Gary Habersetzer

Obituary for Gary Habersetzer

May 9, 2019
Raymond, Washington


Gary Leroy Habersetzer
November 25, 1941 - May 9, 2019

Gary Leroy Habersetzer passed away, at the age of 77 Thursday, May 9th at GH Hospital from heart and prostate cancer complications. He was born November 25, 1941 in Raymond, Washington to Vernon and Betty (Smith) Habersetzer, and spent his younger years on Weaver Street where he fished and hunted in the rivers of the Willapa. His family purchased the Bay Center Market and Gas Station in the 1950s and lived at Rhodesia Beach for few years. In 1957, when Gary was 15, his father was killed by a fallen rock at the quarry across the river near Baleville and had to became the man of the house.

In 1960, Gary joined the Air Force and became a pilot stationed at Elmendorf in Alaska where they were put on DefCon 1 during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. He studied Mechanical Engineering at Alaska Methodist University. In the mid 60's, he traveled extensively in Europe with his first wife of several years, Heidi.

Gary was a journeyman body man and painter and worked in Seattle in the auto body industry for high end Porsche dealerships. He then opened the first refinishing shop in Woodinville painting Hugh Hefner's Bunny helicopter and fleets of large trucks as well as repurposing and producing modification parts for the Republic SEABEE amphibian airplanes.

In 1975, Gary purchased a 30 foot trimaran boat, bought books about boating and learned how to sail down the Pacific Coast to Mexico. After the 1,600 mile voyage, he returned to San Diego and built a larger foam core trimaran, and enjoyed helping others build their boats. He returned to Mexico in 1980 sailing, fishing and Scuba diving the Sea of Cortez where he met his wife, Kelly in Bahia de Los Angeles where she was taking a Marine Biology college course. After a few more years "cruising" and 10,000+ miles in Mexico, they returned to San Diego living on the yacht, then ultimately on land.

In 1991, he and Kelly sold their cars, boats, house, airplanes, and headed south on a 65' power boat for 6 months, then by motorhome to Yucatan, Belize and Guatemala for another 6 months. In 1992, they returned to Washington subsequently started Pedigree Catamarans, Inc., building custom yachts, and Raymond RV & Marine in 1994.

Gary had numerous talents and held many federal licenses including FAA Multi-engine, Commercial, Instrument rated, Flight Engineer & Turbo Jet, Certified Flight Instructor, Airframe and Powerplant; US Coast Guard Merchant Marine 100T Captain & Master Marine Chief Engineer; and FCC Ham Radio N7DLC. He starting Willapa Bay Yacht Club and enjoyed boating, encouraging others to get on the water and was always eager to help friends with their "toys".

He belonged to Raymond Elks Lodge #1292, Raymond Eagles, Willapa Lions, US Ultralight Federation, and AOPA.

Gary is survived by his wife of 37 years Kelly, brother Jim and Brenda Habersetzer, sister Karen and Dale Davies, many cousins, and nieces and nephews that he loved dearly.

Gary requested no memorial as he made it a point to buy a drink and thank anyone who signed his "get well" cards at the Elks. He wanted to spend time with them while he was alive. So raise a glass and live life to the fullest, because he sure did!

In memoriam, donations can be made to HAVA or Tall Elks.

No Services Scheduled.

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Northwood Park Funeral Home Cemetery & Mausoleum

16407 North East 15th Avenue
Ridgefield, WA 98642
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