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Kolasinski, Gary Lee – Obituary

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Gary Lee Kolasinski, 53, of Baker City, died Aug. 24, 2007, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church, 1002 L Ave., in La Grande. Friends are invited to join the family for a reception afterward at the church.

Gary Lee Kolasinski was born on Oct. 12, 1953, four minutes earlier than his twin brother, Terry Lee, at Alpena, Mich., to Ardath Snitgen and Donald Kolasinski. He grew up in Alpena and then at St. John’s, Mich., later moving to Portland and then to La Grande, where he spent his high school years.

His next move was to Casper, Wyo., where he made good money working as a welder in the Wyoming oil fields. Gary later spent more time in Portland and La Grande, three years at Enterprise and then Baker City, where he lived for the last year and a half.

Gary loved to hunt and particularly to fish, but he loved people most of all. He was very tender and loving to small children and animals and special buddies with his little great-niece, Jolan Rasmussen (his brother Terry’s granddaughter).

While living at La Grande, Gary met and fell love with Julie Gooderham. They had a daughter, Laura Lee Kolasinski. Laura Lee and her mother now live at Lakeside. Gary talked about Laura Lee often.

He was ill in his later years, but still enjoyed riding his bike, strumming his guitar, fishing a bit, burning up the minutes on his phone card talking to his family all day long, as well as a little gambling with his friends (pull tabs) when they went out to coffee.

Gary was by nature jovial, humorous and a lover of mountain streams and animals.

“We loved him very much and shall miss him always,” his family said.

Survivors include his father, Donald Kolasinski, and stepmother, Mary Kolasinski, of Smoot, Wyo.; his mother, Ardath Snitgen of Crystal Lake, Mich.; his twin brother, Terry Lee Kolasinski, of College Place, Wash.; his daughter, Laura Lee Kolasinski, age 12; his niece, Melanie Kolasinski; and his two great-nieces, Jolan and Jalie Rasmussen.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association or the American Cancer Society through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home P.O. Box 543 Halfway, OR 97834.

Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, August 27, 2007
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor

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