Born: July 17, 1946
Died: July 20, 2012
Gary Ewing Bierwagen, 66, was raised to Heaven on July 20, 2012, from a place he loved: Priest Lake, Idaho.
A lifelong resident of Walla Walla, Gary was born on July 17,
1946, to Oscar and Mitzi Bierwagen. The first of three
boys, Gary attended Sharpstein Grade School, Pioneer Junior High and Walla Walla High School, graduating in 1964. He earned a degree from Pacific Lutheran
University in 1968 and went on to serve his country in the United States Army. After tours of duty in Vietnam and Germany, Gary returned to Walla Walla,
where he began a career in banking at Frontier Federal
Savings and Loan.
Soon thereafter, Gary married
the love of his life, Mardel Swank on Dec. 29, 1974,
sharing 37 years of marriage together. Gary adored
his two daughters, Ann and Heather, who were born
in 1978 and 1981, respectively. He was a terrific father
and enjoyed watching them grow up.
Gary was active in numerous organizations throughout
his life, including the Exchange Club, Elks, Walla Walla Country Club and Emmanuel Lutheran Church,
where he was a lifelong member and held various board positions, including president and treasurer. Gary later worked at Walla Walla Valley Medical and Banner Bank.
Retirement afforded him the opportunity to spend more time with his family, and he delighted in his new-found role as “grandpa.” In addition to Priest Lake, Gary enjoyed spending summers at the Bierwagen
family cabin on the South Fork of the Walla Walla River. Golf, bowling, working in the yard and fixing things for his daughters were hobbies that occupied the rest of his time.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents, Oscar and Mitzi. He is survived by his wife, Mardel; daughters, Ann Ledezma (Roberto) and Heather; brothers, Fred
(Kathy) and Kirk (Jan); and grandson, Robby; in addition
to numerous nieces and nephews.
Always a jokester, Gary will be remembered for his good-natured personality and jovial sense of humor.
The Memorial Funeral Service will be held on Saturday, October 13, 2012 at 10:30 AM at Emmanuel Lutheran Church with Rev. Mark Koonz officiating. In lieu of
flowers, donations can be made in Gary’s name to Emmanuel
Lutheran Church through the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder, Walla Walla WA.