Gary L. Brimacomb, 89

Published 10:53 am Monday, February 20, 2023

Gary L. Brimacomb, 89

Gary Brimacomb, 89, passed away peacefully at Daley Senior Care in Culdesac, Idaho on February 7, 2023 due to complications of advanced dementia. Gary was born to Loren and Ella Brimacomb and raised in Red Wing and Austin, Minnesota. He graduated from Austin High School before enlisting in the Navy. He served in the Lighter-Than-Air (LTA) squadron in Naval Air Station Weeksville, Elizabeth City, NC. He then served in Aviation Electronics working on Navy planes in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba. He was proud to serve, and proud to play trumpet in the Navy band. After his honorable discharge from the Navy, Gary returned to Austin and married the love of his life, Donna Bartley in 1955. They raised two sons, Curtis and Jon. He worked for 38 years at the Weyerhaeuser Company. When not working, he and Donna spent weekends and summers taking the boys all over Minnesota and Canada fishing, camping, hiking and snowmobiling with family and friends. They fished in sunny, rainy, and stormy weather. The family also made numerous cross-country trips to the western United States on their way to California and Las Vegas to visit his mother-in-law and brothers-in-law.

Gary and Donna started square dancing in 1973. They became very active in square dance groups, traveling to square dances and conventions on weekends, where they made many life-long friends. Later in life, Gary took up golf. He really learned to enjoy golf and the social aspect of commiserating with family and friends over a bad score. When they both retired, Gary and Donna moved to the warmer climate of Apache Junction, AZ. They continued traveling all over the United States in their motorhome with Gary logging thousands of miles behind the wheel. The two even made a family trip with Curt and Stef to Alaska in 2016. They were thankful for the many years of safe travel. They were forever grateful that the one accident they suffered happened near the Mayo Clinic, and for the special care that Jon and Suzie provided in the months spent recuperating in their Farmington home.

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They thrived in Arizona, where Gary was known among their special “Happy Hour” friends for his willingness to help set-up and take down for the many gatherings and parties they enjoyed. He picked up his trumpet again and played in the community band when he wasn’t taking Donna to the American Legion for broasted chicken dinners and dancing. He would always be outside “tinkering,” which in turn always lead to socializing. He was especially fond of the Arizona sunshine, which was only brightened by his generous spirit.

Gary and Donna spent many summers in Idaho with Curt and Stef’s family. In Riggins, “Idaho’s Whitewater Capital,” they did try whitewater rafting, but mostly enjoyed visiting their Idaho friends, gardening, fishing, and sitting on the front porch. In 2019, Gary and Donna relocated permanently to Idaho for health reasons and to be closer to family. They were known in their Assisted Living community as “the dancers” since they would get up and dance to the waltzes played during the music programs. Always the “fixer,” Gary would often help other residents with household chores and small maintenance tasks that they were unable to do themselves.

Gary was preceded in death by his parents Ella and Loren Brimacomb, wife Donna Brimacomb, brother-in-law Dale L. Bartley, brother-in-law Jerry Kirpach, sister-in-law Barb Bartley, and daughter-in-law Suzanne Brimacomb.

He is survived by his sister Carla Kirpach, brother-in-law Rodney Bartley, sons Curtis (Stefanie) and Jon Brimacomb, grandchildren Josh Downey, Melissa Downey, Zachary (Brooke) Downey Ashley (Michael) Hertle, Casandra (Francisco) Collins, and Monica Smith-Brimacomb, and great-grandchildren Gracie and Jacob Downey, Caiden and Tristan Bengen, Reilly and Rauhan Downey, Madison, Danelle, Isabelle, and Kevin Hertle, and Eretria Collins.

Services are pending. Arrangements are under the direction of the Blackmer Funeral Home, Grangeville, Idaho. You may submit a condolence to the family at

We want to thank Dr. John Rudolf of Tri-State Family practice for the years of caring service he provided Gary and Donna, and to Daley Senior Care for all the extraordinary help they provided to our family in Gary’s last months.