O. R. "Joe" Gault passed away suddenly Sunday, September 23, 2010, doing what he loved. Joe was born, April 1, 1947, to O.E. "Slim" and Lena Gault at Wenatchee, WA. Joe was raised on the family farm in the Wenatchee area where, along side his brother, Jack Day, his father taught him the value of hard work. This served Joe well throughout his life, including in school. Joe graduated from Cashmere schools, playing baseball throughout. He also played all the league baseball offered, becoming a very talented baseball player. Joe received a full scholarship to play baseball at Central Washington State College where, during his four years of ball, Joe earned a degree in Business. He continued his collegiate career with the help of the ROTC and attained a Master's degree. He also served several years in the Army National Guard as an Officer, thanks to his ROTC time. During his college time, Joe met and later married Dawn C. They made their home in the Renton/Issaquah area. Joe and Dawn both worked full time, but arranged their schedules to allow for significant travel time. They regularly traveled around the country, including trips through Canada to the Yukon and Alaska. As Joe was an avid fisherman, almost all their trips were made by camper and included their family dogs. After the birth of his son, David, Joe settled down a bit and began his own company, representing Safeco Insurance. He later sold this company and started a private insurance investigation and adjusting company, representing companies throughout the insurance industry. He never lost his love of fishing and the outdoors in general and could often be found visiting his old fishing grounds in Eastern Washington, taking David, as well as many of his friends and nephews along. A few years after Dave was grown and on his own, Joe closed down his business, sold his home and attached property, and went on the road to live the life he truly loved, living off the land. For most of the last 20 years of his life, Joe spent the summer months in either the Yukon or Idaho City, mining for gold. During the winter months, he could be found selling this gold and the jewelry he made from it in the desert of Quartzite, AZ. Joe always had his dogs with him, as they were his faithful companions. Joe was truly a mixture of educated intellectual and mountain man. Once while in the Yukon, Joe was accosted by an angry moose. The story goes Joe had to hold the moose off with a tree branch and his wits, until his dogs arrived to assist. Joe was also a very tough man. While investigating an insurance scam in a building in downtown Seattle early on a Sunday morning, Joe was attacked by three men hired to scare him away from the investigation. The first man hit Joe across the face with a metal pipe, breaking Joe's jaw and face in several places. This eventually required his jaw to be wired shut for two months. Joe managed to grab the pipe away from the first man and using it to subdue all three men. Joe was still beating them when the police arrived and arrested all three. While Joe did truly enjoy his solitude in the wilderness, he also enjoyed the visits from friends and family, often treating them to fresh fish caught that day and a lively discussion of politics. Many friends and family from all over Washington and Idaho were lucky to have visited Joe while he was in the wilderness and he treated them to an experience most people never enjoy.
Joe is survived by his son, David (grandson, Nathan) of California; sister, Jerry (Marvin) Hersel of Wenatchee; and nephews, Dan Day, Rick Morrow, Kelly Hersel-Morrow, and niece, Rennea Smith, all of Wenatchee. He was preceded in death by his mother and father, Lena and Slim Gault; and he preceded his brother, Jack Day, by just five months.
A Celebration of Life will be held for family and friends later this spring.