Gary Peter Anderson

February 19, 1945 ~ February 14, 2022 (age 76)


Gary Peter Anderson passed unexpectedly at home while he slept in the early morning hours of February 14, 2022.  Gary was 76, and in a few short days expected to celebrate his 77th birthday with his family.

Gary leaves behind his grieving wife of over 53 years, Penelope “Penny” Anderson and daughter Amy Patricia Grace Anderson.

Gary was born February 19, 1945, in Oakland, California, the first of eight children to Bert and Winona Anderson who preceded him in death as did three of his brothers (Richard, Bruce, and David).  He is survived by sisters Carolyn (Harry) Kavich, Susan (Connie,) brothers Eric (Malia), Kim (Sue) and his brother-in-law, Ted Deacon and nieces, nephews, and grand nephews.

Gary worked his way through college, graduating from Humboldt State University in 1968 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History/Speech.  It was while he mentored a young debate team that he met his future wife and some wonderful life-long friends. Gary excelled in speech competitions (top debater at HSU) and through the years gave many well-crafted presentations tinged with a surprising, dry humor.

As he completed his degree, Gary was invited to work for Chevron, transferring to their Medford, Oregon office.  This began a 16-year career with many transfers (Boise, Spokane, Ellensburg, Seattle) and various positions with the company.

Gary decided to own his own business and settle in Ellensburg (Union 76) and leave Chevron.  He enjoyed running his own business and working with his employees and customers.  When Union 76 decided to do a 10-year market pull-out from Washington State Gary took on a Chevron station in Bend, Oregon, but came back home to be with his wife and young child after a year.  Gary’s last occupation was working for the State Liquor Board in Ellensburg, retiring a year or so after the liquor store was privatized.

Gary played football while in high school and college, earning a damaged back in the process.  He thoroughly enjoyed fly-fishing, back-packing in his younger days, playing poker, working crossword and sudoku puzzles (admired but not emulated by his wife) watching all sorts of sports—basketball, football, baseball--particularly St. Mary’s, Gonzaga, the Golden State Warriors, the Sea Hawks, and the Mariner’s.  He wasn’t as interested in tennis but would patiently sit by as his wife would hyper-ventilate watching Rafael Nadal play! 

Man does not live by sports alone and Gary was no exception.  He had a life-long interest in US History, particularly the Civil War period.  He read many books and shared anecdotes of that time with his family.

Fortunately for many, Gary liked to cook.  He made many tasty dishes for the Anthropology Department holiday parties through the years.  At Christmas he sent his spicy pretzels, candied walnuts, short bread cookies and butter tarts to his brother-in-law and all his brothers and sisters and friends alike.  Always generous, if asked he would send the recipes as well.

Gary and Penny enjoyed some wonderful trips with dear friends through the years---visiting the Grand Canyon, Glacier, multiple visits to Yellowstone, Sun River, Hawaii, and visits to see family and friends in California and Canada.

Gary was a very intelligent, kind person with a quick wit that entertained and never demeaned. The joy of his life was his daughter Amy.

A service will be held to honor Gary’s life at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, March 11, 2022 at Johnston & Williams Funeral Home, 301 E. Third Avenue.  A reception will be held following the service, details on location will be provided at that time. 

If you wish to make any donations in Gary’s name, please consider the American Heart Association (, the American Parkinson Disease Association or any caring cause you favor.

Johnston & Williams Funeral Home and Crematory of Ellensburg has been entrusted with caring for Gary and his family.  Online condolences may be left at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gary Peter Anderson, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Service
March 11, 2022

2:30 PM
Johnston & Williams Funeral Home and Crematory
301 E. 3rd Ave.
Ellensburg, WA 98926

Video is available for this event

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