Gerald Lee Fagan

56Gerald Lee Fagan, 63, of Kent, Washington passed away suddenly on January 10, 2013.  He is survived by his wife, Patricia Fagan, and his six children: Tammy (James) Barrier, Will (Angie) Fagan, Kristi (Louis) Peters, Jeramy Fagan, Joseph (Emily) Fagan and Sara (James) Miller.  He leaves behind 22 grandchildren.


Gerald was born in Ontario, Oregon and raised in Payette Idaho.  He was the youngest sibling of six.  He is preceded in death by his parents, Fern and Merlin Fagan, his sister, Lorraine 25-1 Blevins and his brother Clark Fagan.


He was retired from Boeing.  He was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  He was a tremendous athlete in his day and loved sports, especially his grandchildren’s events.  He loved the ocean, loved to fish and garden.  He was a hard-working man, working two jobs for much of his life.  He was kind and loving to all.  He was a man of service; serving those in need, serving in the Youth Programs at church and serving his large immediate and extended family.  He leaves a legacy of love for his family and fellow man.



Life Sketch


I AM A CHILD OF GOD – This is the story of one of God’s precious children.

AND HE HAS SENT ME HERE – Gerald Lee Fagan was born May 20, 1949 in Ontario, OR to Merlin W. and Fern Louisa Fagan.  He was the youngest of six children and followed sisters, Cheryl, Lorraine, and Kathleen and brothers Clark and Robert.

HAS GIVEN ME AN EARTHLY HOME – Dad was raised in Payette, ID at the family home on 6th street where grandma cooked and cleaned and grandpa worked and disciplined.  Dad told me that grandpa’s preferred form of punishment was the willow switch.  Dad’s least favorite part was walking out to the willow bush to pick the switch grandpa would use.  It gave plenty of time to contemplate the wisdom of experience.

WITH PARENTS KIND AND DEAR – I believe that grandma and grandpa with their ‘firm’ love taught Dad how to be caring and compassionate, but always expect the best from his own children Tammy, Will, Kristi, Jeramy, Joe, and Sara.  I’ll always remember how often he told me how proud he was of me and how good that made me feel.

I AM A CHILD OF GOD – Dad taught me how to see others as God sees them.  There were a few times growing up where I felt people cheated Dad.  I would get so angry and tell him why he had a right to get what he rightfully deserved.  He would always let me be angry and say my piece, then through his actions teach me that people were more important than problems

AND SO MY NEEDS ARE GREAT – Dad was a tremendous athlete.  He excelled in football, baseball and basketball.  He even received scholarship offers to play football for Ricks, the College of Idaho, and Weber State.  He eventually chose Ricks and set a freshman record for tackles as a cornerback.  He continued to be active playing basketball and fast-pitch softball after college.  Then, at age 30, he was stricken with Guillain-Barre disease which is a rare condition that affects the nervous system and  muscle control.  He spent a month in the hospital until through much fasting and prayer by friends and family, he experienced what the doctors described as a miraculous recovery.  This experience helped us to gain a wonderful testimony of the power that comes to us through prayer and fasting.

HELP ME TO UNDERSTAND HIS WORDS – Dad was not a master of scripture, but he did understand the words contained in them.  He lived them.  Jesus Christ was asked what the greatest commandment was.  His response was ‘to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’  I imagine most of us here can think of an experience where my Dad showed his love for you through a kind word, a pat on the back, or simply just being there.

BEFORE IT GROWS TOO LATE – Dad was preceded in death by Grandpa and Grandpa, Aunt Lorraine, Uncle Clark, Uncle John Sowden, his nephews Kelly Ogawa, and Jay Blevins, and his nephew in law Steve Bauer.   I consider it a miracle he made it to 63 years after some of the stories he told me.  Aunt Kathleen came home one day to find Dad hanging from the oak tree with a noose around his neck.  She arrived just in time to save him.  Apparently a couple of un-named older boys had thought that the hanging was an important part of any Cowboys and Indians game.

I AM A CHILD OF GOD – I believe our Father in Heaven wants us to find joy in life.  Dad sure did.  When he was in high school, he and a good friend took their dates to the cemetery.  They thought it would be fine to run off an leave them there.  My Dad was fast, but he would always say that he never moved faster than after falling in to a freshly dug grave after ditching the girls.  When I was in high school, my friends and I played on a church softball team that was headed  to a regional tournament.  We didn’t have any uniforms, so Dad came up with a unique solution.  He convinced the guy at the local 7-eleven to let us have some promotional baseball hats they were selling.  The good news is that they were free, the bad news is that they were fluorescent pink.  We wore them with pride and even won the tournament.  I later heard through a friend that the coach’s last instructions to one of the teams we beat was -‘We’re not losing to a bunch of Mormon boys in pink hats!’  I still have one of those hats and can’t for the life of me figure out for the life of me how dad talked that 7-eleven clerk out of all those ugly hats.

