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Obituaries » Gary V. Hirschi

Gary V. Hirschi

October 15, 1937 - February 25, 2009

U.S. Veteran

There will be a viewing for Gary between 4:00 and 7:00 p.m., Friday, March 6th, at the Sweet Home Funeral Chapel (1443 Long Street). A funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, March 7th, at the Sweet Home Evangelical Church, adjacent to the funeral home. Remembrances in lieu of flowers can be made to: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterJ5-200P.O. Box 19024Seattle, WA 98109. (Please specify for lung cancer research.)

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Gary passed away on Wednesday after a hard-fought though brief (three week) battle with lung cancer, with his loving family at his side.

Gary was born October 15, 1937 to William David Hirschi and Mina Winifred Coulter in Lebanon, Oregon. He attended Sunnyside Grade School, and then Sweet Home High School, from which he graduated in 1955.

Following high school, Gary attended Oregon State College and worked at various jobs until 1958, when he started his 35-year career with the U.S. Forest Service at the Ranger Station in Cascadia, Oregon. Gary took a three-month leave from the forest service in 1959 to motor scooter through Europe with a friend. A highlight of his life he spoke of often and fondly.

On September 19, 1959, Gary married local girl, Jane Anne Holcomb of Foster, Oregon, with whom he shared the rest of his life.

Gary took a break from the forest service between 1960 and 1962 to do a tour in the Army. In 1962, while stationed at Fort Lewis, Gary and Jane Anne’s daughter, April, was born.

Following the Army, the family returned to Sweet Home and Gary returned to the forest service. It was there that daughter, Hope, was born in 1964, and son, William (Bill), in 1968.

Gary made two more stops with the forest service. The first at the Lewis River Ranger Station on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, and then on to the Quilcene Ranger Station on the Olympic National Forest where Gary retired as a District Engineer.

After completing his career with the forest service in 1993, Gary and Jane Anne moved on to the joys of retirement. Gary and Jane Anne enjoyed traveling, whether it be with their RV group (the OK Sams) for overnighters, or long trips and cruises. With their usual gang of traveling buddies, they traveled to Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Yellowknife in the Yukon, and cruised through the Baltics, to Alaska, and most recently the Panama Canal. Gary’s most favorite trips, though, were taking his grandchildren on weekends in the motor home, and if the parents could come that was OK too!

Throughout his life, Gary had many interests and participated in the community. He was a member of the Quilcene Volunteer Fire Department for 20 years and received a number of awards. He was also a school board member in Quilcene for 12 years. He always enjoyed trying out new hobbies, such as wine and beer making, where a typical complement was “That’s not too bad.” Gary was also an avid hunter and fisherman and especially enjoyed the camaraderie.

Gary was an amazing person who had a level head and gave sound, thoughtful advice if asked. He would always drop everything to help if anyone needed a hand. He loved his family very much and was devoted to his wife of 50 years.

Gary is survived by his wife, Jane Anne; his children, April and husband Rod Ronquillo, Hope and husband Max Wills, and his son, Bill; his grandchildren, Quinton and Rachel Ronquillo and Emily and Olivia Wills; his mother, Mina Hirschi; sisters, Carolee (Buck Merritt) and Sherral (Tom Tucker); and brother, Steve (Donna) Hirschi; along with many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Gary was preceded in death by his father, William David Hirschi.

We would like to thank all of our family and friends who have shared in our shock and grief for their continued support as we know we shall need it for a long time to come.

There will be a viewing for Gary between 4:00 and 7:00 p.m., Friday, March 6th, at the Sweet Home Funeral Chapel (1443 Long Street). A funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, March 7th, at the Sweet Home Evangelical Church, adjacent to the funeral home. Remembrances in lieu of flowers can be made to: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterJ5-200P.O. Box 19024Seattle, WA 98109. (Please specify for lung cancer research.)

Sweet Home Funeral Chapel is handling services.