John M. GESE

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  • "The square dance hall will not be the same without you,..."
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GESE, John M. John passed away at his home on Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the loving company of his family. John was born in North Dakota in 1930 and was the eighth of 12 siblings. John moved to Spokane when he was 16 and graduated high school from John Rogers High School. He joined the Navy Reserves in 1948 and was called to action and served in Japan from 1951 to 1953. He returned to his pre-war accounting position at Swift Meat Packing which he enjoyed; he quickly moved up through the ranks to Plant Controller. As a "trouble shooter" for Swift he lived throughout the country with his family and enjoyed many adventures wherever they lived. John met his 16 year old sweet heart, Marilyn, at Williams Lake and waited patiently while her mother worried about "the older man"! John and Marilyn were married in Spokane in 1953 and started their family four years later with their first son, Vance. The family moved to Stockton, California where they had their second son, Eric. The family moved to Indiana, Texas, and Arizona while John continued to work as Plant Controller with Swift. John retired to Spokane in 1985 where he and Marilyn built their dream house on 26 acres. John is survived by his wife, Marilyn; two sons, Vance (Peg) and Eric (Pat); and his loyal dog, Abby. Of his 12 siblings, John is survived by Ted and Elaine and numerous nieces and nephews. John loved to return to his home on 26 acres after a day of hunting, skiing, fishing, or berry picking. He enjoyed working in their garden every other year and traveling in their RV the opposite years. John and Marilyn traveled throughout the United States and Canada with numerous friends, and spent several summers in Alaska fishing for salmon. Throughout the years, John and Marilyn enjoyed square dancing wherever they lived and developed many, many friends through dancing. His fondest memories were of traveling throughout Europe and Australia with Marilyn, backpacking in the mountains of Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico with the entire family, fishing trips all over the U.S. and Canada (he caught the most fish, but Marilyn always caught the biggest!), and quiet times around a campfire with family and friends. John will be fondly remembered for his laughter while playing cards and his love of Sven and Ollie jokes! A Memorial Service will be held on Thursday, April 17, at 11:00 AM at Hennessey - Smith Funeral Home, 2203 N. Division, Spokane, WA. Please visit John's on-line memorial page at to leave a message of condolence.


Funeral Home
Hennessey Funeral Home & Crematory - Division St.
2203 N Division Street
Spokane , WA 99207
(509) 328-2600
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Published in Spokesman-Review on Apr. 16, 2014
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