1914 4th Street. Marysville, WA 98270

Gordon Nettles July 7, 1936 - January 17, 2024

Gordon Weston Nettles passed away on January 17, 2024, at the age of 87.  He was born on July 7, 1936, in Oakland, CA, and was his parents’ only child.


He leaves behind his wife of 62 years, Gail (Brokenshire) Nettles, and their 2 sons, James (Heidi) and Mark (Shelley).  They were blessed with 7 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren (and counting!).  He also leaves behind his sister-in-law, Susan (Brokenshire) Alexander and many extended-family members.


To those who knew him, Gordon was kind, genuine, caring, honest, hard-working, and silly.  He always tried to cheer up others, even when he may have needed cheering the most.  The staff and other residents of Holistic Adult Family Home are surely missing him.


Gordon enlisted in the US Navy in 1955 and served for 4 years.  He later enlisted in the US Coast Guard where he retired on March 31, 1976, after actively serving a little over 20 years for his country.  He worked primarily as a dental technician and achieved the Rank and Title of Chief Petty Officer.  Duty assignment locations included WA, CA, LA, NY, and NJ.


After retiring from the USCG, Gordon held many different jobs.  He did whatever he could to support his family.  One job he especially enjoyed was Athletic Director for the Boys Club (known later as the Boys and Girls club), at both the Edmonds and Mukilteo locations in WA.   Eventually he went to work for the claim’s office of Allstate Insurance, working in the mail room.  He retired from there 17 years later.


Gordon loved flowers, especially roses (although he grew the most beautiful dahlias too!) so he studied to become a Master Gardener.  He tended the WSU Master Gardener Demonstration Garden at Jennings Park in Marysville, WA, as well as his own garden at home in the Gleneagle neighborhood of Arlington, WA.


He also loved baseball.  A lot!  It gave him joy to wear his World Series Umpire ring, which he earned by umpiring the Little League Girls Softball team in Kalamazoo, MI, in 1990.  He and Gail became season-ticket holders for Everett, WA’s Giants baseball team (San Francisco affiliate) in 1984.  The Giants team later became the Everett Aquasox team (Minor League farm team for the Seattle Mariners).  They attended those games until they were unable to do so.  His son Mark (Shelley) took over the tickets and the “Nettles” name is still on Gordon/Gail’s seats—40 years and counting!  Another sport they enjoyed watching together was NASCAR races.


For fun and entertainment, Gordon played slot machines.  He and Gail were frequent visitors at the Angel of the winds Casino in Arlington, WA.  They brought donuts for the staff there once a week.  They also went on bus trips from the Stilly Senior Center to Reno, NV.  Sam (Gordon’s father), Gordon, Jim and Mark liked to do “men’s trips” to Reno.  After Sam’s passing, Gordon and his sons continued to enjoy those trips.  


Gordon and Gail also liked to “ride the rails,” i.e. take train trips to various U.S. destinations.  They sometimes snagged a grandchild (or 2 or 3!) to accompany them.


For a memorial, Gordon’s family and friends will be reminiscing and celebrating his life at Jennings Park this summer. 


Please post your “Gordy” stories on this webpage.  His family would love to hear them!


  1. Aleta Mueller says

    Gordy touched my life in a special way. I was a newbie Master Gardener intern when we met in 2003. His leadership at the Jennings Park Demonstration Garden made volunteering there so much fun, and educational. The weeding, pruning, planting, watering and harvesting never felt like “work.” His sense of humor and vast gardening knowledge inspired so many of us! I recall feeling terrible about a lilac bush that suffered a sizeable split in a branch while I was pruning it. Gordy patiently showed me how to splice and wrap the wound, and assured me that I hadn’t ruined the bush. At home I have a beautiful dahlia bed because of Gordy’s encouragement, and I will continue to thank him with every summer’s bloom.
    My heartfelt condolences to the Nettles family.

  2. Karen Tift says

    Hi my name is Karen Tift,
    I have been a WSU Master Gardener for many years and loved working in the gardens with Gordy. When starting out we had to drag hoses to water everywhere until we finally got irrigation. Gordy would bring his wonderful sausage soup for lunches for everyone at Jennings. He taught me so much and gave me my first book on Herbs. I used to run into him at the Base as we are also veterans. We just had a wonderful time in the gardens. I am very thankful to have know him and Gail also. Sending hugs and much love and admiration for both being in my life.
    Sorry for your loss of a wonderful careing man. He will be missed very much

  3. Tasha says

    Gordy is deeply deeply missed. Every morning he would come to the table and ask for the newspaper. He had to know what time the game started. He would tell the staff, “ don’t forget to wake me up for the game.He would also sometimes read the obituaries and he would say, “ people are just dying to get in the paper!” He was definitely the jokester of the house. He loved just being at the table watching the comings and goings of the home. He made everyone feel welcome. He was just a great guy. Fly high Gordy.. 💙

  4. Doug Nettles says

    Gail, Diane and are so sorry for you and your family’s lost. I remember
    the first time I met my cousin Gordon I was 8. He was always fun to be around. Well as the years passed I enlisted in the coastguard and stationed in Alameda
    a aboard a coastguard cutter and I got injured and was transferred to Govt Isand and
    Gordon had me transferred to the dental clinic and took
    Care of me and covered for being awol for morning muster, as a sailor I got a little intoxicated ? and fell asleep 💤.

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