Gary Lee Westlake, 61, passed away Thursday, September 21, 2023, surrounded by his love, Dawn, family and friends. Gary was born March 7, 1962 to Billie and Yvonne Westlake in Norwich, Norfolk England, the third born to the family. Following their father while he perused 20 years in military ending in Jerome, ID where his father’s family resided.
Gary started working on his Uncle and Aunt Kruger’s Dairy at the age of 14, saving up his money to buy his very first car, a red 70’s Vega. Quickly becoming his passion for anything with an engine and four wheels, on the pavement or the mud. Stripping down one of his many vehicles in his father’s garage and rebuilding it to go the correct speed to which he thought best, FAST.
Gary met Jolene Denton; they married and had their son, Bobby Lee Westlake, March 10, 1982. Their marriage later ended.
Gary decided to try a new path, driving his jacked up 1975 Chevy truck with 38’s on it (he fondly called his rat mud bitch) to California for a taste of the fast life. Finding it was not “all it was cracked up to be”. Breaking down on the 101, he spit his rear u-joint out of the drive shaft. Gary pulled over on the left side median dropped the drive shaft out, threw it in the back of the truck, locked in the hubs put in four high and dropped it in first gear, burning of the front tires across four lanes of traffic to get on the off ramp, to head back Idaho!
Gary came back to Jerome to work next to his father in his full station, turning wrenches became his true passion, until he decided to join the railroad. Gary traveled to the northwestern states working long hours and away from home. Wanting to be home more to be with his family and friends, Gary started working at Scarrow’s Dairy where he was the lead mechanic on all the equipment. Gary’s son Bobby joined him. Gary loved working next to his son doing what he loved most.
Gary met his love, Dawn Melton, in 2012. Gary wanted to start his own mechanic shop with his son; tragically, he lost him on Jan. 4, 2013. This did not divert Gary from his dreams. Gary opened Big Bob’s Truck Repair in honor of his son. Gary loved working for himself, building many clients over the years. Gary took his nephew, Brandon, under his wing teaching him all his traits and the love of old school speed and mud, always with loud music in the background every Friday. Gary loved giving out nicknames, Brandon’s became “Friday”. We never could say he was creative with the nicknames. No matter the situation, Gary was always the ringleader in the crazy fun to be had, with memories lasting a lifetime.
Gary’s new inspiration was to travel with Dawn, with the littles and dogs in tow, while Brandon carried on the shop legacy.
Unexpectedly, Gary was diagnosed with Acidophil stem cell adenoma/pituitary neuroendocrine tumor (PitNET) after going in for an eye examine due to some vision lost in 2022. Gary’s tumor was not normal and did not respond to treatment as if a normal pituitary tumor would. He fought a great and very hard battle trying to beat it. Two major surgeries while fully losing his sight and his immune system being compromised.
Gary is survived by his love, Dawn Melton; brother, Glenn (Rose) Westlake; sister, JoAnn (Mark) Mulligan; sister, Jennifer (Andrew) Bradley; grandkids, Bobby Jo, Sara, Tyson, Jordan and JJ; and many nephews and nieces.
Gary was greeted on the other side by his parents, Billie and Yvonne Westlake; and son, Bobby Westlake.
A viewing will be held from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm, Wednesday, September 27, 2023 at Farnsworth Mortuary, 1343 S Lincoln Ave, Jerome. Funeral service will be held at 11:00 am, Thursday, September 28, 2023 at Farnsworth Mortuary.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family on Gary’s memorial webpage at www.farnsworthmortuary.com.