~ IN MEMORY ~
Military veteran, NWA Capt. Gary R. Hutteball
July 3, 1944 ~ June 21, 2018
Word has reached our group with the passing of RNPA member retired Northwest pilot Captain Gary Ray Hutteball, age 73. Captain Hutteball joined Northwest Airlines 03-03-1969. He is survived by his wife Donna, children and grandchildren, plus many other dear friends and family members. Captain Hutteball’s obituary may be viewed online at
Services are planned for Aug. 1st at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery Chapel, 1900 Veterans Memorial Drive, Boulder City, NV 89005.
For those wishing to send a personal note, whitepages lists the family residence as
7644 Spanish Bay Drive, Las Vegas NV 89113-1310.
~ Carol for the PCN
Obituary.....................Gary Ray Hutteball
Gary, a beloved son, brother, husband, father, grandfather and friend, passed away on Thursday June 21st due to health complications. How do you write an obituary about someone who was such an original? There was no one like Gary, and to try to honor his life through words can be overwhelming, but we will try. Gary Ray Hutteball was born on July 3, 1944 in Pasco, WA to two loving parents, Yvonne Hutteball (Davis) and Douglas Hutteball. They lived in Pasco while Gary was a young boy, and later moved to Kennewick, just across the Columbia River. As a young child, Gary loved to play with his cocker spaniel, Ippi. He loved to dress up like a cowboy and have adventures throughout the neighborhood. Gary attended Westgate Elementary in Kennewick, WA and worked to do his best in school, if he didn’t he knew his mom would have something to say about that. Gary learned quickly the value of hard work from his father, Doug. When only 10 he was put in charge of digging out a basement for their home, by hand. His dad would mark off a section of ground and Gary was to dig it out by the time his dad got home from work. Day after day he worked on that basement until it was done. He knew that work had to come first, then, he could play. He also learned how to finish something you start and to do your best. Around this same time, a cute little sister, Susan, was born into the Hutteball family. Even though there was a large age gap between them, Gary quickly became protective of his little sister and tried to always make sure she knew how much he loved her. He gave Sue advice when kids would bully her from school and made sure she knew she always had him as a friend. As Gary grew it became apparent that sports would play a large role in his life. He attended Park Junior High as a young teenager. He loved baseball and football. At 13 he was able to be the bat boy for the Tri-City Brave’s. His mother, Yvonne, kept books for the team as their manager and this allowed Gary to spend countless hours playing baseball with the big guys. He quickly learned the game and loved pitching as a south paw for Kennewick High School as he got older. As much as he loved baseball, football was his number one sport.
As Dad headed into high school at Kennewick High, he and his best friend, San Francisco, knew great things lay ahead for them with football. Gary and San loved the game and challenging each other on the field, trying to beat each other in different workouts and competing with each other off the field in the classroom trying to see who could get the higher grade point average. Gary played quarterback and San was a linebacker, kicker and tailback. This opened doors for them as they graduated and headed off to Central Washington University together.
Gary played football for CWU for a year before realizing that he wanted to pursue other dreams. While figuring out his future he attended Columbia Basin College in Pasco and played football for them for two years. He had heard about a flight program through the Marines and the dream of flying began. Gary joined the Marines in 1965 and became part of MARCAD program and headed off to Pensacola, Florida for training. After one year, he came back to Kennewick and married his high school sweet heart Rebecca Jacka in 1966. Gary graduated from the MARCAD program and headed to Meridian, Mississippi for fighter jet training and then on to Kingville, Texas where he received his wings and 2st Lieutenant commission. He was stationed in El Toro, California flying the F-8 Crusader. In 1967, Dad was part of the Marine Corps Squadron VMF 334 assigned to Vietnam where he served an 18 month tour in service to his country. After several months stationed on the USS Coral Sea he was given a position as a FAC (Forward Air Controller) flying 0-1 Birddogs from Marble Mountain Marine base in South Vietnam. Dad was witness to some of the bloodiest battles during the war, including the Tet offensive, Con Thien and Khe Sahn. While in Vietnam, Gary lost his best friend, San Francisco, who had been serving in the Air Force. San’s plane was shot down over North Vietnam and is still MIA. Dad talked fondly of San through the years and we loved hearing stories of him and his best friend, it was evident he missed him greatly. After Gary returned from Vietnam he