Gary James Bracken

Gary James Bracken, of Bainbridge Island, died on May 21. He was 59.

He graduated from Washington State University with his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry in 1972 and 1974.

While attending University of Bonn, he met Elizabeth, who was a student at the University of Stuttgart. They were married in 1974 in Tucson, Ariz.

From 1973 to 2007, he masterfully served the Department of Energy and its contractors in nuclear waste operations and in decommissioning at the Hanford Site, Rocky Flats Site and Idaho National Engineering Lab.

He took special pride in woodworking projects, building homes – he was working on a life-long dream home – and developing novel ways to make repairs. He also adored boating and was an avid member of the Eagle Harbor Yacht Club, taking part in many of its cruises in the Northwest.

Since his brain cancer diagnosis in April 2008, he and Liz enjoyed simple pleasures. He celebrated his 59th birthday on March 6, and they proudly awaited the June graduation of their son, Andy, from Stanford University.

He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; brother Ken and wife Marian; nephew Eric and Brenda Bracken and family; nephew Scott and Sheryl Bracken and family; sister-in-law Anne and Karl Matsushino Stinson and family; brother-in-law Gilbert and Karen Matsushino and family; mother-in-law Taz Matsushino; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ida P. and Walter C. Bracken, and stepfather Wesley F. June,

As he wished, a gathering of family and friends will take place on from 2-6 p.m. May 31 at Eagle Harbor Marina, where he lived aboard “Waypoint II” for three-and-a-half years. The burial will take place at Port Blakely Cemetery.

To honor his life, please consider making a gift of life to: Swedish Medical Center Foundation, FBO: Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment, 747 Broadway, Seattle, WA 98122-4307, or to Hospice of Kitsap County, P.O. Box 3416, Silverdale, WA 98383. An online guest book is at