JULY 18, 1938 – OCTOBER 16, 2022
Gary Bennette Partin was born on July 18, 1938, in Nacogdoches, Texas. He passed from this life, from our arms into the arms of angels, to be carried to his eternal home on Sunday, October 16, 2022 at the age of 84 years, 2 months and 28 days. He was the son of Gerald B. and Marie Birdwell Partin and the grandson of George B. and Edna Mae Partin, and Bennie Young and Biddie Birdwell, all of which were especially important to him. During World War II, while his father served in the Seabees, his mother worked as a “wielder” for the war effort in Houston. After Gerald B. returned home, the family moved to Llano, Texas where he transported monument granite. In Llano, Gary lived the life of a young adventurer—he built boats out of any scrap he could find and tried to float them down the Llano River (which probably never worked); he rode his bicycle miles and miles, exploring the country and visiting schoolmates; he spent many hours with an older gentleman that lived next door who had lived thru the Indian Wars, and showed Gary how to make bow and arrows like the Indians did, told him many tales that Gary was able to hang his imagination on for years to come. He believed his life in Llano was truly a wonderful way for a boy to grow up. As time moved on, they had to move to Houston to make ends meet and Gary attended school in Galena Park. He truly hated the city, but he started to try and fit in. He played baseball for the First Baptist Church, and made many friends that he remembered throughout his lifetime. It was the time of “rock and roll”, sock hops, “ducktail” haircuts, pink shirts and suede shoes. Gary worked on the weekends for the Houston Chronicle stacking papers to help with the family expenses. As he graduated from high school, he quickly signed up with the Marine Corps and left a couple of days later for California. A completely new experience for a young country/city boy! California was the land of milk and honey in that day and everyone wanted to go there. While still serving in the Marine Corps, Gary started working in the upper end restaurants and bars as a bar boy, waiter, and evidentially as a bartender with a reputation similar to the character Tom Cruse played in the movie. He served many famous movie stars such as James Garner and James Arness. Gary’s life was not dull in this time period and as he moved from the Marine Corps life to civilian life on the West Coast, he also lived in pursuit of the perfect ride—from Fords to Mercuries to fast motorcycles. His love of fine automobiles was a love that lasted his entire life, with his last being a red 1964 Ranchero.
In the early 1960, Gary and Susan Berry were married in Tuscan, Ca. and they had two children—Gary and Kelly. After a serious accident, a divorce followed and the children’s grandparents adopted them to raise. Gary allowed this to happen only because he didn’t feel he was capable of caring properly for them, did not feel that Susan could hand it, and settled for trusting the maternal grandparents to the task. He always hoped that someday he would be able to have a part in their lives which came true in the early 90s. A letter showed up in the mail one day that said, “I think you are my dad!”. He never even finished reading the letter until he got on the phone and talked with his daughter, and later his son.
In the late 1960s, Gary and Peggy Russie were married in San Clemente, Ca. They adopted Jonathan Colt Partin prior to their leaving California and moving to Glenwood Springs, Colorado. By this time Gary had worked in the construction of California and learned many trades within, excelling in framing and heating/air conditioning. It proved to work out because he found work everywhere–from early morning till late night and then repeated it again the next day. At the same time he worked at building the family home on the property, growing a huge garden for them to enjoy, and harvesting all of their meat from the land in the form of elk and deer. Then they adopted Chasen Beau Partin from Denver, Colorado. Unfortunately, things did not work out and Peggy took the children and returned to California. This was devastating to Gary and he really never got over it. In later years, the boys moved to Texas and Gary worked hard to help them finish growing up, helping them through schools and activities of interest. Seeing both boys marry wonderful girls, very much pleased him.
In 1977 Gary and Charlotte Dannar Thompson were united in marriage in Chadron, Nebraska. From their previous marriages, they blended their family to include Colt and Chasen Partin, and Donna and Rod Thompson. Gary and his family returned to Nacogdoches County, Texas in 1980 where he remained for the rest of his life. He continued in the construction trade until his health would not allow him to go on. Then he went to farming—he raised strawberries (was known for some time as “The Strawberry Man}, exotic melons, blackberries and many vegetables. This later turned into raising fancy mules and mammoth donkey stock—at one time he had over 50 head. He also had such a love for English Springer Spaniels, and they were a very important part of his life. In the middle of this however, he grew interested in law enforcement and attended Kilgore College attaining his peace officer’s certificate. Upon graduation the “Sheriff of the County” Joe Evans invited him to join the Sheriff Department. This took him down many roads (literally) and lots of adventures. His reward was helping people. He loved it! Gary and Charlotte also owed and operated the Garrison Funeral Home located in Garrison, TX. Again until health would not allow for him to go on, and another avenue was before him. He joined Tim James, Attorney at Law, as an investigator and once again found a love of his work. He remained here until he finally completely retired.
Gary is preceded in death by his parents and grandparents, one son Jonathan Colt and one grandchild Bennette Berry. He is survived by his wife of 45 years—Charlotte; daughter, Kelly Tatman and son (in-law) Clayton of Nacogdoches County, granddaughter, Jasmine and great grandson, Jesse James of Bakersfield, CA; Gary Berry and his family, Mary Jo, grandchildren: Spencer, Madison and Brandon of Trabuco Canyon, CA; Jonathan Colt’s family: daughter-in-law, Caroline and grandson Mitchell of Sarasota, FL, Rebecca and Emarie of Bellingham, WA, and Micah of Hawaii; Chasen of Nacogdoches and daughter-in-law, Deidra; Rodger Thompson and Donna Thompson Baldinell from the Hill Country, with grandchildren Emma of Denmark and Isabell in Arkansas.
There are so many to thank, but first and foremost, Juan—his true friendship and help on the farm; so many kind and caring professionals at both of the hospitals that helped Gary during his time of need; the many sweet and caring people from Stallings Court during his two stays there; plus we could not have handled things if it had not been for Hospice of East Texas—they allowed Gary to come home when it was so important to him to do so. Thank you one and all.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.casonmonk-metcalf.com for the Partin family.