Gary Wayne WaterhouseAugust 16, 1947 ~ September 17, 2017 (age 70)
Gary W. Waterhouse, 70 of Chetek passed away Sunday, September 17, 2017 at his residence with his family by his side. He was born August 16, 1947 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin the son of Wayne and Dolores (Tweed) Waterhouse.
Gary graduated from Chetek High in 1965 and went on to study economics at University of Wisconsin - River Falls. He started his career with the Chetek State Bank, where he was charged with developing an insurance business for the bank. His acumen for this industry quickly became apparent to the local competition and he joined the local Chetek Agency in a year or so. Gary and his good college friend, Dan Stiehl, soon joined forces and created the Indianhead agencies with offices across central and northern Wisconsin.
His true compassion was the outdoors and Gary hunted and fished in pretty much every continent in the world, as evidenced by his incredible game room with world class mounts. He was also a conservationist and his passion for taking care of the animals he hunted, knew no boundaries. His love of the white tail deer is evident at his home where he has gone to great lengths to provide a habitat to protect the species he loved the most.
Another of Gary’s early passions was water skilling. He participated in tournaments around the state and was a member of the the Tommy Bartlett water ski show in Wisconsin Dells. In 1975, he and a couple of his brothers bought a Master Craft ski boat and started the Chetek Hydroflites water ski team, which still exists today and is a popular attraction in the Chetek area.
Gary was known as Toby to those who knew him well because of his fondness for taking the best hunting blind or fishing hole. He kept an article on a coffee table in his Alaskan home that describes what a “Toby” is for all to read as a small way of apologizing to his friends and to explain his uncontrollable urge to take what he considered the “honey hole”. He named his boats Toby and Toby II in a nod to his self-deprecating humor.
His pride and joy was a fishing lodge he built on Raspberry Island, just off of Kodiak Alaska, where he enjoyed his favorite activities with his friends and family. Many people reading this will say, “I’ve been there”! This was not the wilderness vacation some guests thought they were going to experience. This was a first class remote outdoor experience that Gary loved and wanted to share with as many friends as he could. The best part of this adventure was the social camaraderie that revolved around the catching, cleaning and cooking of the fish, preparing the meals each evening and the famous cocktail hours hosted by a guy who knew how to drink and cook. This will be sadly missed by many of us, because our captain's boat has left the harbor.
After all the years in Alaska, Gary’s life continued with his love for the outdoors in northern WI where he loved to spend weekends with his wife, dogs, and family in Manitowish Waters at their lake home.
Gary leaves behind his wife, Tammy Waterhouse, daughter, Joee Gohs, Step-daughter Alexis Schaaf and Step-sons Charles (Chuckie) and Jordan Schaaf, two Grandsons, Hoyt and Hendrix (Sons of Joee Gohs), four brothers, Tommy, Brian (Cory), Mike and Mark and his mother, Dolores Waterhouse. He is preceded in death by father, Wayne Waterhouse.
A memorial service for Gary will be held Saturday, September 23 at 11:00 A.M. Chetek Lutheran Church with Pastor Matt Cisneros officiating. View and sign the online guestbook at www.burnhamours.com.
The Burnham-Ours-Kolstad Family Funeral Home has been entrusted with the arrangements.