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Obituaries » Gary L. Thrailkill

Gary L. Thrailkill

September 6, 1945 - January 14, 2022

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Gary L. Thrailkill was born September 6, 1945 in Helena, Montana, and peacefully passed away January 14, 2022 in Ankeny, Iowa.

Gary was born and raised in Helena, Montana and was always proud of his roots. He loved Montana and the outdoors, and spent lots of time camping, hunting, and fishing. His favorite stories to tell were of his years of flat track racing, and he loved his motorcycles and hot rods. He joined the US Army in 1967 and served in the Vietnam War. He was proud to serve his country and returned as a purple heart recipient.

After serving in the Army, he owned a service station and he worked in a coal mine until he finally found a career he loved at Helena Upholstery, which he continued to do for many years. He eventually started his own shop at home and loved every minute of it!! In his “spare” time he even drove his daughter’s school bus just to be “that Dad”. He then ran the upholstery shop at Montana Developmental Center in Boulder for several years. He was good at what he did and he loved helping others. Later he spent many years managing the Gold Bar and then the Glass Slipper. He will be missed by so many, especially his family.

He is preceded in death by his father, Robert L Thrailkill; mother, Rosie L Melton (Donaldson); and stepfather, Elmer “Bud” Melton; and granddaughter, Keah Reel all of Helena, Montana.

He is survived by his loving wife, Rita Thrailkill (Harker) of Ankeny, IA; step-brother, Elmer “Frank” Melton (Diana); sister, Sharon Sargeson (Fred); two sons, Jason Colby (Julie) of Wichita Falls, Texas, and Jody “Joe” Reel of Helena, Montana; two daughters, Roberta Little (Pat) of Roy, Washington, and Joni Lutman (Kevin) of Ankeny, Iowa; two step-sons, Bradly Stroud of Ankeny Iowa, and Brandon Stroud of Springfield Missouri; two granddaughters, Kylee Reel and Becca Meyer (Barrett) both of Helena; five grandsons, Taylor Bain and Payton Thrailkill both of Ankeny, Iowa, and Austin Little of Roy, Washington and Leland and Landon Stroud. He was also blessed with three great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews that will miss him dearly.

Per Gary’s wishes, there will be no services.

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