Gary Lighthizer, Wyocena

June 6, 2018 GMT

Gary Lighthizer, retired canning/custodian for Stokely USA, Inc., left this world peacefully on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, at Columbia Health Care Center, Wyocena.

He was born April 29, 1938, in Augusta, to Lyle S. and Dorothy S. Lighthizer, and graduated from Eau Claire High School. He worked as a custodian for several years at Stokely USA until he retired in 2005. He loved football and never missed a Packers game. Gary loved most sports; he even saw Hank Aaron play baseball. He was an avid beer stein and decanter collector. Gary had one of the biggest hearts and would do anything for anyone. After retirement, he did cross off one of his wishes on his bucket list. He visited Hawaii with his niece, Lynn Chartrand. It was a trip of a lifetime and he spoke of his ventures often.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Sandra (Thomas) Chartrand; a brother, Daemon (Lucy) Lighthizer; and a nephew, Jeffrey Allan Chartrand. Family would like a special mention of Gary’s beloved dog and lifetime companion, Desi.

Survivors include his brother, Thomas Lighthizer of Chippewa Falls; his nieces, Cathy (Roger) Raycher of Oak Point, Texas, Theresa (Bill) Barnes of Houston, Texas, Barb (Rory) Olson of Chippewa Falls, Jeanne Chartrand of Sun Prairie, Lori Lighthizer of Jackson, Kelley Lighthizer of Grafton, Tina (David) Rouser of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Tami (Frank) Rice of Claremore, Oklahoma; his nephews, Lyle (Karen) Chartrand, Scott (Lynn) Chartrand of Anderson, South Carolina, Joe (Sherry) Chartrand of Chippewa Falls, and Steven (Kim) Chartrand of Wichita, Kansas. Also surviving Gary are several great-nieces and -nephews.

A special thanks to Gary’s extended Portage family, including, Kippi and Andy Peterson, their daughters, Tiyjanna Peterson (Thomas Wright), Keehlin (Nathan) Preston and granddaughters, Payton Peterson and Meadow Wright; Cash and Sally Tosch, Linda and Jeffery Kleven, Connie and Mike Ploof, Terri and Dennis Williams, and Robert and Donna Porter. Gary had many friends at Hair Sensations, including Kelli Croft and Betty Warfield. Kelli was very special to Gary as she took care of his dog, Shem, when Gary went into the hospital and after he moved into his apartment. She would bring Shem to visit at the salon every other Thursday so that Gary could spend time with him. There are no words of thanks that can be expressed of this family and the open hearts that they offered Gary in his chosen home and life.

The family would like to extend an invitation to a Celebration of Life at noon, Sunday, June 10, at Pauquette Park, Shelter No. 1, in Portage. The inurnment at Rest Haven Cemetery will be held at 11 a.m. June 13. Deacon Bill Barnes of Houston, Texas, will be the officiant of the service.

Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home in Portage (www.pmmfh.com) is assisting the family.