Gary Lynn Clausen of Tollhouse, CA, age 79, passed away on August 14, 2016 in Clovis, CA after an apparent heart attack.
Born in Turlock, CA, he was the son of the late L.M. “Buck” Clausen and Elizabeth Schuler Mathis. He was predeceased by his stepmother Barbara Oleson Clausen and sister Karen Nunes.
Gary is survived by his previous wife Linda Covell Herlitz of Merced and their two children Tracy Vandenack (Rich) of Tollhouse and Christopher Clausen (Jennifer) of Clovis, and six grandchildren: Austin Kelsey (Janeen) of Merced, Haley Esquivel of Pikeville, KY, Taylor Esquivel of Clovis, Morgan and Logan Vandenack of Tollhouse, and Alexandria Clausen of Clovis. Also survived by three great grandchildren, Carolyn and Preston Kelsey and Mia Valentino, and his sister Nancy M. Soifer (Ed) of Hilton Head Island, SC. He enjoyed his many nieces and nephews, including several great nephews that he had the pleasure of teaching gun safety and how to hunt.
Gary graduated in 1955 from Turlock High School, an FFA Star State Farmer and a Life Scholar. He attended Modesto Junior College, graduating from Fresno State, then earning his Master’s degree from Cal Poly.
An Ag teacher at Los Banos High School from 1963 thru 1967, he joined Merced College in 1967. He retired from teaching in 1997 having served as Agriculture Division chairman for several years and was twice voted teacher of the year by the Associated Students of Merced College. His passion was teaching and encompassed not just agriculture and its related subjects, but horticulture and public speaking. He believed that students should learn by doing, to which any student in his class on castrating sheep can attest. He was justly proud of his judging teams that could compete with the best, ranking at one time among the top 13 in the
country. He was a favored counseling advisor who helped and influenced many students.
In his retirement he remained an avid hunter, often gathering with fellow hunters at Fence Creek. At home his interest in horticulture grew into growing gourds for which he became well known in crafting circles.
Gary Clausen will be missed by all who knew him.
The family wishes to extend a special thank you to Jen Cothran who was his adored caregiver during the past year.
A Celebration of Life will be held on September 10, 2016 beginning at 11:00am at the Vista Ranch and Cellars, 7326 CA-140, Merced, CA 95340.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Gary Clausen’s name to the:
LM “Buck” Clausen Scholarship
% Joe DiGrazia, Turlock FFA-Advisor
1600 East Canal Drive
Turlock, CA 95380