In Memory

Gary Cheney

Gary Cheney

GARY CHENEY ----1944-2016

From the Topanga Messenger August 25-September 7, 2016 edition. Story by Lee Kelly.

"I met a great guy today who should have been born a hundred years ago!" These were the words spoke by Frank Kelly to his wife Mike (Michelene) on a day in 1978. Frank was referring to a General Telephone lineman, Topanga born and bred Gary Cheney who had been working on a pole off the Kelly's property. "Gary looked, spoke and acted the way I imagined his great grandpa did--like a good old country boy."

Gary truly was a "good old country boy" and he came by it quite naturally. His great grandparents, Columbus Callan "Mose" Cheney, and wife, Lucy, homesteaded 160 acres of Topanga in 1891. They built their own home, and when it burned down, they built it again. 

Most of that acreage was subsequently sold, but Gary's grandfather, George "Pop" Cheney, took over the Sylvia Park homestead in 1937 when Mose passed away. In addition to running the faarm at the Cheney residence on Cheney Drive, George ran the California Conservation Corps (CCC) camp situated nearby during the 1930s.

George and his wife, Valerie, had a son, Callan, who grew up on the ranch and eventually married Helen Douphner, sister of the late Kenny Douphner. Gary was born to the couple on March 11, 1944, but his parents' marriage wasn't to last. Callan and Helen broke up and Helen took Gary's sister Pam, but their small son, Gary, was left in the care of his Grandpa "Pop" George to be raised by his own second-generation Cheney grandfather in the tradition of his forefathers. And he loved it!

Pop had been raised pioneer-style. They raised pigs, chickens, goats, cows and horses and they planted orchards of fruit. They were all hunters and had huge venison barbeques with lots of folks attneding from town.

His uncle Kenny and cousins, Darryl and Kevin Douphner, lived just up the street on Callon. Darryl, about two years younger, was his constant companion on biking adventures and Uncle Kenny kept the boys' bicycles running, something of a feat since they were all sort of patched together from old bikes. Darryl recalls, "Gary made a race track around the ranch house and five or six [of the neighborhood kids] would tear around it creating clouds of dust."









































Gary Arthur Cheney

HUSON – Gary Arthur Cheney, 72, of Huson, passed away on Sunday, May 29, 2016, at his home in the Ninemile Valley, of natural causes. 

Gary was born on March 11, 1944, in Santa Monica, California, to Callan Cheney and Helen Douphner Cheney. 

Gary worked for the General Telephone company for 30 years before retiring and moving to the Ninemile Valley in western Montana in 1995. 

Gary loved horses, guns, motorcycles and old cars. He was most at home in the outdoors, and felt a strong spiritual communion with the natural world. 

Gary is survived by his wife, Martha; daughters, Heather Cheney and Kelly (Cheney) Newell and her husband Josh Newell; son Michael Cheney; stepsons, Wesley and Daniel Palmer and their families; sister Pamela Eiselin of Glendale, Arizona, and his beloved granddaughter, Alexis Souliere. 

A private celebration of Gary's life will take place in the Ninemile Valley.

Missoulian (Missoula, MT) - Sunday, June 5, 2016