Gary Harlan Heaton - 1947 - 2019


Gary Harlan Heaton, longtime resident of McMinnville, Oregon, died suddenly Wednesday, May 22, 2019, at the age of 72.
Born April 15, 1947, in Joplin, Missouri, Gary grew up in a military family and moved frequently, finally settling in Corpus Christi, Texas. He attended W.B. Ray High School until 1965. While in the service, Gary received his associate's degree in business management from Ohio State University.
Gary enlisted in the Army on September 9, 1965, and served several tours of duty with distinction during the Vietnam War in the 1st Infantry Division, 101st Airborne Division, and 1st Special Forces Command, Airborne. He was highly decorated – a fact he never mentioned.
He continued to serve as a first sergeant in the U.S. Army for a period of 20 years, retiring on October 21, 1985.
The consummate outdoorsman, Gary enjoyed fishing, camping and horseback riding. He was a talented cook who never forgot his Southern roots.
A true patriot and proud American, Gary loved God and his country. He valued his family and the many friends who will miss his captivating storytelling and engaging humor.
Survivors include his wife, Dianne; his sister, Sherry Deckert; his children, Dawn and Brent; and his step-children, Karen, Jack (Apollo), and Sarah.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Velta; two brothers, Jay and Phillip; and infant son, Cody. Gary’s life will be celebrated at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, June 22, at Church on the Hill, followed by full military honors/reception at 3:00 p.m. at the American Legion Post 21, 126 N.E. Atlantic St., McMinnville.
Memorial contributions can be made to the American Legion Post 21.


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