Gary Floyd Fassett 1937-2020
Gary Floyd Fassett, 83, died on Friday, October 23, 2020 at Bel Aire Senior Living, in American Fork, Utah.
He was born on June 9, 1937 in Charlotte, Michigan. He got an early start in business, selling apples and Cloverine salve door to door, and later ran the largest paper route in town with his brother.
After his junior year in high school Gary headed West and worked on a ranch in Wyoming. He finally returned to Michigan a few weeks after the start of his senior year hauling a string of horses. By the time he graduated from Charlotte High School in 1955 he already owned property. He went to carpentry school, and hitchhiked to work at a car factory in Lansing. He married his first wife, Sally Trumble, in 1959, however, their marriage was brief.
Gary built a riding stable in Yankee Springs, Michigan, cutting all the corral poles by hand while serving seven years in the Michigan National Guard.
He married Gwendolyn Marcella Jardot in 1963, becoming an instant father to her three daughters. They added three more daughters to their family. Gary and Gwen owned and operated the Flying Horseshoe Western Store for many years, first in Middleville (Yankee Springs) and later in Hastings, Michigan, selling saddles, tack, sporting goods, and guns.
Gary grew up hunting and was proud to receive a lifetime membership to the National Rifle Association (NRA) from his father. He went on to bag big game trophies across North America and Africa. He won several shooting contests with his excellent marksmanship. The entrepreneur in him opened a museum with all of his trophies mounted for paying customers to view.
In 1979 Gary and Gwen moved their family to Lincoln, Montana where he began guiding hunters professionally making many trips into the Bob Marshall Wilderness. The family moved to Fairfield, Montana in November of that year and that marriage later ended in 1983.
Gary managed Sky Top Ranch in Clancy, Montana for 10 years. He met his third wife, Penny Schilling Chriske in 1998 and they married in 2003. She brought her son, Brady, to the family and Dad proudly told people he had seven children. They lived mainly in Helena, Montana, but also in Ray, North Dakota before returning back home to Montana. This marriage ended in 2018.
From 2017, Gary resided in Fairfield, Choteau, and Great Falls, Montana. He spent his final 53 days in Utah. Not one to be caged, he lasted 172 days in long-term care facilities.
Throughout his life he enjoyed business, hunting, guns, golf, bowling, running, music, billiards, dancing, travel, and "shooting the breeze." He was a loving father, world-class negotiator, humorous storyteller, loyal friend, and an incredibly hard worker. He had quite the agenda of things he still wanted to accomplish when he passed.
Gary is survived by his children: Cassandra Carter Fadness of Boulder, Montana; Camey Lee Boster of Hastings, Michigan; Jody Fassett Kyburz of Pleasant Grove, Utah; Amy Fassett de la Bruere of Bettendorf, Iowa; Angie Fassett Swanson of Missoula, Montana; and Brady Chriske of Missoula, Montana. He is also survived by his recent loving wife, Penny Chriske Fassett of Helena, Montana and best friend, Jerry Haan, of Kent City, Michigan. Of course, there are a host of other dear family members and friends in his cheering section.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents, Floyd and Esther Doty Fassett; brother, Gaylord Fassett; sister, Marilyn Fassett Charboneau; former spouses, Sally Trumble and Gwendolyn Jardot Fassett; and daughter, Cathey Lee Bennett.
Dad's graveside service will be on Saturday, November 14, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. at Sunset Hills Cemetery in Fairfield, Montana, with masks and other social distancing protocols.
Gary would be thrilled if you feel inclined to donate to the National Rifle Association.
The family sincerely thanks the fine people of Teton County, Montana who naturally looked after Dad, as neighborly folks do, and served him in any capacity.
Gary has been well cared for by Gorder-Jensen Funeral Home of Choteau, Montana.
Condolences may be left on-line www.gorderjensenfuneralhome.