RICH BLESSINGS ARE IN STORE – Dad married Mom on October 24, 1969.  What a blessing she was to him!  I guess Dad knew he had found a keeper when he couldn’t scare her away by throwing up on their first date.   Dad would be later blessed with 6 WONDERFUL children and 22 amazing grandchildren.  He would also be blessed with many other ‘adopted’ grandchildren.  I can’t count how many little ones not of our family grew up calling Dad ‘Grandpa Jerry’

IF I BUT LEARN TO DO HIS WILL – Dad encouraged us all to learn.  He regretted not having finished his college degree and expected us to do well in school and in life. He taught us through his many years of 7 day work weeks driving for the Bon Marche and Golden State Foods that hard work was necessary to achieve anything worthwhile.  He constantly believed in us more than maybe we believed in ourselves.  He knew we were capable of doing anything we set our minds to.  In a way, he knew what God’s will was for us better than we did.

I’LL LIVE WITH HIM ONCE MORE – Dad knew that we came to earth to prepare ourselves to live with our Father in Heaven again.  He practiced what he preached.  He would often remind me when I was struggling with a church assignment the ‘they don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care’  I don’t know who made that statement first, but I just always assumed that it was him because of the way people talked about him.

I AM A CHILD OF GOD – If you’ve ever heard the expression ‘boys will be boys’ it certainly applied to young Dad.  When he was around 10, he had gotten a bow with a real arrow for a birthday or some special occasion.  He was showing off to one of his friends when his friend challenged him to try and hit an apple that he would throw up in the air.  Dad took steady aim, tracked the apple through its flight and fired!  Right through the window and onto Aunt Kathleen’s lap.  She sat there frozen to her chair until Dad came in to retrieve his arrow.  I’m not sure what happened next and he never told me if he hit the apple.

HIS PROMISES ARE SURE – Aunt Janice and Randy came to visit us in Seattle once that I remember.  We went in to Settle to pick them up at the train depot.  There wasn’t room in the station wagon for all of us and their luggage.  Dad convinced Janice that tying the luggage to the top of the car would be safe.  He even said ‘Trust me’.  Janice was a little unhappy when we arrived home without luggage strapped to the top of the car.  Dad did get a nice TRUST ME t-shirt from Janice for Christmas, though.

CELESTIAL GLORY SHALL BE MINE IF I CAN BUT ENDURE – Dad was tough.   He got stabbed in the back with a lead pencil when he was in school.  It became infected and grandpa dug it out with a knife.   The claw marks from Dad’s grip were still visible the last time I saw Grandma’s piano.  He played a baseball game after nearly cutting his toe off chopping wood because his team needed him.   He expected me to be tough.  Once, after splitting my head open while playing hide and seek, he made me sit there with a towel on my head for an hour before he would take me to the hospital.  He and Mom had visitors!   Dad had to endure a lot in his last few years of life.  He rarely felt well.  After him passing last week I can think back to the conversations I had with him and I can now sense the finality in his voice.  Despite how he felt, he didn’t stop fishing and crabbing.  He didn’t stop fulfilling his church assignments.  He didn’t stop showing his love and support for us.  I guess it’s really time now for me to be tough for him and for Mom.  I miss him.  I love him.  In the name of Jesus Christ amen.

4 Responses to “Gerald Lee Fagan”

  • Karen Spaulding says:

    It’s good to read about Gerald in his later life. As a youth we spent many hours together in school and playing in the neighborhood. I remember Gerald fondly–and always loved playing football, baseball, or basketball with him, Robert,my brother Steve and other neighbors. What fun it was. My prayers are with you all during this time. May God’s arms hold you.

  • Mollie Davidson Minow says:

    Gerald Fagan was a dear friend of mine. He was honest and kind in high school. He was a great athlete in all sports. He often gave me a ride on cold winter days from seminary the few blocks to the high school.
    I have great respect for the whole Fagan family and dearly loved his parents Fern and Merlin. It was always a pleasure to visit them in their home. I was so shocked to learn of his illness and passing. My heart goes out to all of you. He was the first to meet my husband of the PHS classmates after our reception on August 10th, 1968. His amazing smile that lights up any room and the lives of people around him. The Lord has taken him home. It is his time to rest from his labors and he will be watching over his family. God bless you all.

  • Ray Wickersham says:

    Seems like I have known Gerald my whole life. I went though all 12 years of school with him and spent many of wonderful memories playing Baseball, Baskeball and Football at the Fagan house. If it would of been possible you would of had another 50-100 people from Payette at his service. He will always be a wonderful part of our lives. We all have many wonderful and a lot of crazy stories of our time with Gerald. He was loved by all and will be missed.

  • Dave Bonfield says:

    Sorry to Hear this as I was researching some old Ricks Baseball Teamates.
    Gerry played 1st Base for us. I was shortstop.
    He was the team leader. Very funny and energized everyone . He reminded me of Brad Pitt in Legends of the Fall.
    My son Luke plays SEC Baseball at Arkansas.
    I’m sur he was a great dad, and husband. All the Best. Dave Bonfield

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