Obituary for Gary Thelen
by John Gillespie Magee, Jr
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, --and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of --Wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air...
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark or even eagle flew --
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
Life Story for Gary Thelen
Gary Walter Thelen passed away in his vacation home in Hood River, Oregon on May 10, 2017.
He was born in Hood River, Oregon on August 28, 1933 to Alice Nancy (Ketchison) and Grant Morgan Thelen. Gary grew up in the Hood River Valley, attending Barrett Elementary school and Hood River High School, graduating in 1952.
After attending Oregon State University for one year, Gary enrolled in the U.S. Air Force and trained as a pilot on the KC-135 refueling jets in mid-air. After 13 years in the Air Force, Gary resigned when his enlistment was up and went to work for Trans World Airlines, from which he retired in 1994.
Gary met his future wife Lois in high school and from then on she was the love of his life. Gary and Lois were wed here in Hood River, Oregon. Shortly after being wed, he was transferred to Dow Air Force base in Bangor, Maine. Gary had two children: a daughter, Lorie Susanne (Saito) on April 11, 1958 in Bangor, Maine, and a son, Mark Grant on August 1, 1960 in Topeka, Kansas.
After retiring from TWA, Gary and Lois traveled to Australia, Africa, Panama, Denmark, Cabo San Lucas, and the Caribbean with high school friends. He and Lois also enjoyed traveling the United States via RV with other friends and family. Gary was an avid storyteller and would entertain friends and family with stories from his childhood, work, and travels.
Gary is survived by his wife Lois of Sacramento, daughter Lorie of Hood River, and son Mark of Brown’s Valley (CA), his brothers Boyce and Kurt, and his grandchildren Alyssa and Branden.
A memorial service is planned for 2:00 p.m., August 26, 2017 at Anderson’s Tribute Center (Funerals • Receptions • Cremations), 1401 Belmont Avenue, Hood River, Oregon 97031. Gary will be interred in Idlewilde Cemetery on August 26, 2017 after the memorial.
Visit www.AndersonsTributeCenter.com to leave a note of condolence for the family.