began his career as a pilot for Northwest Airlines in 1969. During this time Gary’s son, Curt was born, a few years later his daughter, Emily, was born in 1972. He loved being a father and tried hard to spend quality time with his kids while at home between trips. During his first few years at Northwest there were a couple of furloughs from Northwest and he and his friend Lynn Hoyem, a fellow pilot, spent time as gandy dancers on the railroad to make money. Gary always found work to help provide for his family during hard times and worked as an iron worker with his dad, Doug, when necessary. Once the furloughs were over, Gary went back to work for Northwest Airlines. He flew as a second officer on the Boeing 707, 720 and all three positions on the 727 (his favorite). He finally retired as Captain on the 747 which he said was fun to fly and a very forgiving airplane. Gary and Rebecca divorced in 1995. Gary got remarried to Donna Jean Johnson in 1996 and moved to Las Vegas where he finished out his career at Northwest. Gary retired from Northwest Airlines in 2001 after 32 years of flying. Although this gives you a snapshot of Gary’s life and a timeline of events and accomplishments throughout his time here on earth, it doesn’t convey to you his personality. Gary was so many things, most days you would see him with a book in one hand and a cigarette in the other. He was an avid reader, mostly to pass the time in airports while waiting for trips, sometimes to pass the time while flying over the ocean. Other days you might see him with a cup of coffee and a fried egg sandwich, one of his favorite things. Early mornings were spent going pheasant hunting with snow on the ground, or on the golf course, trying to improve his game. The other love he had was poker, which he shared with his dad, Doug. Gary was so proud of his dad and looked up to him in many ways, being able to spend time with him around a poker table or out on the golf course was precious time spent. Gary may have seemed intimidating to some when you first met him, but once you got to know him, you quickly realized what a great sense of humor he had. He loved to tease and we quickly learned how to laugh at ourselves. He was the greatest story teller, he made you feel like you were there with him as he told us of flying all around the world and it was humbling to listen to him talk about the moments he was on the ground in Vietnam and the experiences he had. He taught us to be grateful for those who have served our country, and to be grateful for the freedom we enjoy. Gary loved country music, one of his favorite songs, “The Gambler”, could be found being played on an 8 track tape in our old blue Oldsmobile, as well as in his car today. He was who he was without any apologies, you either loved him or not, he expected you to be the same with him, just be you and don’t apologize for it. He loved to drive his 1972 Chevy pick-up truck that had belonged to his dad. Gary would roll the windows down, turn up the country music, sing along and always point out how cool the air was whenever we drove by the orchards. He was not one to talk about his feelings much, not many Marines do, but he always made sure his family and loved ones knew how much he loved them. We sure loved you, Gary. You will be greatly missed but never forgotten. Your legacy will live on in each of us, and we know we will see you again one day, until then, “Watch your six.”
Gary is preceded in death by his mother, Yvonne Hutteball (Davis), and father, Douglas Hutteball. He is survived by his wife, Donna Hutteball (Johnson), sister and brother-in-law, Susan Benson (Hutteball) and Randy Benson, son and daughter-in-law, Curt Hutteball and Suzy Seely , daughter and son-in-law, Emily Allen(Hutteball) and Ken Allen, and their mother, Rebecca Burgess(Jacka). Grandchildren: Sarah Garcia (Allen) and Daniel Garcia, Adam Allen, Jake Allen, Ellie Allen, Grant Hutteball, Jordan Romero, and Lindee Allen. Nieces and nephews: Marisa and Eric Bills, Suni and Mike Mason, Doug and Lindsay Benson, Janetha and Marshall Gallegos, along with numerous cousins and extended family. Memorial service will be held: Wednesday, August 1, 2018 10:00 a.m. Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery Chapel 1900 Veterans Memorial Drive Boulder City, NV 89005
In lieu of flowers, Gary was adamant about helping the children; so, please donate to St. Jude’s Hospital or Shriners Hospital, thank you.
From: RNPA News Sent: Friday, June 22, 2018 3:00 PM Subject: RNPA News: Gary Hutterball Has Flown West.
With great regret I must inform you that our colleague Gary Hutterball has flown west. Gary passed away yesterday, June 21st, of an apparent cardiac arrest in Las Vegas, NV with his wife, Donna, by his side.
Gary Hutterball flew fighters in the USMC and served as an air/ground FAC on the ground in Viet Nam. He was approaching his 74th birthday next month and was hired by NWA on March 03, 1969. Gary retired from NWA in July of 2004.
Arrangements are pending at this time and more information will follow as it becomes available.