Joan Ortega said he had not been feeling great having had back issues for a couple weeks and that Gary died in his sleep.
In 1990, Gary's younger brother, Dewey Smestad (class of '67 but moved to San Jose before senior yr), proceeded him in death at age 42.
We offer our deepest condolances to Gary's wife, Karen, to their children/grandchildren and to all his loved ones, praying for the LORD's comfort.
"RIP Gary Smestad. We will miss you beyond words."
Long time friends, Fred and Joan (Nobile) Ortega
Karen (Shield) Smestad (BHS '64) and Gary
August 10, 2010 UPDATE from Pam Kirkwood:
It is with heavy hearts that Jon and I send you this "Loop" in honor and memory of our good friend and BHS '64 Classmate, Gary Smestad...
Gary passed away unexpectedly in his sleep on Sunday, August 8th.
Gary was married to Karen Shield Smestad, also a BHS '64 graduate. He was a wonderful Dad, Grandfather, Brother and Uncle...as well as a good friend to so many...
Gary was a Marine and proud of it. He was always present at every Memorial Day and Veterans' Day Ceremony at Mc Cambridge Park.
He was a member of the Burbank Elks and would frequently drop in to say "hi" to all of us who were attending the Senior Bulldog Luncheons at the Elks.
Gary was also proud to be a Burbank High Graduate and was a loyal Bulldog...He and Karen were always part of our BHS Class of '64 Reunion Committee Team.
We will truly miss seeing that great smile of his, as he pulled up in his red Corvette...and we will miss those big "bear hugs" he always had for everyone.
For those of you who have "put off" going to your class reunions...ya really shouldn't...You just never know who will not be there at the next one. We were very fortunate to be able to share many happy times with Gary and Karen. We are grateful for those memories...
There will be a "Celebration of Life" for Gary this coming Sunday, August 15th, at the Burbank Elks Lodge located at 2232 N. Hollywood Way, at 12 Noon.
We hope to see many of you there as we honor our friend's life.
Semper Fi, Gary...and may God Bless You
If you would like to send your condolences to Karen and her family, here is the mailing address:
Karen Smestad and Family
23650 Real Court
Valencia, CA 91355
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