Gary Presley Memorial Video

Categories: 25 Oct 2011

Longtime Happy Valley, Alaska resident, Mr. Gary Kelton Presley, 73, died Friday, Jan. 23, 2009.

Mr. Presley was born December 5, 1935 to Kelsey and Sadie (Pitt) Presley in Gallup, N.M. He was the youngest of nine children. He attended McKinley High School in Gallup, N.M. In 1953, at age 17, he married his 15 year-old high school sweetheart, Naomi Tecklenburg. In 1959, he moved his family to Alaska where he homesteaded and worked odd jobs. In 1968 he began working in the oil fields, mainly the Monopod Platform in Cook Inlet, until he retired Dec. 1, 1997. After losing his first wife to cancer, Mr. Presley began attending the Church of Christ in Anchor Point where he was an active member. In 2003, he found happiness again when he married Gail E. (Waddell) Hilbish.

Mr. Presley was a member of the Kenai Peninsula Farm Bureau from 2002 to 2009. He helped start the Happy Valley Rodeo with his brothers-in-law, Elton Anderson and Jimmy Wilson, which is still being held at Ninilchik with Shirley (Wilson) Schollenberg’s efforts.

He loved the outdoors, moose hunting, rodeos, riding, fishing, drawing, carving, and could fix anything. His hay operation was a big part of his family’s lives. Those special memories will stay with them forever.

His son, Danny said, “Dad was a great teacher. He had great expectations of me and I always tried my best. He loved hunting and flying and passed that passion on. After mom died, we became brothers in Christ and our bond became stronger.” His daughter, Gari Lyn wrote, “Dad was always there for me. If I needed anything, all I had to do was ask. He taught me appreciation and hard work. Dad and I shared a love for horses. He was the rock we all leaned on and loved.” His youngest son, Keith wrote, “He was my best friend. As far as heroes go I couldn’t ask for more in a person. To me he was a quiet mentor. Hopefully, he gave me the wisdom to guide my children in life. I will miss him incredibly.”

Mr. Presley was preceded in death by his first wife, Naomi Presley; grandson, Jase Anderson; brothers, Thomas and Edward Presley; sisters, Marguerite Lambert, Ruth Kirk, Lorain Lewis, Totsy Woodson and Virginia Wilson.

He is survived by his wife, Gail E. Presley; son and daughter in-law, Danny and Gail T. Presley and their children, Sean, Daniel and Randi , Kristin Presley, Mala and Vladimir Martushev; daughter and son in-law, Gari Lyn and Randell Anderson and their children, Jena, Kendell and Kaygan; son and daughter in-law, Keith and Tess Presley and their children, Cody and Tyler; great-grandchildren, Caley , Camron and Marek Presley; and sister, Edna Anderson.