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James Arbary Gatliff
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Birth: Dec. 5, 1913
Cherokee County
Kansas, USA
Death: Aug. 25, 2005
Yakima County
Washington, USA

James Arbary "Jim" Gatliff, 91, of Yakima passed away Thursday afternoon, Aug. 25, 2005, at Landmark Convalescent Center.

He was born on Dec. 5, 1913 in Galena, Kan. Jim grew up during the Great Depression. He began working in lead and zinc mines at the age of 15, with incredible drive and determination to make a better life for himself and his widowed mother. In the early 1930s he rode his trick horse, Speedy, with the Tom Mix Riders, performing daring feats on horseback. Then on July 3, 1936 he married the love of his life, Opal Fry. After their marriage, Jim worked a variety of jobs, farmed 111 acres of open land, and operated Patricia Kay Dairy in Kansas until 1945, when they relocated to Tieton, where he started an orchard and opened Jim's Garage, which grew into one of the largest and most diversified tractor dealerships in the state.

He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Opal; their daughter, Patricia Kay Keller; his granddaughter, Julie (Keller) Bosma and husband, Steve and their children, Nichole, Jacob, Leah and Steven Bosma; and his grandson Jim Keller and wife Nicole and their sons, Dalton and Kendall Keller.

Jim was preceded in death by his infant son, Jimmie Ray Gatliff; his parents, James and Mary (Isley) Gatliff; his stepfather, Ira McKinstry; his sister, Irene (Gatliff) Doty; and his son-in-law, Richard "Dick" Keller.

Jim was not one to slow down in his old age. Not only could you find him in his trademark hat chatting with customers at Upper Valley Farm Service Center, he also farmed apples and pears well into his 80s. But Jim wasn't all business. Spending time with his family was a top priority, whether snowmobiling, horseback riding, waterskiing, jeeping or enjoying his great-grandchildren. In fact, he snowmobiled regularly throughout his 70s, taking his last snowmobile trip Feb. 16, 1997, at the age of 84.He demoed an Arctic Cat ZR prototype and loved every minute of the trip to Jump-off.

Nothing put more of a smile on Jim's face than giving to his family and community. Whether he was helping a neighbor, passing out quarters to kids or funding a little league team, he always enjoyed giving to others.Countless kids got their first real job from Jim, who enjoyed mentoring young people. He was always proud of his role on the Strand Scholarship Board. The man who went to work instead of high school appreciated the value of education.

Jim had a full, vibrant life packed with hard work, good friends and a loving family. His success in business and his esteem in the community were undeniable. The strokes he suffered in his later years took his mobility and strength, but never his optimism and good nature. He will be missed immeasurably by all who knew and loved him.

The family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Washington Apple Education Foundation toward the endowment of a scholarship in his name.

Keith and Keith Funeral Home officiating 
Family links: 
  James R. Gatliff (1859 - 1917)
  Opal A Gatliff (1913 - 2009)*
*Calculated relationship
West Hills Memorial Park
Yakima County
Washington, USA
Created by: lloker
Record added: Dec 30, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 102841736
James Arbary Gatliff
Added by: Bri & Ron B
James Arbary Gatliff
Added by: Bri & Ron B
James Arbary Gatliff
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Added by: MsFoxRider
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 Added: Dec. 30, 2012

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