Gerald was born in Pendleton, Oregon to Ralph and Violet Buskirk. He attended school in Pendleton, Tacoma and Cottage Grove and joined the Air Force in 1952, where he served as a navigator in the Korean War.
He was discharged in California, where he met and married Barbara Pray of Yucaipa. Gerald worked for Lockheed, studied criminology and taught business law. He later owned a successful car care business in San Bernardino, where he employed his three children, Denny, Caron and Jackie. Gerald was divorced in 1981 and moved to Portland, where he married Jacqueline Summers. They retired to Cottage Grove in 1996, where Gerald repaired an older home on Mosby Creek Rd. Gerald had many useful skills and never missed an opportunity to learn something new. He loved metal artwork, woodworking and playing the organ. He flew and owned three planes. He took pleasure in repairing anything, sometimes even making a special tool to do the job. Gerald’s first job was in 1939 in Pendleton where, at the age of five, he swept Walt and Smitties machine shop for a small wage. With that start he kept busy for 79 years leading a full and useful life leaving many beautiful examples of his work behind. After retiring, he owned his own business, the “Wooden Iron,” making garden art.
A celebration of life was held at noon Aug. 10 at the VFW Hall.
Smith-Lund-Mills Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.