Gary W. Ballew, age 72, of Bellingham passed away in Bellingham Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016. He was born in Hollis, OK, and was raised in Eureka, CA and served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. After discharge, he married Cassandra Carr and earned his Zoology Degree from the University of Washington. Gary worked at the Seattle Aquarium for 30 years and during this time he built a wonderful log cabin in the mountains near Cashmere WA, using just a chainsaw and hand tools. He and Cassandra loved hiking, Cross Country skiing, and just being there with their friends and dogs for more than 25 years. Gary retired in 2007, and they moved to their beloved Southwest France the same year, desiring a longer French immersion than the annual short vacations there. On their return to the United States they moved to Bellingham Washington. He was a volunteer for St. Joseph’s Mended Hearts program until his cardio-pulmonary condition did not allow it. Gary was beautifully cared for in his last two years of life at Brookdale –Fairhaven Assisted Living, where the staff and Whatcom Hospice made him both safe and happy. A private gathering will happen in the spring.