Gary Meredith Ford passed away May 30th, 2019 at PMC Hospital in Pocatello He was born June 24th, 1936 in Pocatello, Idaho to Beatrice (Meredith) & Arthur Spencer Ford. He was the 2nd of 3 sons.
Gary grew up in a musical family. His father was a drummer and had an orchestra. In 1936 he opened Ford Music Company. Gary was born in the same year, and at a young age started taking piano lessons. He attended St. Joseph's Catholic School through 8th grade, and then proceeded to Pocatello High School, and was a kicker for their football team, then graduating in 1954. Following High School, it was time to join his call to service. The U.S. Marines. After boot camp during peace time Gary was stationed in El Toro and China Lake, California. But serving as a personnel clerk he acquired and honed his very fine penmanship. Throughout his life he took pride, thought, & put forth effort in everything he wrote. He was truly the "Few and The Proud." After completing his service Gary enrolled at The University of Idaho in Moscow where he studied in Forestry. Then Gary went to work for the family business for thirty years. He was in charge of the guitar department during the 60's and 70's. It was a time of rock and folk craze. Because of Gary, many happy young men and women left with their brand new acoustic or electric guitar and amplifier. There he sold TV's, musical instruments, and records at Ford Music. Over the years Gary not only mastered his craft on the piano, but he could also play by ear. You'd tell him what song you wanted to hear, and he'd play it on the spot. Gary played dance jobs, fundraisers, & local establishments throughout Pocatello & southeast Idaho including The Hotel Yellowstone, & Sun Valley Lodge Dining Room.
Gary loved everything about the game of golf, the sportsmanship, outdoors, competition, and camaraderie. One spring and summer in 1958 he played at least 27 holes a day and practiced a lot. He ended up winning the city championship. He played for years in the Nooners group and with family and friends. Wonderful times.
After 50 years of service in Pocatello, Ford Music closed in 1986. This creating a new journey the next few years in Pipe Fitting construction in Idaho, Casper, & Pinedale Wyoming, and Redding California. Gary even loved working plant shutdown jobs well into his retirement. Even working one with his son.
After studying Forestry 30 years ago he finally had the opportunity to put it to use and complete his working career in Ashton, for The Targhee National Forest Service. There he would inspect tree planting crews, path reclamation, and his favorite, fighting forest fires. He always looked back with satisfaction of a hard day's work. The smoke, the dirt, the grit, the helicopter rides, & the friends he met were all in it for the duration. The satisfaction of the construction jobs gave him the same pleasure. Even better was the food service after a hard day's work. Gary loved to eat. His brother Spence always thought Gary's middle initial "M" should stand for McDonald's instead of Meredith. The Great 1988 Yellowstone National Park Fire was one of many. In 1989 on New Year's Eve, Gary met His love of 30 years, Karolyn Larson. They would spend his many great remaining years, alongside family, with countless wonderful memories. Gary loved to cross country ski, and backpack in the mountains. One trip with his brothers Dick, Spence, his son Zachery, and nephew Roger, started at Teton campground out of Driggs, Idaho, 21 miles across the side of the Grand Teton, and ended at Jenny Lake. Breathtaking views. Wow!
The things Gary did for the community, friends he made, and commitment he made for his family were traits of his character that will forever be cherished, appreciated, and missed. His ashes will now be riding on the winds of time.
In the words of his brother Spence, "what a nice man to have on planet earth for a while. I love you man."
In words of his son Zack, "The best Father and friend I could ever ask for. Say hi to everyone up there for me, I can't wait for our grand reunion. Save us a tee time."
In the words of Karolyn, his love, "I'll miss you forever."
Gary was preceded in death by: Father A. Spencer Ford; Mother Beatrice (Meredith); Brother Richard Ford; Spouse Annette Ford; and Grandson Broden Meredith Ford.
He is survived by: Companion of 30 years Karolyn Larson; Brother Spence Ford; Nephews Steve Ford, John Ford, Robert Ford, Roger Ford; Niece Carolyn Ford; Son Zachery Ford; Grandchildren Preston Ford, Megan Ford, & Jesse Ford.
There will be a graveside service at Mountain View Cemetery (Section 35 West) with a military rights salute Saturday June 22nd at 1:00 pm followed by a celebration of Gary's life at the Hotel Yellowstone downtown Pocatello at 2:00 pm.
Donations may be sent to your favorite charity in Gary's name. Arrangements are under the direction of the Cornelison Funeral Home, 431 N. 15th Ave., Pocatello. Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.cornelisonfh.com