Obituary: Sturman, Gary Grant
STURMAN, Gary Grant
February 23, 1936
October 5, 2012
Gary G. Sturman was born February 23, 1936, in Tensed, Idaho, to Ralph and Elva Grant Sturman. He attended local schools and graduated from Plummer High School in 1954. He married his high school sweetheart, Carol Anne Gumm, on September 6, 1956, in Tekoa and attended the University of Idaho in Moscow, where he received his degree in civil engineering in 1959.
Following his graduation in 1959, Gary and Carol made their home in Walla Walla, where he started his career with the United States Army Corps of Engineers. After six months in the U.S. Army at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Gary and Carol moved with their growing family to Anchorage, Alaska in 1962 — four years after the State was admitted to the Union. Gary worked on a variety of significant government projects in Alaska, including the construction of a breakwater near Juneau. An avid outdoorsman, Gary adored the Alaskan wilderness and took every opportunity to fish, hunt, and camp, even building a family cabin by hand near Big Lake outside of Anchorage. He played the banjo, learned to fly an airplane, and loved to read history.
After a decade in Alaska, Gary and Carol moved their family to Frankfurt, West Germany, where Gary provided civilian engineering support to the significant Cold War American military facilities, including several large scale aircraft shelters. Gary and Carol spent weekends and vacations with their young daughters traveling throughout Europe and developed a keen appreciation for fine wine, food, and travel — all passions that never left either of them.
Gary and Carol returned to the United States in 1975, settling for the next 17 years in Portland, Oregon, where he worked on large scale hydroelectric projects, including large dams on the Columbia River and the Mt. St. Helens debris dam on the Toutle River. Quiet, unassuming and thoughtful, Gary was a master woodworker, building among other things a wooden canoe by hand. Gary was a self-taught baker who enjoyed recreating the great breads of Europe in his own kitchen with patience and attention to detail. But he was never happier than when with his grandchildren, teaching them how to “measure twice, cut once,” how to cast a fly over a quiet mountain lake, and to enjoy every moment.
Gary retired in 1991 to Sunriver, Oregon, where he spent long days woodworking, fly fishing, cross country skiing, and golfing. After five years in Sunriver, Gary and Carol came full circle and returned to Tekoa. He passed away on October 5, 2012, at the Tekoa Care Center with Carol by his side.
He was a member of the Anchorage Lion’s Club, the Society of American Military Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Sunriver Anglers and the Tekoa Community Church.
Gary is survived by his wife Carol and his four daughters and their husbands, Michelle and Kevin Hamilton of Seattle, Sandra and Rustam Dalal of Alexandria, Virginia, Julie Cox of Seattle, and Heidi and Jim Zauner of Canby, Oregon, and his 10 grandchildren; his mother, Elva Sturman of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; brother and sister-in-law Larry and Alice Sturman of Spokane, Washington; sister and brother-in-law Marilyn and Hank Larson of DeSmet, Idaho; and family members near and far.
A memorial service will be held Friday, October 12, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. at the Tekoa Community Church in Tekoa, WA. Memorial gifts may be given to the Tekoa Ambulance Fund, PO Box 597, Tekoa or to the Tekoa Community Church, PO Box 845, Tekoa, WA, 99033.
KRAMER FUNERAL HOME of Tekoa, WA is handling the arrangements.