Gary Pierre Anthony St. Onge, a U.S. Army Veteran, of Longview, Washington died peacefully of natural causes on July 4th, 2023, at the age of 84. He died at home surrounded by his loved ones.
Gary is survived by his son Richard St. Onge (Camille) of Olympia; daughters Angela Le Clair and Jennifer Saintonge of Longview; his granddaughters Dani Butkus, Jessica Hoganson, Tosha Big Eagle (Kyle Hannus), Samantha Moran, and Mekah’e Le Clair; his grandsons Kevin St. Onge, Jeffrey St. Onge, Beau Hughes, Bobby Seipel, Marcus Hoganson, Terry St. Onge, and Ma Chu Wa’U Le Clair. His brother Vic & Sandie St. Onge and Sister-in-law Sally St. Onge. His brothers-in-law Jerry, Danny, Buddy, and Quinn of Oklahoma; Gary had 13 great grandchildren who he loved more than anything and had special relationships with Blazen, Alize, Violet, Ollyver, and Faron. He was lovingly given comfort and care during his last days by Belinda Walker and Nicole De La Trinidad.
Gary was proceeded in death by his beloved wife Judy (Lytle) St. Onge on April 8th, 2023. His parents Theodore and Catherine St. Onge; his brothers Francis (Becky) St. Onge and Mike St. Onge; Sister Charmaine (Al) Falsetto; his sons-in-law Russell Big Eagle, Chassidy Le Clair, and Dwane Heston.
Gary was born and raised in Longview, WA to the late Theodore St. Onge and Catherine Provoost. He was the third of five children. Gary graduated from R A. Long High School in 1957. During high school he worked for Hunzika Electric Specialty Motors and was the first certified Heliarc Welder in the state. In school he was involved in drama club, played the violin, and was on the swim team. He later went on to swim for the 4th Army swim team and placed 9th in the one-mile swim. Gary entered the United States Army in 1958 with the highest score in Washington state on his ASVAB exam. He was stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma where he rose to the rank of Sergeant Specialist 5. He was an instructor for the Redstone Missel and taught its guided system. While stationed in Oklahoma, he met Judy. They married in February of 1962, and had three children together. After his active military service, they moved to his hometown. Gary and Judy were married for sixty-one years filled with love, laughter, comfort, support, and unwavering devotion.
Gary was a husband, father, grandfather, mentor, and friend. Gary worked at the Port of Longview as a Longshoreman for the Local 21 from 1962 until his retirement in 2006. Gary had a strong work ethic and was dedicated to his union brothers and sisters. Together Gary and Judy spent all their lives in service to their family and community. They were members of the Cowlitz Boating Club and spent many years there with their children and extended family. They bowled together and spent many evenings with Gary’s siblings playing card games. Gary joined the Kelso Elks Lodge #1482 in 1971. He was an active Elks member and served as Exalted Ruler in 1990, District Deputy to the Grand Exalted Ruler in 1994, named Elk of the Year, served as a National Ritual Word Accuracy Judge, and was an Honorary Life member with 52 years of service. Judy served with him as a Lady Elk and together they traveled the country going to conferences and events. Gary participated in numerous charity events with the Elks in benefit of local children including the Hoop Shoot competition, Tall Elks, and Elks National Foundation. Gary was an essential member of Longview Little League. In 1974 in response to an umpire shortage, Gary formed and founded what would become the Little League Umpires Association of Cowlitz County which still operates today for Cal Ripken youth baseball. He was chosen as the first umpire from Cowlitz County to umpire in the original Little League Regional tournament in San Bernadino, California. He was also active at both Central and Western baseball parks for many years.
In his retirement, Gary stayed active by taking care of his family and volunteering. He lovingly cared for his wife when she was diagnosed with sight impairment and kidney disease. Gary helped raise many of his grandchildren and great children. He volunteered as a math tutor at Columbia Valley Gardens Elementary School and would donate supplies for the classrooms. Outside of his wife, there was nothing he loved more in the world than his grandchildren and great children. He would spend the summer months with his family at their home in Fletcher, Oklahoma. The last few years of his life, Gary spent much of his time on spontaneous road trips to adventure mountains, lakes, rivers, beaches, and forests with his wife, granddaughter Tosha, grandson Kyle, and their children. Although a lifelong member of St. Rose de Viterbo, he would often attend services with his granddaughter Tosha at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and enjoyed attending their coffee hour. Gary’s support and love were instrumental in the lives of many. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and all who knew him.
Anyone who loved Gary and would like to come and celebrate what a wonderful, amazing person he was are welcome to attend his Funeral. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on July 13th, 2023, 5pm at St. Rose de Viterbo Catholic Church. A rosary will be held at 4:30 pm and a reception to reminisce and celebrate his memory will commence afterwards at St. Rose Parish Hall.
In lieu of flowers, we are asking for donations in Gary’s name directly to the Kelso/Longview Elks Lodge #1482: 900 Ash Street, Kelso, WA 98626.