Please join us as we remember the life, service, and relationships of Pastor Gary Nock with family, congregants, community members, and friends on
FRIDAY, AUGUST 20 at 2pm
327 C Street SW ~ Ephrata, WA
The service will be available via livestream at the link below.
If you would like to provide flowers for the service, please consider Gary’s favorite – yellow roses.
In lieu of flowers, donations to GracePoint Church can be made in Gary’s name.
Livestream on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zH7wt-wEGyA
Gary David Nock joined his Savior in heaven on Sunday, August 1. He was much too young.
Born in Denver, Colorado in 1948, Gary was the second of four children for Roy and Betty Nock, and their only boy. He spent his childhood delivering the Denver Post with his red and white Schwinn, eating brown sugar by the spoonful with his Grandfather (after they were certain Grandma had boarded the city bus), and pestering his sisters.
Gary’s family moved to Whitefish the summer before his junior year of high school, unfortunately on the same day The Beatles were playing Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheater. He was relegated to listening to the news of the Fab Four’s arrival on the car radio and would later joke that he never quite forgave his parents for driving out of town that day.
After graduating from Whitefish High School in 1966, Gary headed to Montana State University where he hoped to major in architecture but spent too much time rock climbing and so (as he was always fond of saying) the university asked him not to come back. Gary moved on to the University of Montana where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, with an emphasis in painting, and set his sights on earning his Masters at the Art Institute of Chicago. Right about this time, he and Dawn (whom he married on the hottest day of August in 1969) welcomed a baby girl with blonde hair and life changed course.
We like to think the Art Institute never fully recovered from his absence but their loss was Royal Logging’s gain. To support his young family, Gary went to work in the woods driving a D8 Caterpillar and making roads because it was the 70’s and 80’s in Whitefish and if you weren’t working on the railroad, you were working in the woods. He only ever considered himself a mediocre operator (which his family doesn’t think was true), but what he thinks he lacked in talent he made up for with wild stories and humorous tales that kept his family laughing for decades.
Life changed course again after Gary and Dawn sold most of their possessions in what is fondly known in the family as ‘The Garage Sale of ‘84’, packed up the dog and their girls (they had another one, this time with brown hair), and moved to Dallas, Texas. Gary crammed four years of schooling into five at Dallas Theological Seminary and earned his ThM degree, a Masters in Theology. He became a pastor, his true life’s work. His talent in art and bulldozer operating was nothing compared to his ability to teach people about God’s great love for them.
In 1989 he accepted the position of pastor at Grace Bible Church in Adell, Wisconsin and his family spent the next nine years living the midwest dream of humid summers and achingly cold winters. Gary also made lifelong friends in Wisconsin with whom he shared unique opportunities, like visiting (and ministering to) the Semandang people group of Indonesia with one friend and delivering semi-loads of milk with another friend. It was never quite clear which was the bigger adventure.
In 1998 Gary accepted a pastoral position in Ephrata, Washington and he and Dawn moved again. Gary was the Senior Pastor at GracePoint Church for 23 years. He served the people of GracePoint faithfully, investing his life into theirs, and they in turn cared for he and Dawn, especially in his final months, with a love and selflessness so immense words cannot describe it.
A giant among men (at least to us), he was full of wisdom and wit, love and curiosity, knowledge and resolve. He pursued his passions by getting his pilots license in his 50s and continuing to ride a motorcycle until the very inconvenient diagnosis of brain cancer. He collected vintage typewriters (writing often hysterical, sometimes meaningful, letters with them), he enjoyed good cigars (but not in the house), and he had zero use for table games, unless you wanted to play “Adapt” . . . the one where the parents do what they want and the kids adapt. That one was his favorite.
His most important role was teaching others about Christ and the wonderful gift of salvation by grace through faith. He leaves a legacy of loving God and others very well.
Gary is survived by his wife, Dawn (Anderson). He would go to the ends of the earth for her, as well as the nearest fabric store, and he did. They enjoyed 51 years and 11 months of marriage made up of laughter, cribbage games, traveling, slide shows, everyday boredom, and adventure.
He is also survived by his daughters, Lacey Arnett (the one with blonde hair) and her husband Pete of Lake Oswego, Oregon, and Angela Miller (the one with brown hair) and her husband Craig of Kalispell, Montana.
Gary was the very proud Boppa to Corbin, Mia, and Calvin Arnett and Birdie, Olive, and Zeke Miller. Though distance and time sometimes separated them, his love for his grandchildren was limitless.
Gary was also a brother to Royann (Norb) Cygan of Castle Rock, CO., Elaine Nock of Gig Harbor, WA., and Carole (Jon) Poe of Billings, MT., and a brother-in-law to Ric Anderson of Kila, MT., Jennifer Sipe of Kalispell, MT., and Randy Anderson of Whitefish, MT.. He will be missed greatly by them as well as the numerous nieces and nephews on both the Anderson and Nock sides of the family.
He will also be missed by a 5 pound Chihuahua named Daisy, who shivered her way onto his lap and into his heart.
When Gary was diagnosed with cancer in February of this year, he looked to his summary of the book of Philippians as a sort of roadmap on how to live in light of this news. . .
Whatever happens, stand firm
Whatever happens, press on
Whatever happens, rejoice
We will stand firm in the knowledge that God is good all the time, even when you’re diagnosed with a terminal disease. We will press on knowing that we will be reunited in heaven because this life is not the end for those who have accepted Christ’s gift of salvation. We will rejoice in having known this kind-hearted, abnormally funny, noble man, for he was truly a gift.