Gary Lanksbury

Gary Lanksbury died on April 18th from complications caused by the disease, Amyloidosis. He was born in Seattle in 1932, raised in Kirkland and graduated from Lake Washington High School in 1950.  He lived most of his life in the Greater Seattle area. In the 50s he served four years in the US Navy and achieved the rank of Yeoman 1st class. During most of that tour of service he was stationed in the Mediterranean.  He spent most of his career as a computer programmer, working for a time for Standard Oil in SanFrancisco and then Bekins Moving and Storage in Seattle. Gary had many hobbies and many friends. One achievement he was proud of was finishing quilts for The Ronald McDonald House. His hobbies included traveling, quilting, gardening, making teddy bears, collecting Heisey crystal, sewing and needlepoint, photography, cooking, pottery, art and antique collecting, being part of the Kirkland Heritage Society and many more. In 1992, Gary met Wayne and they built a home together in Bellevue. He is survived by his domestic partner, Wayne Bitterman and their cat, Tessie. Remembrances can be given to the Bailey-Boushay House, The Pride Foundation, or Lifelong AIDS Alliance and specify The Chicken Soup Brigade. Gary also loved tea and instead of a memorial service, people are asked to hold a tea party in his honor. Groups like his quilting, needlepoint and Heisey groups could get together. Even a single person could toast Gary with a cup of tea. Then send short notes of remembrance and photos to Wayne Bitterman at I’ll then create a memorial web site that will be a tribute to our wonderful friend. The site URL will be–

3 Responses to “Gary Lanksbury”

  • SAlly Friedman says:

    Dear WAyne and Gary out there,

    I sure miss you Gary. Whenever I drink tea, which is every day, I think of you as I cover my tea pot with the tea pot cover you made. And were I hang my coat I see your oregami japenese coat you made for us.

    Before you died I said I am seeing you more these last few weeks, than I have in the last few years. You said, that is the way it is. I am happy to have known Gary and to have met you Wayne because of that. Gary gave us the gift of your friendship too.

    All the pictures I have of Gary are from you Wayne and ones I already sent you. I will look for some old ones from when we were neighbors, pre Wayne.

    Patty and I knew Gary 23 years. Gary made us laugh and we sure appreciated his decorating suggestions. WE didn’t often do what he said, but it helped us think about what color to use.

    Thinking of you Gary, out there.
    And thinking of you Wayne and Tessie too

  • Holly McGinley says:

    I feel fortunate to have visited Gary several times in the weeks prior to his death. It amazed me that even though he knew he was dying that he could still be encouraging and engaging to those around him. I brought my kids on two occasions to see him and he immediately went into host mode and offered them candy that he kept by his bedside. I know that if he could have, he would have, gotten up and served us tea. He made really good tea.
    He had such a strong and active mind that nothing seemed to phase his ability to remember stories, dates, and the good times in his life. Gary shared with us that his family didn’t have much when he was a boy, but that they were happy with what they did have and the house was full of love. Gary seemed to treasure what he had, even at a time of his life when he didn’t have much. I know for certain that Gary and Uncle Wayne treasured their time together.
    I always loved Gary for talking with me about his quilts and projects he worked on. He had such a passion for all his work. Whatever Gary did he did well.
    I will miss Gary and am honored to have known him.

  • Roy and Joan Benson says:

    Gary was a gentle man and a gentleman. We always enjoyed having a cup of tea and an interesting conversation with both him and Wayne. He had a great memory and could recall just about every thing in his life. We loved hearing about his adventures on E Bay and of his latest purchase or sale. He always had a new quilt underway and we treasure the grandchild quilt he made for Roy after his heart attack. We think he is probably already making a new, very best quilt creation for God. We will always have wonderful memories of Gary and we are so glad he became part of our family.

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