Oct. 19, 1929 — Oct. 31, 2018
Roger Gieseke passed peacefully at home in Longview on Oct. 31, 2018.
He was born in Yakima, Wash., on Oct. 19,1929. He attended elementary school in Moxee, Wash., and high school at Highland High School in Cowiche, Wash., where he met his future wife, Helen June Stewart.
Upon finishing high school, Roger enlisted in the Air Force. He became a teletype instructor during the Korean War stationed at Frances E. Warren AFB in Cheyenne, Wyo., achieving the rank of staff sergeant.
Roger married Helen June Stewart on Dec. 28, 1949, in Yakima. After their marriage they resided in Cheyenne until Roger’s discharge from the Air Force in 1952. Their first two children were born while in Cheyenne.
After Roger was discharged they returned to the Yakima Valley briefly prior to Roger taking a position with the City of Seattle as a traffic signal technician. The family moved to Seattle in 1953. Their next two children were born while in Seattle. Roger worked for the City of Seattle for 14 years. In 1967 Roger accepted the position of traffic signal technician with the City of Longview. The family moved to the Longview area in June of 1967. Roger worked the balance of his career with the City of Longview as traffic supervisor. Roger was very active with industry organizations, most notably the International Municipal Signal Association (IMSA) where he ultimately achieved national office.
After retirement in 1992 Roger and Helen moved to their vacation property at Colony Surf on Hoods Canal. This served as home base for their travels for the next several years. This was the site of many family gatherings with children and grandchildren. ln retirement Roger and Helen traveled extensively, visiting Germany, France, Ireland, Scotland, England, Panama, and Alaska. In their motorhome they traveled to all but four of the lower 48 states.
Roger’s true passion though was the Hawaiian Islands, specifically the island of Kauai, which became their second home. They began annual trips to Kauai several years prior to retirement. After retirement they would spend at least a month each year on Kauai. There were many family trips with children, every one of their grandchildren, some of the great-grandchildren, and numerous family friends.
In 2006 Roger and Helen relocated to Elma, Wash., where they lived until their return to Longview in 2016, residing at the Canterbury Inn.
Roger enjoyed fishing, pheasant hunting, boating, and camping. Mostly he enjoyed time with his family which included many vacations and camping trips over the years. Family meant everything to Roger. He had immense pride in every member of his family.
He is survived by his wife, Helen Gieseke at home; a brother, Gerald Gieske (Joan) of Yakima; four children, Gale Andersen of Kelso, Roger S. Gieseke (Fran) of Olympia, David Gieseke (Callie) of Winlock, and Alice Beck (Kevin) of Florence, Ore.; seven grandchildren, Matthew Herman (Aly) of Anchorage, Alaska, Amy Gautreau (John) of Baltimore, Md., Sarah Newport (Matt) of Tacoma, Mollie Reischman (John) of Spokane, Jacob Gieseke (Stephanie) of Chehalis, Wash., Ashlee Gieseke (Amanda) of Winlock and Katherine Amaro (Miguel) of Vancouver; and 14 great-grandchildren.
Roger was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Gwendolyn Shoup.
A celebration of Roger’s life is planned for 11 a.m. Dec. 8 at Grace Lutheran Church with Pastor Gary M. Hagen officiating.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Community Home Health & Hospice, P.O. Box 2067, Longview, WA 98632.