Gary L. Henricks, 63, of Missoula, passed away Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016, at his home. Gary was born in Tomah, Wisconsin, on Nov. 15, 1952, to Edgar and Vivian Henricks. He was the second eldest of four sons.
An avid outdoorsman, Gary moved from the farmlands of Wisconsin to the mountains of Montana in 1979 with his lifelong friend Dave Brummond and never looked back. He went to work as a lineman for Montana Power and spent every spare moment hiking, biking, fishing, skiing and hunting in the beautiful Montana wilderness. A motor vehicle accident in 1981 resulted in Gary’s confinement to a wheelchair for the next 35 years.
Throughout those years, Gary served as a remarkable model of courage, resilience and indomitable spirit to all of us privileged enough to know him. He was more self-reliant, independent and “able” than many people are who have no disability. Anyone who has tried to keep up with Gary in his chair as he sped along the sidewalks of Missoula would agree.
Gary refused to be defeated by the unexpected turn his life had taken. He enrolled at the University of Montana and graduated with a law degree in 1990. Gary first worked as an attorney for Missoula County, then worked for nearly 22 years as a senior deputy city attorney at the City Attorney’s Office.
Gary married the love of his life, Linda Kure, in 2003. Their time together was far too brief as Linda died in 2009 of complications due to diabetes. After Linda’s death, Gary’s love and attention were devoted to his “girls,” Louie, Ebby and Maxie-Mae – the three Yorkshire terriers who shared their lives with Gary and returned his love a thousand-fold.
Gary also enjoyed the love and respect of his family, friends, co-workers, neighbors and acquaintances, including just about everyone in Missoula. A shopping trip with Gary was always a time-consuming event due to the number of friends and acquaintances who would spot Gary and come over to say hello.
Gary’s lifelong passion was hunting, and he did not let his disability interfere. He harvested record-book moose, as well as musk ox, bear, elk, antelope, mountain goats, and whitetail and mule deer. He was accompanied on most of his hunts by his dear friends Todd and Patti Curtis and their children, Daniel and Alyssa, as well as by his friend Craig Price, whose mother Sharon was a great friend to Gary, and also by his brother Albert.
Gary’s big heart, unfailing generosity and wicked sense of humor will be greatly missed by so many people – too numerous to count. He was preceded in death by his father Edgar in 2009. Survivors include his mother, Vivian; brothers, Edgar (Chris) and Terry (Desiree) and nephew Ryan (Vanessa, wife, Porter, son), all of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and Gary’s brother Albert (Dana) of Missoula.
Friends and family are invited to gather at Garden City Funeral Home on Saturday, March 12, from 2 to 4 p.m. to share stories and memories of Gary’s life.
Per Gary’s wishes, he will be interred beside his beloved wife Linda in Cody, Wyoming. In lieu of flowers, please donate in Gary’s honor to the animal shelter of your choice or the Montana Office of the American Diabetes Association. Condolences for Gary’s family may be left at missoulafuneralhomes.com.