Gary Dean Grittman

October 31, 1934 – February 17, 2024


Last updated 3/5/2024 at 10:01am

Gary Dean Grittman

On February 17, at the age of 89, Gary Dean Grittman peacefully left us to be with his forever love and wife, Lucy.

Gary was born in Esbon, Kansas on October 31, 1934, in a one-room cabin on his grandmother Kincheloe's property where his parents, John and Enid Grittman, were living. Gary was the oldest of three children, Larry the second child and Bonnie the third born. They moved from Kansas to Grants Pass, Oregon, in 1941 looking for a better life. There were four adults and three children all packed into a 1931 Pontiac for the journey west.

Gary had a paper route while living in Grants Pass, and would ride his bike for miles delivering newspapers to the community. Around 1950, they moved to Hillsboro where they finally put down permanent roots. Gary graduated from Hillsboro High School in 1953 and immediately joined the Marine Corps. He was discharged in 1955, then in 1956 married his sweetheart Lucy Starr. They moved to Renton, Washington, for his new job at Boeing. In 1960, they moved back to Oregon after Gary was hired on with the Portland Fire Bureau, which became his lifetime career. He retired in 1990 after 30 years of dedicated service.

The fire bureau was his second home. He spent many hours with those friends, hunting, fishing, playing handball, and a lot of card games. He was an avid bowler for more than 40 years with Lucy, locally, also participating in state and national bowling tournaments. They also made many trips to Reno over the years, meeting up with friends from around the country with whom they enjoyed Keno and Slot tournaments. There were many snowbirding trips to Arizona with his brother Larry and sister-in-law Sharon, and albums of memories.

He spent family time camping, annual vacations, family reunions, horseback riding, playing board games. Annual camping trips with the children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren were the best.

Gary and Lucy divorced in 1979, and remarried each other in 1992, they were married all together for 53 years. He moved in with Lucy before they remarried, and had lived in Sisters ever since. It was their peaceful sanctuary amongst the pines trees and the sweet smell of bitterbrush.

Gary is preceded in death by his parents, siblings, and wife Lucy. He is survived by daughter Virginia Nies and husband Jim, and son Kevin Grittman, eight grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren.

A Celebration of Life for both Gary and Lucy will be held on June 8, their anniversary date, at Silver Falls State Park, Creekside Shelter, from 1 to 6 p.m. There is a $5 parking fee for this park.


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