North Mason’s ‘Go To’ Deputy, Dies at 64

In the 1970s, Gaylen Luther Gulbranson was North Mason’s “go to” deputy. He went on to be a detective and ultimately the Mason County jail’s superintendent until 1995, when he left the office.

Gulbranson, 64, died in his home Friday in Peoria, Arizona, where he’d worked as a fingerprint analyst for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

Here’s how Dean Byrd, Mason County’s Chief Deputy, recalled Gulbranson:

“I worked with Gail for many years.  I met him when I came to work for the Sheriff’s Office in 1973.  He had a way of getting the job done with quiet and gentle kindness.  The bad guys never wanted to challenge him.  He was highly regarded by his colleagues and the citizens he served.  Gail was a great presence in the community.  I also remember his photographic memory for license numbers and his ability to drive at high speed with smoothness and grace.”


Gulbranson and his wife Pam enjoyed Arizona life and were members of the Desert Renegades, a classic Pontiac car club (he owned a 1967 GTO as well as a Harley Davidson). They were also involved with the House of Destiny Church in Phoenix where he served as a Deacon.

Gulbranson is survived by his wife Pam; his daughter Melissa Ventura, Glendale, Arizona; his brother, Orville Gulbranson, Rochester, Washington; along with extended family members, Marilee Joyce, Covington, Washington; Tim Yeager, Phoenix, Arizona; Mark Yeager, Tumwater, Washington; and four grandchildren.

“Gaylen Gulbranson will be remembered by his friends, colleagues and community as a person who stood tall and faced crime head on to make Mason County a safe place to live,” said Mason County Sheriff Casey Salisbury.

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