Survivors include his soul mate Merlene Kelly, with whom he spent 37 years of his life, and her children Brock Kelly, who he considered to be like his own son, and Shannon Ashworth. His sisters Marsha O'Connor, Louisburg, Kansas, Phyllis Shultz (Larry), Winfield, Kansas and Nancy Loflin (Doug), Excelsior Springs, Missouri. Also surviving are several cousins and nine nieces and nephews.
Inurnment services will be held at the Neodesha Cemetery on Friday, June 23rd, at 11:00 a.m. under the direction of the Loran Fawcett Chapel.