Gary Eugene Schoening was born August 1, 1947, in Limon, Colorado to Robert “Bobcat” Schoening & Lena Irene Schoening. He died with family near on January 15, 2020, at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.
Gary was the eldest of four Schoening boys, big brother to John, Kenneth “Kenny”, and Keith “Pistol”. When he was a teen, the family moved from Colorado to Alaska by way of Wyoming, arriving in Seward in 1963 and eventually settling in a house that still sits at Mile 5.5 of the Seward Highway.
As a young adult, Gary followed adventure and work, living in Seward, Kodiak, Valdez, Anchorage, and Lovell, Wyoming. Gary and family settled in Delta Junction in 1992 after purchasing the Cherokee II Lodge from Kathy Scott. Gary always enjoyed the beauty of the landscape, the community feel of the town, and was drawn to Delta’s wide-open spaces.
Gary was a man of many talents who had many loves in his lifetime. He loved the outdoors, cooking and trying new recipes, singing, playing card games, driving fast but safe, and entertaining. He had a way with words and was well known for his ability to spin a tale, tell a joke, and get you to laugh in spite of yourself. Gary was an avid and successful hunter and fisherman and if you knew him well you have heard a story or two about those adventures. Whether the target was moose, bison, caribou, elk, deer, antelope, sheep, salmon, halibut, grayling, trout, pike or marlin; he usually got what he went after.
Gary worked at many pursuits during his lifetime. He enjoyed travel and adventure. He worked on a crab boat in Kodiak, was a roughneck during the building of the Alaska Pipeline, became a licensed auctioneer, had careers in the airline and travel industry, was an entrepreneur, a lodge owner, Teamster, census taker, and crew bus driver. Above all, Gary was a family man who treasured his role as son, brother, husband, father, and grandfather.
Gary is survived by his three brothers, first wife Mary Miller, children Jason Schoening (Lori) & Glenna Muncy (Brian), three grandchildren Jared, Maya, and David, and Gloria’s children and grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents and second wife Gloria.
A memorial service and celebration of life will take place on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, at 1 p.m. at the Delta Community Center. The family invites any and all who knew Gary to attend a short service, share a story or memory, and stay for light refreshments. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to the Pioneers Home of Alaska or an Alaska or outdoors/sporting organization that you believe Gary would have supported in life.
Online condolences may be made to the family at Blanchardfamilyfuneralhome.com.