Gary A. Cole, beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend passed away on January 28, 2023 from an aggressive form of brain cancer. Gary was born on January 27, 1942, in Orofino, Idaho. A lifelong Weippe, Idaho resident, Gary was a well-known and much beloved member of the community who was always willing to pitch in and help friends, family, and neighbors. During snowy winter days, you could find him outside plowing the driveways of neighbors and friends.
Gary married the love of his life, Micki (Jean) Cole in 1962. Together they devotedly raised their children, Lisa and Kevin. Gary travelled all over with Micki and his family, to places like Florida, Alaska and Jamaica, and they had many wonderful adventures together.
Gary adored his wife and was a terrific father to his children, and a wonderful grandfather as well. His sense of humor, candor, work ethic and thoughtfulness were an inspiration to the entire family.
Gary joined the US Forest Service at age 17. His love and care for the Clearwater National Forest extended into a 47-year career. Gary was also a Logistics Sections Chief for a Type-1 National Forest Fire Team. He fought fires and helped with disaster recovery all over the country, spending weeks away from his family and his beloved local community and forest to preserve woodlands, homes, and lives.
Gary continued his service with the national fire team after his retirement and his family and friends loved to hear about his adventures. He always downplayed his role, but we knew he was a true hero.
As an avid outdoorsman, Gary enjoyed shooting, camping, fishing, boating, as well as building squirrel houses as he and Micki repopulated their neighborhood with the little critters. He not only cared for his own pets, but was known to help a stray animal whenever need be.
Gary was a strong believer in Forest Management and preserving the great outdoors he so loved. He passed on his deep appreciation for nature to his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. One of his favorite things to do was explore the trails in his side-by-side with his family.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents, Artice Kuest and Marvin Kuest, as well as his Grandma Alma Boehm and Grandpa Charlie Boehm who helped raise him.
He is survived by his wife, Micki Cole, his daughter and son-in-law, Lisa and David Doty, his son and daughter-in-law, Kevin and SueLynn Cole, and his grandchildren, Anni Doty, Justin Doty and Katelyn Doty. Gary is also survived by his great-grandchildren, Michael, Kaleb, Jordyn, and Olivia and his beloved cats, Otis and Spunky. Although Gary will be missed, his legacy lives on with his family.
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