Gerald Dale (Gerry) Massey of The Dalles, Ore., was born Oct. 26, 1945, in Kennett, Mo., to Claud and Clara Stone Massey and departed this life on Monday, March 29, 2021, in Portland, Ore.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years and best friend, Sandra Leard Massey; one daughter, Rhonda Massey Sanders and husband, Tim, of Marcola, Ore.; one brother, Dewayne Massey and wife, Margaret, of Montrose, Ark.; one sister, Glenda Massey Braun and husband, Tom, of Cornelius, Ore.; two grandchildren, Jared Sanders and wife, Sarah, of Madison, Wisc., and Tara Sanders of Marcola, Ore.; and one great-granddaughter, Melanie Sanders, as well as a host of nieces and nephews.
Gerry served as a member of the Military Police in the United States Army from 1967–1969, which included a tour in Viet Nam, being there during both TETS. Gerry's mother, Clara, introduced Sandra and Gerry and they married on Sept. 15, 1969.
Gerry was employed at various paper mills until he was accepted in the Oregon State Police in 1970 and served until 1983 in the Arlington and The Dalles, Ore., areas. He then became a Deputy Sheriff in Sherman County, Ore., and later was elected as Sherman County Sheriff, a position held until his retirement in 2000. The family moved back to The Dalles in 2005, where he resided until his death.
From a young age, Gerry was an avid hunter and fisherman. He received his first BB gun as a Christmas gift when he was 4 and his brother was 10. He loved archery and was usually able to get his game whether it be a deer, elk or bear. Later in life, he preferred taking pictures of animals rather than killing them! His real passion was fishing and he was known in the county for catching the most and largest fish!
Gerry was a caring, tenderhearted man and could not stand the thought of anything going hungry, be it people or animals. As a result, he and Sandra cared for all the stray cats in the neighborhood, at one time having 10 strays. Two of the cats were brought home, but the others came for dinner and never left!
A celebration of life service will be held on April 9, 2021, under the direction of Attrell's Funeral Chapel of Newberg, Ore. Visitation will be at 11 a.m. in the Attrell's Funeral Chapel, 207 Villa Road, Newberg. Graveside service will follow in the Valley View Memorial Park, 24235 N.E. Dayton Ave., Newberg. Pallbearers are Tim Sanders, Jared Sanders, Kenneth Leard, James Leard, Brian Leard and Todd Braun. Honorary Pall bearers are Dewayne Massey and Tom Braun and law enforcement co-workers, Elmer Button and Irwin Gordon.
Memorials may be sent to the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America, American Diabetes Association or American Heart Association.