Gary Kenneth Lanham (1956 – 2019) “Hammer”
Beloved husband, brother, friend and Chief to so many… Gary Lanham passed away on June 20th, 2019, at the age of 63, unexpectedly in Spokane, Washington while attending a family gathering.
Gary is survived by his partner and wife of 32 years, Annette Banks, his sister Karen Azzinnaro of Spokane, Washington, his brother Kevin Lanham of Las Vegas, Nevada. (His parents and eldest brother, Ronald Lanham predeceased him.)
Gary was born in Kellogg, Idaho, January 1956, second of four children born to Bonnie Sue Scipper and Tom Lanham. The family moved to Gardenia, California in 1962, where he spent his youth and came of age. He played football for Lakewood Pop Warner, Artesia High School and Richard Gahr High School. He graduated in 1974. He then joined the Washington Air National Guard in 1981 and was assigned to the 105th Air Control Squadron (ACS) Four Lakes Air National Guard Station, Cheney, Washington as an Air Surveillance/Weapons technician (Scope Dope). In 1982 he joined the Alaska Air National Guard as a C-130 Loadmaster assigned to the 176th Mobile Aerial Port Flight. He became a Technician with the Aerial Port in 1983. In 1987 he was transferred to the 144th Tactical Airlift Squadron where he served and advanced, retiring as Chief Loadmaster in May 2011. Achieving all this as well as an incredible 9000 flight hours during his 30 years of Air National Guard Service, 28 of those years as a fulltime technician with the Alaska Air National Guard. Gary flew missions and deployed with the 144th Airlift Squadron around the world in support of operations in Panama, Germany, Japan, Africa and supported Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) on several deployments.
Gary and Annette were married in 1998 and they balanced their busy careers with the joy of the many activities Alaska offers, as well as wonderful vacations around the world and Hawaii. He loved his job and was proud to serve. Recreationally he loved traveling throughout the world, RV’ing and fishing, especially at his favorite location on the Russian River or camping “on the beach” in Seward.
After retirement, Gary volunteered his time with Senior Center and AARP helping seniors and those in need to prepare their taxes. He also helped teach life survival skills at “Learn to Return”. Gary loved Alaska and her residents and wanted to give back, he was proud to serve in this capacity as well.
Gary was very handy, remodeling his and Annette’s home several times, as well as helping friends and family with their projects. Gary loved family and would do anything for them. Gary had a great sense of humor; who can forget his silverback gorilla impersonation. Gary loved get-togethers and always volunteered to be the “bartender”.
Above all, Gary loved Annette. He loved her with all his heart, might, mind and soul. He made it his life’s mission to make her as happy as humanly possible. He gave her his all… Annette is utterly, completely and without measure, lost without him, her dearest friend, partner and love. Gary truly cherished his wife Annette, and she him.
Gary’s Memorial Service will be held at Fort Richardson National Cemetery, July 30th at 2:30 PM.
Go to the main entrance for JBER which is located at Mile 7 of the Glenn Hwy (JBER Richardson Exit), enter there and you’ll be directed to the Visitor Center (need to be there by 2:00 PM).
The Memorial Service will be followed by a Celebration of Life at
The Lakefront Anchorage hotel, 4800 Spenard Road, Anchorage
from 4:00 - 9:00 PM.
Annette would like to encourage Gary’s many friends to contribute pictures or stories to enrich this celebration. If you would like to contribute, please call or text memories or photos to Annette’s sister at 907-230-7552, or e-mail: HubbleTL@gmail.com
The Moment that you left me,
My heart split in two.
One side filled with memories;
the other side died with you.
I often lay awake at night
when the world is fast asleep,
and take a walk down memory lane
with tears upon my cheek.
Remembering you is easy.
I do it every day,
but missing you is a heartache
that never goes away.
I hold you tightly within my heart
and there you will remain.
You see life has gone on without you,
but will never be the same.