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Gary D Key
02/06/1947 — 01/16/2023
From Richland, WA
Celebration of Life
Gary D Key
Gary Key was born on February 6, 1947 in Rock Island, Oklahoma, to Harold and Thelma Key .
Gary graduated from Northside High School in Arkansas and went on to earn a degree in Engineering from Arkansas Polytechnic University. While in college Gary was lead singer of a Rock n Roll cover band. He also earned his Master”s Degree from the University of Dallas. He started a career at GSI and then went into construction with his father .
Gary then moved to Texas where he raised two daughters and a son. He built a Put Put Golf Course and began mentoring young children in the sport of golf. He also coached his daughters in soccer and his son in baseball. He refereed high school basketball and football games while living in Texas.
After working at Texas Instruments he began his teaching career in the Business Department at Grayson Community College in Texas. His teaching career continued after his move to Washington. He taught in the Business Department at Columbia Basin College for 20 years.
After moving to Washington Gary married Amber whom he married on November 23, 2003 in Las Vegas.
Gary was truly a Renaissance Man. From playing tennis in college, to a try at baseball in the minor leagues, coaching his son and then several years as the Assistant Baseball Coach at CBC and Coach for the Kennewick American Legion Bandits Baseball Team. He was inducted into the CBC Athletic Hall of Fame. He enjoyed music and loved playing his guitars, woodworking, painting ceramics and was an avid reader.
In 2012 Gary became a member of the Kennewick Masonic Lodge #153. He was a Master of the Lodge. Also a member of KCCH 32 Degree Scottish Rite and a Director of Scottish Rite Scholarship Foundation.
Gary is survived by his beloved wife Amber, son, Mike Downey(Claudia) and daughter Tamara Flores and 7 Grandchildren.
Gary is preceded in death by Thelma – mother, Harold Key – father, Lisa McNeill – daughter, Brother Dennis and beloved Uncle Harvey.
The service for Gary Key will be held on Saturday, January 28th, at 2:00 at Einan”s Sunset Garden’s Event Center in Richland. A reception will follow.
Memorial donations can be made in Gary’s name to My Friend’s Place or Scottish Rite Scholarship Foundation.
So sorry for your loss Amber.
I’ve knew Gary Key for 57 years. We were in college together from 1966-69. He was my roommate, best friend and doubles partner on the Arkansas Tech University tennis team. I was the unofficial ‘road manager’ and chief groupie for his band, the ‘Techniques.’ After graduation, we went our separate ways, but still kept in touch. Gary majored in math and me in biology, but we both ended our careers teaching in community colleges, albeit 2500 miles apart. I can’t believe my friend of decades is gone. See you again partner – one of these days.
Amber, I’m sorry I never had a chance to meet you. My loss. Condolences to you and your family. Wishing you the best.
I met Gary when he was on my interview committee at CBC for an accounting position. As soon as I joined the CBC Business Faculty family, he became my mentor immediately and, as our offices were next to each other, we enjoyed countless hours of laughter as we would swap stories. My husband and I became friends with both Gary and Amber and enjoyed more laughter, good food, and Masonic activities. Covid definitely slowed down the ability to see each other recently, but thoughts of him were always with us. We will miss him in our lives.
Merrianne and Doug Bieler
So sorry for your loss Amber
Amber, we are so sorry for your loss my good friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the family. Please reach out if you need someone to listen. We are miles apart, but near to the heart!!
Our deepest condolences to Amber and Gary’s family.
What a lovely man and friend Gary was to us, patiently guiding us through USA tax regulations and helping with all international as well.