Gary Fuller Reese Was born August 2, 1938 in Logan, Utah the second son of 3 children born to Perry Leland and Edith Mary Fuller Reese and was a descendant of the Utah Pioneers. Gary was 75 years old when, on June 9, 2014, he left this life for a better one. He was reunited with his parents who preceded him in death; Perry in 1953 and Edith in 2011. Gary has lived in the Tacoma/Steilacoom area for many years, having come to this area with his parents during World War II, when his father took a job at McChord Air Force Base. His father died when Gary was 15 and his mother, who now found herself the sole support of this little family, practiced the skills of provident living. "We raised everything and canned everything..," he said, "We gardened, bought big tunas to canand Mother even bottled the feet of chickens because she heard they made good soup. We picked berries and made jam. To this day I can't look a currant in the face!" He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in history at Brigham Young University, sweeping floors to earn money to get through school. In 1961 he became a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ, serving in Finland for 2 ½ years. Returning to Washington he then earned a second master's degree in library science from the University of Washington. Upon graduating in 1965 he took a position at the Tacoma public library. He worked there till his retirement in 2004 when he received high accolades for his many years of service to the library and the people of the Puget Sound area. He was passionate about his work. He researched and developed large holdings of historical information. He wrote many books on the history of the greater Pierce County area and beyond. He was a popular speaker and a wonderful story teller. With a twinkle in his eye, he would drop his voice, draw you in, and make you feel like you were the only one in the room as he confided something to you no one had ever heard before. Gary loved the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the LDS church, serving diligently his whole life. He served as scout master for many years and is responsible for helping more than 50 young men reach the rank of Eagle Scout. He held many positions, serving as a Counselor in the Ward Bishopric, Seminary Teacher for the youth, Stake Executive Secretary, Stake Historical Arts Correspondent to name a few. Gary was quoted as having said, "No one has time to be this involved, but we all make time to do the things we believe are important." He lived these words to the highest. Gary Fuller Reese blessed the lives of many, was well loved and will be greatly missed. Services to honor Gary's life will be held Saturday June 14th at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints chapel 5420 104th St SW, Lakewood, Viewing at 9:00 a.m. and church service to follow at 10:00 a.m. Should friends desire, the family suggests you make a memorial contribution to the Boy Scouts of America Pacific Harbors Council-4802 S. 19th St, Tacoma, WA 98405.
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Published in News Tribune (Tacoma) on June 12, 2014