ERICH WALTER GIESE (1935 - 2017)

Obituary
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ERICH WALTER GIESE Erich Walter Giese was born in Seattle on August 13, 1935 to Paul J and Anne K Giese. He died from complications following surgery on July 6, 2017 in Richland, WA. Erich and his 4 siblings grew up on Queen Anne Hill and later The Highlands. He attended Queen Anne Elementary School, Marymount Military Academy and entered Lakeside School in the 7th grade. After graduating from Lakeside, where he developed a keen interest in mathematics, he entered the University of Washington at age16. Erich earned a degree in mathematics and continued his studies in graduate school. Fostered by his family's summers on Orcas Island and at Mt. Rainier, Erich developed a love of the out-of-doors. He became an avid hiker and enrolled in climbing classes with the Seattle Mountaineers. Erich climbed many of the N.W. peaks, summiting Mt. Rainier twice, the first time at age 17 with his brother, Paul. Bridge was another passion. Erich was a brilliant player and became the youngest Life Master duplicate player in the State of Washington. He loved playing at the Washington Athletic Club, where he relished representing them in the College Bowl. When he moved to the Tri-Cities, he joined the American Contract Bridge League, Unit 442, and continued playing in Seattle and in tournaments throughout the West. Erich met Susan J Heckard of Long Beach Washington at a dance, and they were married on March 21, 1970. They spent 47 years together and found in each other a new focus in life. They enjoyed many summers hiking at Mt. Rainier and took up cross country skiing at Sun Mountain Lodge in Winthrop. Erich and Sue especially enjoyed trips to Seattle to visit family and friends and attend various events. As a mathematician and computer scientist, Erich spent most of his working years at Boeing Computer Services, first in Seattle and later in Richland Washington, where he and Sue moved in 1975 and where they made many wonderful friends. In later years Erich trained with H & R Block andvolunteered for 10 years doing tax returns for seniors. After retiring in1994, Erich and Sue enjoyed their travels to Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Alaska. In 2013 they moved to Brookdale Retirement Center in Richland, where Erich liked participating in their varied activities. Erich had many interests. He loved classical music and often attended the Richland Columbia Symphony concerts. Other interests included chess, Sudoku, game statistics and following the stock market. He enjoyed reading, climbing, books, his "Seattle Times" and "The Wall Street Journal". As an avid Husky fan, Erich rarely missed a football game in Seattle. He was a member of the Washington Athletic Club, the Columbia Basin Racquet Club and a former member of the Seattle Tennis Club. He attended the Central United Protestant Church. In addition to his parents, Erich was preceded in death by his sister, Rita Giese Harrah and brother, Paul Ernst Giese. He is survived by his wife, Sue, sisters, Marilyn Giese Sherman (Jim), Union, WA, Gretchen Anne Ramsdell (Steve), Bremerton, godson and nephew, Paul J. Rey (Kathy), Alameda, CA, sisters-in-law, Nancy Krause (Roger), Lucretia Giese, brothers-in-law, Dave Harrah, Ed Heckard (Gale), Bill Heckard (Marcia), nephews, Shane Harrah (Ning), Mark Harrah (Ana), Steve Ramsdell (Michelle), Dick Ramsdell (Amy) and cousins in Yelm WA and Switzerland. Erich marched to a different drummer and was a brave, intelligent and kind man. He loved mountains, music, math, animals, and his family. As a first generation American he loved his country and always sang along when the National Anthem was played. Erich was a loyal friend, and those that touched his life meant everything to him. . A celebration of Erich's life will be held in the fall. Donations in Erich's memory may be made to Defenders of Wildlife, 1 800 385 9712
Published in Tri-City Herald on July 30, 2017
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