Gary Arthur Knutson died peacefully, surrounded by family, on Aug. 17, 2018, in his Bonney Lake home. He was 74.
He was born Oct. 9, 1943, in Chehalis, Washington, to the late Ken and Peggy Knutson. His family moved to Long Beach, California, where he later graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School. After graduation, he joined the U.S. Air Force and became a K-9 dog handler. He served with his dog Eric and his 366th Unit as the first dog handlers during the Vietnam War. After returning home he met and married Connie White. After a year they moved to Washington where they raised three children. He retired after 40 years working as a pressman for The Journal American newspaper. He enjoyed fishing, camping, karaoke and he was an avid Star Trek fan.
He is survived by wife Connie; children Rob (Cindi), Merissa Dunn (Nick) and Karena Barcelona (Tony); brother Dennis (Linda); and 10 grandchildren. He also leaves behind his service dog, Lucky. He was preceded in death by a brother, Steve Knutson.
His life will be celebrated with military honors at 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 3, at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent. A reception will follow at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall in Enumclaw.
In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to The Wounded Warrior Foundation and/or The Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center (Leukemia).