In Memory

Gary Herauf

Gary Herauf

Gary Wheeler notified us that our friend, Gary A. Herauf, has passed away.  We thank Gary for letting us know and are very saddened to hear about the loss of Gary Herauf.  Please add your comments to his In Memory page on our website.  Below is the obituary from the Oregonian.

Feb. 21, 1945 - July 10, 2020
Gary Anthony Herauf died Friday, June 10, 2020 of natural causes after battling symptoms of Lewy Body dementia. He was surrounded by family and friends during his month long stay at St. Charles in Bend, Ore.
Gary was born in Dickinson, N.D., the fourth of eight children born to Helen and Joe Herauf. Raised on a farm in Dickinson, Gary's earliest memories were of milking the cows before school, having to walk to the barn through a path in the snow that was deeper than he was tall, and at the age of 9 driving his first truck of grain to the grainery for his dad. Gary's family moved to Beaverton, Ore., when he was 10 years old. By the age of 13 he bought his first car, keeping it hidden from his mom. By the age of 15 he was managing a gas station and the mechanics who worked there. His mom wasn't happy that he would go to the coffee shop with the crew after work, "they are too old to be hanging around with," she'd say. But that was Gary's personality, to network and learn from others.
Gary graduated from Sunset High School in Beaverton, Class of 1963. In 1968 he was drafted into the Army, even though he had a rod and pins holding his crushed calf together, "he was still useful." While working state side at Fort Benning in Columbus, Ga., he was responsible for the mail and the lunch truck. While driving the lunch truck the troops would ask, "Why don't they sell cigarettes?" So Gary solved the problem and bought a case of cigarettes on his way to work to sell to the men, "after all they were putting their lives on the line for our country, they deserved a smoke," Gary said.
After the Army, Gary returned to Pendleton, Ore., with his young family, where he learned home construction from his father-in-law. Gary built and remodeled homes the rest of his life. Over his 40 year career he built great client relationships as well as amazingly creative homes. He won awards and was even featured in Architectural Digest for one of the homes he built. Gary was extremely proud of this accomplishment.
Gary was not all work. He enjoyed spending time with friends and family, playing, partying, and volunteering. Camping, fishing, and boating was his favorite getaway, and riding his motorcycle. In his 60's, as he retired from building for others, he was drawn to volunteer by helping deliver Meals on Wheels, fishing with senior Veterans, and assisting with parties at the senior centers in Weiser, Idaho and Lake Havasu, Ariz.
Gary was preceded in the death by his mom and dad, Helen and Joseph Herauf; and brothers, Ken and Dale. He is survived by his siblings, Ann, Kathy, Allan, Ted, and Melanie; his children, Jonathan, Heidi, and Heather; and his grandchildren, Aubrey and Olivia. He is very missed, and loved.
Due to COVID no gatherings are planned at this time, but we celebrate our brother, dad, and grandpa every day, and want to plan a celebration of his life when it is safe for our giant family to get together. Gary was cremated and his ashes will be spread in the places he found joy and happiness in his life.
Please sign the online guest book at


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08/18/20 11:34 AM #1    

Charlene Thompson (Wyatt)

I will miss his wry smile but knowing he'll be with Bill Peterson & both being helpful to any soul who needs them. I speak from experiencing their kindness. RIP Gary you're probably already delivering Meals On Wheels.

08/18/20 01:12 PM #2    

Bob Edwards

I have known Gary since high school. Gary had a great sense of humor and I liked being with him because of that. We always had a great time together. Gary also had a lot of grit, he took on responsibility at a young age and grew up fast.

We lost touch later in life, but I always admired him and regarded him as my friend. I am saddened at his passing. He will be missed.


08/18/20 08:22 PM #3    

Dian Pankow (McNaught)

I didn't know Gary, as I transferred to Sunset as a sophomore but when I read his obit and saw that he was born in Dickenson, ND, I checked my sources as my ancestors lived in neighboring Richardton, ND and with his last name, thought his family might have also been known as the 'Germans from Russia'. Both of my maternal grandparents were also Germans from Russia and immigrated to the US with their families in 1900 and 1907, before the Bolshevik Revolution. All of these early pioneers left Germany in the first decade of 1800's. The Steiners, Wielers and Heraufs were originally from the Pfalz, (Palatinate) section of Germany. The Herauf's were among the 62 founding Catholic families and pioneers of Munchen, north and west of the Black Sea in what is now Ukraine. Munchen was in the District of Beresan. Those early colonies in the Beresan District were: Landau, Speier, Karlsruhe, Sulz, Rastadt, Katharinental, and Munchen. My maternal grandparents, the Steiner's and the Weiler's, were of the original 65 pioneer families that settled neighboring Katharinental. My grandparents immigrated with their families in 1900 and 1907 before the Bolshevik Revolution.... Many of these Germans from Russia families, when they immigrated to the US, settled in North Dakota as it was the closest land that resembled their home land on the Steppe's (plains) of Russia. My maternal Catholic family also left North Dakota and settled in Pendleton. I wish I had known all of this family history when I was younger....

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