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Gary Lynn Pearson, 75, of Anaconda, passed away Thursday evening, July 27, 2023 at Community Hospital of Anaconda. This awesome and talented "FLY TYER" was taken from this world way too soon. He fought a long and courageous battle with COPD and a short battle with cancer. His loving family was at his side the whole time.
Gary was born on November 17, 1947 in Anaconda, the second of eight children born to Jim and Lorraine (Lynn) Pearson Johnson. He grew up in Anaconda and attended Saint Joseph Catholic grade school where he was an Alter Boy. Gary's favorite song was "Catch a Falling Star'' which he sang solo at a grade school talent show. As a young boy he helped his dad install many chain link fences around town and the surrounding areas which still stand today. Gary graduated from Anaconda Senior High in 1966. After a semester at the University of Montana, he enlisted in the US Navy. He was stationed in Adak, Alaska as a Firemen. After being honorably discharged, he returned to Anaconda. He worked for the Anaconda Company as an Overhead Craneman and in 1970 he married the "Love of his Life" Peggy Reiss and from that union they had one daughter, Sherie.
On April 20,1974, Gary opened the doors to Rainbow Sporting Goods, a business he always dreamed of owning. He started tying flies at a very young age and continued tying for his business for "49" years. He also built Custom Fly Rods and sold his Flies and Fly Rods to Fetty's Bar and Restaurant in Wisdom, MT. Hank Williams Jr. purchased one of his Fly Rods.
Throughout his business years, Gary met many wonderful people and tied thousands of flies for customers from Anaconda, the surrounding areas, out of state and out of country. Many became good friends that returned every summer. He touched the lives of many with his exceptional, artistic, meticulous and beautiful flies, making their lives more pleasant with his special flies he tied for Georgetown Lake, rivers and streams and mountain lakes in our surrounding area. Gary enjoyed camping, fishing, hunting, archery hunting, duck hunting, training his Black Labs and playing golf whenever he could.
Gary is survived by his wife Peggy of 53 years, his daughter Sherie (Guy) Quam and grandson Carsten Quam, who will deeply miss him. Sisters, Ann Wilson, Sue (Bob) Carroll, Jane (Mike) Bailey and Mary Chris Tipp; brothers, Greg (Geri), Jim and Scott. His brother-in-law Lester (LaGay) Reiss and sisters-in law, Elaine Thomas, Darlene Roberts, Nancy Reiss, a very dear aunt, Helene Boehler, numerous nieces, nephews and a very special friend Gene Ewan.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents Jim and Lorraine, grandparents Harmon and Anna Mae Greator, in-laws Frank and Emma Reiss, brothers-in-law Ken Reiss, Dave (Carol) Reiss, William Thomas and Bob Roberts.
Gary was always a patient, loving, thoughtful, and kind person, even during these most difficult times. He never complained. A special thanks to the staff of Anaconda Community Hospital for their loving and kind care. Gary, we love you, rest in peace.
Cremation has taken place. A Christian Funeral Mass will be held at Holy Family Catholic Church, 217 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Anaconda, MT, on Saturday, August 19, 2023 at 10:30 a.m. There will be a one-hour visitation prior to the service beginning at 9:30 a.m. Military Honors will be rendered following the Mass by the American Legion and United States Navy. A luncheon will follow in the Hunthausen Center of Holy Family Catholic Church.
Memorials may be made in Gary's name to the Church Luncheon Committee, 217 West Pennsylvania, Anaconda, MT, 59711, or to Saint Jude Children's Cancer Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN, 38105.
Please visit the sidebar to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Gary.
Longfellow Finnegan Riddle Funeral Home and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Gary and his family.
Luncheon Committee at Anaconda Catholic Community
217 W. Pennsylvania, Anaconda MT 59711
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105