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Gary Leonard Wyke

Gary Leonard Wyke

Gary Leonard Wyke July 8, 1941-April 10, 2021Gary Leonard Wyke was born on July 8, 1941, in Hanford, California, and died from complications of bladder cancer on April 10, 2021, in Boise. When his 6-year-old great-granddaughter heard of his death, first she cried and cried. Then she lifted her head and said, “He was such a good man.” That was Gary Wyke. A good man: loving, trustworthy, funny, committed to justice. His quiet, low-key sense of humor delighted all who knew and loved him.Gary had an incredibly happy childhood and adolescence, surrounded by the love of his parents Leo Wyke and Katherine (Landis) Wyke, step-mother Lillian (Anderson) Wyke, older sister Joyce (McKern), step-sister Judy Hopper, and friends he kept for life. After high school, he headed east to attend the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, only to find his interests and strengths unsuited to the engineering-oriented curriculum. However, the Academy reinforced his values of integrity, loyalty, fairness, and open-hearted commitment to doing what needs to be done. He returned to California, where he finished his military career as a Naval Reservist. Gary received a B.A. in English from the University of California in Berkeley (“Go Bears”!), then worked six years at Macy’s Department store in San Francisco. Realizing that retail was not the path for him (although he thought being store book buyer was fabulous), he returned to Cal and got Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Forestry, a field that fit his interests and skills. He retired from work with the Bureau of Land Management in Boise after over 30 years of service including posts in Folsom, CA and Rawlins, WY.He and Janet Evans were married in 1964. Sons Andrew born in 1973 and Evan in 1976 opened for Gary a deep and abiding well of love for family. Indeed love for family was one of his defining characteristics. Andy and Evan grew up, married, and then had children of their own, who were absolutely the apples of their “Bumpa’s” eye.In 2013, Jan and Gary’s marriage dissolved, amiably and with a continuing commitment to their kids and grandkids. Over time a 30+ year friendship with Elizabeth Greene deepened into an excellent foundation for a life together, and they made the happy decision to marry. Gary and Elizabeth traveled many places, laughed a lot, read poetry to each other, spent fun times with family, and thanked their Higher Powers for the late-life gift of each other.Deep as was his commitment and joy in family, he also turned outward in a commitment to making the world better. He served as President of his church, the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. He was a much-respected tutor at Learning Lab. He coordinated the Farmers’ Market table, where people with EMT cards could receive tokens for fresh vegetables.Gary is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; son Andy, wife Erin and daughter Dylan; son Evan, wife Nicole and sons Sullivan, Benson and Oliver; sister Joyce McKern; nieces and nephews Scott McKern (Denise Prendergast), Lisa Robinson (Gene), and Dana McKern (Judy).

There will be a Zoom memorial service on Saturday, April 17, at 4 pm. The Zoom link is

1 Comment

  • Janey Merrill Posted April 15, 2021 4:06 pm

    I am so very sorry to hear about Gary. My late husband and I met him about 40 years ago and always enjoyed being with him and his family. He was kind, caring, funny, and a true friend. I was sorry when I learned a year ago that he had battled cancer and have been praying for him daily. My prayers and thoughts are now with Elizabeth and Andy and Evan and their families. I know how difficult it is to lose a husband and the father of my son.

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