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Gary Whitehouse, Sr. passed away at his home surrounded by family

Siskiyou County lost one of its native sons and most colorful characters.

On Sunday, August 7, 2022 Gary Whitehouse, Sr. passed away at his home surrounded by family. After a long struggle, he finally lost his battle with cancer. Gary’s greatest source of pleasure and pride came from his family and his cows- and not necessarily in that order. Right up to his final moments on this earth Gary maintained his positive nature and sense of humor.

Gary was the fifth born child to Edgar and Florence Whitehouse of Happy Camp in June of 1938. Gary spent all of his adult life in Siskiyou County where he worked as a timber faller, general contractor and cattleman. As a young man, Gary came of age in a rough and tumble era in Happy Camp. He and his lifelong friends were infamous for their many car races, fights and car crashes. You could always count on Gary for a hardly believable story about the good old days.

In 1970, Gary moved his family to Scott Valley to pursue his lifelong dream of being a cowboy.

Once in the Valley he continued falling trees until the spotted owl facilitated a career change into building- where he became a general contractor and built many custom homes around the valley. During these years Gary was forced to become a single father to his two sons. During an era when men didn’t typically take on many of the duties of child rearing he stepped up and did an amazing job raising two teenage boys- not without some trial and errors in the cooking department. As good of a father as he was, he was an even better grandfather and treasured his many experiences with his grandkids, whom he repeatedly told, “I love you more.”

During this time he met and married his longtime wife and partner Joyce Stacher. Together the two of them began the process of building a cattle herd from scratch. Gary was very proud of the fact he built a herd the hard way- with borrowed money and on leased pasture. By the time of his death he had a highly respected herd of commercial angus-cross cows. His IX brand and the cattle who wear it were a source of great pride and motivation in his life.

Gary loved a good cow horse and working cow dogs. He greatly enjoyed working cows from horseback and sharing cowboy experiences and conversation with friends. Gary was a stranger to none, and enjoyed by all, for his colorful stories and upbeat, fun personality. Even during his darkest days battling cancer he was always “super” and maintained that “if it got any better I couldn’t stand it.” In his playful spirit you were always sent away with the well-wish, “good luck tonight,” and “don’t do anything I wouldn’t do- which isn’t much.”

Gary will be missed and survived by his wife Joyce; sons Gary and Garron Whitehouse; step children Dale Munson and Donna (Berryhill) Andrighetto; his pride and joy grandkids- Amber and Karlee Andrighetto, Braden Whitehouse and Christy Gamache, Josiah Whitehouse and Shyla and Darren Munson. He was preceded in death by his brothers Wayne and Claire Whitehouse and his sisters Vera Whitehouse and Nina Harnden.

The family is planning a celebration of life at the ranch in Fort Jones on September 17th from 3-5 pm.

If you would like to share a story and raise a glass in his honor, please join us. The family wants to extend a big thank you to the wonderful folks at Madrone Hospice and encourage those who wish to make a donation in Gary’s honor to do so to the Madrone Hospice House, 255 Collier Circle, Yreka, CA 96097.

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