Gary Ewing was married three times to Valene Ewing, played by Joan Van Ark. They first married when he was 17-years-old and she was 15, and settled at Southfork much to J.R. and Jock's annoyance. To help the newlyweds out, Miss Ellie bought them a home and gave Gary a job as ranch foreman. Their daughter Lucy was born. However, older brother J.R. kept harassing the young couple, and Gary and Valene were soon fighting. He took to drinking again, eventually walking out on his family. J.R. also forced Valene out of Southfork. She fled to Virginia with baby Lucy, hoping to have her mother care for her child but she was refused. J.R. followed her, accusing her of prostitution and warning her never to return to Dallas. J.R. took away Lucy and delivered the baby to the care of her mother-in-law Miss Ellie. Most of this occurred off-screen.
Years later, Gary bumped into his brother Bobby and his wife Pam in Las Vegas. Bobby persuaded him to visit Texas. While he was visiting, Lucy his teenage daughter surprised him by reintroducing him to Valene, who had been working as a waitress in diners around Dallas. For the sake of his ex wife and daughter, Gary tried to make things work in Texas, but soon came under the old pressures of living up to Jock's expectations and J.R.'s deviousness. J.R. had set Gary up in an office equipment machinery firm in a hope that Gary would fail as usual. To ensure his newfound sobriety, he knew he had leave Southfork and his family once again. Valene tracked Gary down, while turning down money from J.R. to leave Southfork, and they reunited and remarried As a wedding present, Gary's mother Miss Ellie bought the couple a house in California, the area which which Gary suggested since they could not return to Texas. This served as the basis for the shift to the spin-off and concurrent series of Knots Landing in which the couple relocated to that state. Originally, their daughter Lucy was to join them, but this event did not materalize, and she remained at Southfork with her grandparents.