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CHARLES ALAN GATZ

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CHARLES ALAN GATZ Obituary
Gatz, Charles Alan, 85, passed away March 8, 2013 in his Rancho Santa Margarita home surrounded by his family, after a long battle with pulmonary fibrosis. He is survived by his loving wife, Ruth, of almost 63 years; two children, a daughter, Nancy Gatz Bradway and her husband Jan Bradway of Upland, CA and a son, Roger Alan Gatz of Rancho Santa Margarita,CA. He is also survived by three grandchildren, Kevin Alan Gatz and his wife Christine of Roseville CA, Laura Gatz Gallagher and her husband, Ryan, of Stockton, CA, and Melissa Bradway Gall and her husband, Jason, of Reynoldsburg, OH; by three great-grandchildren; and by his nephew, Dr. Andrew Gardner and his wife, Polly, of Oklahoma City, OK. He was predeceased by his parents, Charles and Hazel Gatz; his sister, Irene Gardner Ratcliff; and his brother, William "Billy" Gatz.

Alan was born May 24, 1927 in Alva, Oklahoma and could remember retreating to a storm cellar on the farm there during a tornado that blew through when he was three or four years old. He had many memories of living on farms in Oregon and California during his youth including tending smokehouse fires, herding sometimes reluctant cows into the barn for the evening and carefully gathering eggs from beneath hens with very sharp beaks!

Alan served in the United States Navy near the end of WWII and graduated from Chaffey College in Ontario in 1948. He had always shown an aptitude for mathematics and was an avid reader, tackling science and history books as well as his uncle's Basic Electrical Engineering book when he was about 10 years old. He always said that he "didn't get too far in the book but did learn a lot about electricity." In 1959 he passed the California Engineering exam and was issued his Professional Engineer's license as a Mechanical Engineer. He worked for Johnston Pump Co. in Pasadena for almost twenty five years before accepting a job at Ingersoll-Rand in January of 1979. He retired from that job in 1994 and did consulting work for them and others for another ten years.

Alan enjoyed anything mechanical and was a good carpenter. He created and repaired hundreds of items over the years and was always available to answer questions or assist others in solving problems with their homes, yards and vehicles. Over a seven year period starting in 1959 he built an 18-foot inboard powerboat that is still used by his grandson, Kevin. He and wife, Ruth, were members of the Side-by Side Club of Pilgrim Congregational Church in Pomona for more than 50 years. Upon retiring, Alan and Ruth were able to research their family trees back to the 16th century and gave large printed copies of their work to family members. He also enjoyed photography and built a darkroom for himself.

Alan was a quiet, introspective man but was always ready to laugh. He will be missed. He did not want any special services held and wished to be remembered by those whose lives he had touched as he himself remembered others.

Published in Orange County Register on Mar. 26, 2013
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