Gary Lee Blecke


Gary Lee Blecke, 83, died Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, in California, Missouri. 

A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, March 2 at The Factory at Potato Chip, 27479 Old Swiss Road, California, Missouri, from 2-4 p.m. Private family inurnment will be held at Flag Spring Cemetery.

Memorials are suggested to California Community Ensemble or Finke Theater. 

Online messages to the family may be contributed at

Gary Lee Blecke was born Oct. 25, 1940, in Wayne. His journey was one marked by adventure, passion, and creativity, which he maintained until his last days.

The son of Willard and Joy (Lutt) Blecke, Gary's early years were spent in the heartland of Nebraska, where he developed a love for the outdoors and a penchant for hard work. Gary was married on June 3, 1961 to his beloved wife, Patricia Kay (Anderson) Blecke, who preceded him in death on Valentine's Day of 2019. Together, they raised a family of three children: Kim (Shannon) Bryant of California, Missouri, Kristi (Shelby) Thacker of Russellville, Missouri, and Chad (Karla) Blecke of Venice, Florida.

After graduating from high school, Gary embarked on a career with the State of California Forestry Department as a firefighter for 10 years, protecting natural resources and communities. His journey then led him back to his hometown of Wayne, where he embraced the life of farming - cultivating not just the land but also the values of hard work and perseverance in his children. He was ahead of the times, implementing minimum tillage and soil conservation before it was deemed "cool". Being close to dear friends and family was a true blessing in those years.

The call of entrepreneurship beckoned, and Gary moved his family to the Lake of the Ozarks, where he established Cabin Care, LTD. It was there that he poured his creative and industrious spirit into his business until his well-deserved retirement. In retirement, Gary relocated to California, Missouri.

Gary's interests were as diverse as his skills. He was an ardent fan of dirt track racing, and he loved gardening and propagating in his greenhouse. He could often be found fixing fences and planting all the things. He was actually magic with a skid loader. Gary had an innate ability to envision and construct, bringing his engineering projects to life with a unique blend of precision and strength. His legacy is not just in the structures he built or the land he cultivated, but in the love he shared and the lives he touched. Pat and Gary taught their family to work hard and be honest, to take risks, and mostly to forgive, to mend, and to love.

Gary's story is one of a life well-lived, full of the joy of adventure and the warmth of companionship - he was an incredible listener and storyteller. He will be so deeply missed, but his memory will be treasured forever as a testament to a life that truly made a difference.

Gary is also survived by his 12 grandchildren, Erin (Aaron) Clark, Samuel (Karyn) Liebler, Ayden, Ava, and Alec Bryant, Lee (Hope), Savana, Brian (Ashley), Scott (Brittany) Thacker, Jean Pierre Espinoza, Lucy, and Truman Blecke, who will forever cherish the memories of their grandfather's adventurous spirit. He also loved spending time with his 10 great-grandchildren, Raena, Titus, Korbyn, Rowyn, Grayson, Saul, Mavis, Kaydence, Marshall, and Claire. He could always be counted on to be in the stands watching all activities.

 Survivors also include his siblings, Ron (Carol) Blecke and Carol (John) Messersmith, along with many nieces and nephews who will remember him fondly.