March 12, 1941 - May 12, 2016
Surrounded by his loving family, Garry Loeffler, age 75, died May 12, 2016. Garry loved to document all of life's moments, with his camera as a constant companion. He was passionate about social justice issues, including homelessness and marginalized populations. Valuing the diversity and uniqueness of people, he encouraged individuals to fully develop their potential. Garry was fascinated with all things political. He spent most early mornings reading, writing and listening to classical music in his study. He had a lifelong love of trains, was a history buff and a travel enthusiast.
His weekly family letter, through which he shared his love of knowledge and words of wisdom for over 28 years, will be missed. Born and raised in Lewiston, Idaho, he graduated from Lewiston High School (1959), the University of Idaho with a BS in Education (1963), and California State University, Hayward, with an MS in School Administration (1983). Garry was on active duty in the US Army from 1963-1965, and then moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to begin his career in education. He married Bonnie Ferguson in 1968 at St. George's Catholic Church in Post Falls, Idaho. Together they raised their three children in San Leandro, California.
Over a span of 33 years in San Leandro, he held several teaching positions, eventually becoming principal of Washington, Wilson and later Garfield elementary school. He facilitated the conversion of Garfield in 1993 to San Leandro's first year-round school. He was active in the Dad's Club, many professional associations, and was president of the San Leandro Administrators Association prior to his retirement in 1998. During this time he also continued to serve with the US Army Reserve, retiring as a Lt. Colonel in 1983.He was elected in 1994 to the San Leandro City Council where he held office for eight years. He was skilled at building consensus in groups and bringing people together for the common good. He was a founding member of the Interfaith Homeless Network/April Showers, as well as the San Leandro Collaborative for Youth and Families. After leaving the City Council, he was a staff member for Alameda County Supervisor Alice Lai-Bitker, focusing on senior housing and health matters.
In 2004 Garry and his wife Bonnie moved to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. He was active at St. Thomas Catholic Church on the Men's Retreat Team, as a lector and as a board member of St. Vincent de Paul, North Idaho. His retirement to Idaho allowed him to spend more time visiting extended family, exploring various military bases, and tinkering in his garden.
Garry is survived by his wife, Bonnie (Ferguson) Loeffler, three children, Stacey (Scott) Hamilton of Lexington, MA; Brian Loeffler of Burien, WA; and Brad (Dana) Loeffler of San Leandro, CA., and three grandchildren: Parker (9) and Riley (8) Hamilton; and Colton Loeffler (2 months). Additionally, he is survived by his sister, Janice Packwood of Spokane, WA, as well as many nieces, nephews and their families. He was predeceased by parents John and Germaine Loeffler.
A memorial mass was held on Thursday, May 19th, at 11am at St. Thomas Catholic Church. , followed by a luncheon at the parish center. A graveside service was held at Evergreen Cemetery in Post Falls. Donations can Still be made to St. Vincent de Paul, North Idaho or the Interfaith Homelessness Network of San Leandro, California.
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