I love to go out late at night, in the wee hours,
when there is no moon, and stand at the foot of my
mountain retreat and watch the glow of the city. See it.
Right there between the tips of those two evergreens.
Gary Eugene Stoffer passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011, at his home in Hailey, Idaho. He died in his sleep from natural causes at the age of 76.
On Oct. 23, 1934, Gary was born to Clare Stoffer and Dorothy Winchell Stoffer in Boise. He was the third son of four brothers and a sister. Gary left Boise with his family at the age of 7 and lived in Utah and Northern California, until eventually settling in Los Angeles. As a teenager, just out of high school, he studied architecture and drafting, but abruptly joined the Air Force and was stationed in the South Pacific during the Korean War.
After returning to Los Angeles, he tapped into his skills as an artist and illustrator, working as a draftsman for several years before starting his own business, GSA and Associates Inc., a graphic arts and publications company. During that time, in the mid-1960s, he married and had two children, and eventually his business began to thrive. He discovered a passion for horses, owning three successful harness horses during the 1970s. He divorced in 1980. Keeping his business going, he put his kids through college and did some traveling.
Gary was a purist in many things, particularly when it came to his art. As the computer age took over the graphics world, his interest in business waned and he retired altogether in the early 1990s. Around that time, his daughter had settled in Hailey to start her family and Gary's life came full circle. He moved back to his home state to be with his three grandsons and live a simpler life. He loved spending time with the boys, imparting his wisdom and being inspired by them. They were his joy in life.
It could be said that over the last 15 years, Gary lived both as a socialite and, as his 6-year-old grandson described it, "not really a crowder." To those outside his family, he rarely spoke of his personal life, but if you were lucky enough to hang out with him, shoot a game of pool with him or share a beer with him, he was a great friend. He loved jazz music, honest and open political debate, sushi with saki and telling stories. He was known as Pops, Epa and "the pool shark." It's important to mention that he had been a diabetic for the last 40 years of his life and ultimately, in spite of a brave and deliberate effort to keep his disease at bay, it was what got him in the end.
He is survived by his daughter, Kristin and her husband, Mike; his son, Joel; his wife, Thanna; and his three grandsons, Jackson, Will and Aidan.
If you knew Gary, come join us for an informal gathering and make a toast in his honor at McClain's in Hailey on Friday, Jan. 28, starting at 6 p.m.
Please consider making a donation to the American Diabetes Association at www.Diabetes.org/honor.
Arrangements are under the care of Wood River Chapel; friends are invited to leave condolences and share memories at www.woodriverchapel.com.