OBITUARY

Gary Joe Bracken

20 June, 193821 January, 2021
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Our joys will be greater, our love will be deeper, our lives will be fuller because we shared your moment – Unknown.

Gary Joe Bracken died January 21, 2021, at his home in Lakewood, Colorado. He is predeceased by his parents, Jack M. & Gertrude L. Bracken, and his sister Martha Elaine. He is survived by his wife, Pamela Sue Bracken, his daughter, Crystal Bracken Jacobson, son-in-law Steven D. Jacobson, and his grandson, Jack Walker Jacobson, of Grand Junction. He also leaves behind a dear niece, Jackie L. Carpenter (Barry), of Pasco, Washington, and a host of other loved ones, including family members both biological and chosen.

Born June 20, 1938 in Merced, California, Gary moved to Eastern Washington state, settling in Othello. In Othello, he excelled in school sports --- playing basketball, baseball, and quarterback for the football team. He pursued his higher education at Seattle Pacific College. After graduation, Gary joined the elite Army Intelligence unit and served his country from 1962-1965. While in Washington, D.C. he married Lillian Currie and they moved to Seattle. His daughter, Crystal Celeste, was born there. Gary earned his master’s degree in education in June of 1969. His career path led him to the Federal government and the Office of Personnel Management in Washington DC, and later he worked for the Bureau of Reclamation as well as some other Federal agencies.

In time he moved to beautiful Colorado and married Pam Bauer in 1974, marking the start of a lifetime of love, adventure, and the finding of his true home. Gary was also a Realtor for a time, as well as a business owner. He eventually returned to his work as a mediator for the Federal government. In 2004 he was surprised and elated by the arrival of his first and only grandchild, Jack, named for both the child’s great-grandfathers. Gary was a loving father and it pleased him to become, at last, a grandfather as well. Pam and Gary were married for more than 46 years, dedicated partners through times of joy and times of adversity. The phrase ‘sports car enthusiast’ was probably invented for him; he especially loved the Z car from Nissan/Datsun. Gary and Pam were active in the Z Car Club of Colorado for more than 25 years. Gary was a steadfast and solid friend. He had a unique way with people and connected with those from many and varied backgrounds. Over his lifetime he touched the hearts of countless others. He honored the arts, especially great literature, and was an avid and lifelong reader. As a young man, he raised his voice to lead singing in church. He had a love for music, especially the kind with a strong vocal. He enjoyed cinema as well; going to the movies with Pam gave him immense pleasure, especially later in his life. He was a great animal lover and always held them dear.

A Daughter’s Note: Though I am bent and burdened with grief for this loss, there is yet some joy to be found. This is my twentieth year living on the beautiful Western Slope of Colorado. Since I’ve been here, particularly after the birth of my beloved son Jack some 16 years ago, I have had the privilege and pleasure of getting to know my Dad, and Pam, sort of all over again. I believe we were as close as ever we were in the last ten years or so. I have also been astonished and delighted by the outpouring of love from the many people Daddy touched in his long life, both during his illness and after he moved on. We are so grateful to all of you. I feel like I can only be the better for having known a soul that meant so much to so many. In our hearts, he is near us still, he does not waver: he continues. Please share your memories and photographs with us.

Memorial donations may be made to MaxFund Animal Adoption Center www.maxfund.org

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Gary Joe Bracken

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Carrolle Rushford

8 June 2021

I can't remember when Gary and Pam weren't a part of my life. Gary hired me in 1975 and I moved to Denver from Montana. He guided and supported me, made me laugh, and above all, became one of my dearest friends. He helped me find the house of my dreams in 1979 and showed up in his work clothes to install a fan, to fix my thermostat, and even paint my house! I have so many wonderful memories of the kindness from Gary and Pam. What a blessing to have had him in my life.

Lee Kaspari

6 June 2021

Gary was a neighbor and fiend in Lakewood. We have always admired his love of life and and his versatile interests. We shared his and Pam's love of animals and so enjoyed their company. He is much in our thoughts and prayers. Lee and Nancy Kaspari

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Gary and his sister Elaine as kids . . .

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A young Gary poses with mid-fifties Ford . . .

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Gary and his sister Elaine as kids . . .

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A young Gary poses with mid-fifties Ford . . .

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