Gary H. Vathauer, age 86, of Ottawa, KS, passed away on Thursday, March 31, 2022, at Vintage Park Assisted Living in Ottawa.
Gary was born October 24, 1935, on the family farm near Greenleaf, KS, the son of Herman and Dorothy (Thorman) Vathauer. He married Beverly (Fenton) Vathauer on December 31, 1970 in Ottawa. Gary attended a one room schoolhouse, not far from the family home. Excelling in school, Gary graduated two years early from High School in Greenleaf. He went on to graduate from Brown Mackie Business College in Salina, KS before starting his career as an accountant for the Missouri Pacific Railroad in Joplin, MO; San Francisco, CA; and Colorado Springs, CO. Upon returning to KS, he began working for the Greenleaf CO-OP before being asked to work for the Ottawa CO-OP, where he worked 31 years as Office Manager and Grain Accountant, retiring in 1997. Not one to be idle, he began a post-retirement 21 year career at the Ottawa Public Library in maintenance and as a Reference Desk employee. The perfect job, his family thought, as he devoured facts and was a “walking encyclopedia”!
Gary was an avid reader and had an amazing memory for names, facts, and details. He had a lifelong love for playing the piano and music was always among his most loved activities. He put this love and talent to use as he served as both church treasurer and organist/pianist for several decades at Ottawa Bible Church. He was a former member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Barnes, KS; Ottawa Bible Church in Ottawa; and more recently, attended Westminster Presbyterian Church in Ottawa. Gary loved to travel and he and Beverly were blessed to be able to travel to all 50 U.S. states plus 6 Canadian providences. He loved and was very proud of both his immediate and distant family members. His dry sense of humor made him popular and people loved his wit. He was indeed a pleasure to be around!
Gary is survived by his wife Beverly of 51 years of the home; one daughter, Joyce (MacArthur) Records and husband George of Vernon, TX (formerly Ottawa, KS); two granddaughters and grandson-in-laws, Kaitlyn (Records) Nitcher and husband Tyler of Pomona, KS and Ashley (Records) Sands and husband Brandon of Ottawa; three sisters, Faye Wierschke of DePere, WI, Kathi Otney and husband Ronnie of Marysville, KS, and Lynette Pralle and husband Mel of Greenleaf, KS; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. Gary was preceded in death by both his father and mother (who was two months shy of turning 101).
Services will be conducted by his son-in-law, Rev. George Records, at Lamb-Roberts-Price Funeral Home in Ottawa at 10 a.m., Thursday, April 7th, 2022 with graveside services following at Highland Cemetery. Family will greet friends for a visitation Wednesday, April 6, 2002 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the funeral home. A memorial service will be held at Vintage Park Assisted Living in Ottawa at 10 a.m., Friday, April 8, 2022.
The family requests memorials be given to either the Ottawa Public Library, or to the charity of their choice.
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