Gale Patrick McNamara

Gale Patrick McNamara (Dad, Bubba, and Grandpa) passed away on December 24, 2022, at his home in Hood River, Oregon, at age 81. Gale was born in 1941, in Minot, ND, to Patrick and Henrietta McNamara. Gale is survived by two older siblings, Sharon Shorma and Patricia Simpson. He was married to Janice McNamara for 54 years, who passed away on July 10, 2022. Gale lived in North Dakota, Massachusetts, New Jersey, settling in Hood River, Oregon, close to his middle son Derek and his family. He had an older son, Kevin, who passed away on December 6, 2022. Gale is also survived by his youngest son, Douglas, who lives in Hood River. Gale has three grandchildren: Riley McNamara lives in Hood River, and James and William McNamara live in Golden, Colorado. Gale had many nieces and nephews, cousins, and aunts and uncles. Gale was a family man, doing much to impart his wisdom to his children, grandchildren, and all his family. He did much to make his children and grandchildren the people they are today.

Throughout his life, Gale worked hard to provide his family with what they needed, whether it be advice, physical needs, or wisdom. His work ethic was instilled in him during his early days in Voltaire, ND. During the winter, Gale operated a trap line to save money for college. He walked nine miles daily to check his traps, often during cold ND days when the temperature would be below zero. During the summer, Gale worked for local farmers, driving tractors, baling hay, and doing other farm activities. Gale also worked in the family garden, relishing getting the seed catalog each spring and helping the family figure out what would be planted. He worked hard at school to prepare himself for his career as an electrical engineer. He became a Ham radio operator, developing a love of electronics through communicating with people from far away. He was on the speech and debate club at Velva High School, winning a trip to New York City. He was valedictorian of his high school.

Gale attended the Electrical Engineering program at the University of North Dakota, winning a scholarship and working as a resident assistant at the dormitories. His first job was at Bell Labs in the Holmdel, NJ, complex. Bell Labs sent him to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to obtain a Master’s Degree in Electrical engineering. Later, while working for Bell Labs, Gale also received a Master’s Degree in Applied Mathematics at Columbia University.

Gale worked for Bell Labs throughout the ’60s and ’70s. In the ’80s Gale transferred to working for AT&T in New York City, across from the World Trade Center. After a few years at this job, he returned to working in various phone company offices throughout New Jersey. He retired from the phone company in the early ’90s. At this time, Gale continued his work in telecommunications, working as a contractor to AT&T in Southeast Asia. He traveled throughout Southeast Asia, being able to bring his wife, Janice, on a memorable trip to Singapore and Thailand, which they spoke of often. After this work, Gale had several contract jobs, working for a startup company to install cable systems in apartment buildings and assisting Lawyers in the development of Patents.

Gale’s last job was working for his son’s companies, developing and applying Geospatial Science and Technology in the Utilities and Environmental Field. Gale was always a mentor to his sons, sharing his hard-gained wisdom in technical and business matters and always being there for his sons to lend an ear and provide advice and technical assistance. His son’s most memorable working experiences are the projects they worked on with their Dad. They cherish the opportunity to have had these times and learn from their father.

Gale also gained a love of the outdoors during his upbringing in North Dakota, which he shared with his family. He climbed many tall peaks throughout New England, taking his family on overnight excursions to climb Mount Washington in New Hampshire, and Mount Katahdin in Maine. During his time in Massachusetts, he took up downhill skiing, and each winter, he would bring his family skiing to Pennsylvania, New York, and Vermont. Many summers were spent in Vermont and North Dakota, fishing, hiking through the woods and fields, paddling, and boating in the lakes and rivers with his children and family. Gale continued his love of gardening and planting, having many gardens in New Jersey and teaching his sons how to garden and plant. He was handy at many things, also imparting wisdom to his sons on car maintenance and carpentry. Gale always had a camera to record these experiences, leaving physical memories of the beautiful times he enabled and shared with his family.

Gale gave back to the community also. He was an active member of his church (Cross of Glory in Matawan, NJ) for many years, developing lifelong friendships. He helped with financial matters at the church, bringing refugees to this country, and helping build homes for many people. Gale helped people in need and was a man of faith. Gale lived a rich life, imparting many lessons to his family, which we will work to honor as life goes on. We will miss him (Dad, Grandpa, Bubba) very much, but we will take the lessons he imparted to help serve the world and continue his legacy of making the world a better place.

Memorial Service: Monday, July 3rd, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. in Thomas Family Funeral Home, Minot.

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