Memorial Service to be held Saturday, Feb. 7 at 1 p.m. in West Hills College Lemoore Golden Eagle Arena

Longtime educator and friend Gary Sedgwick remembered by many at memorial service

Updated 9 years ago By Ed Martin, Editor
Lynn Sedgwick embraces friends following an inspirational memorial service held Saturday in the West Hills College Golden Eagle Arena to honor her late husband, Gary Sedgwick.
Lynn Sedgwick embraces friends following an inspirational memorial service held Saturday in the West Hills College Golden Eagle Arena to honor her late husband, Gary Sedgwick.

Longtime teacher, counselor, coach, and board member Gary Sedgwick was remembered as a caring teacher, family man and friend during an hour-long memorial service held Saturday afternoon in the West Hills College Golden Eagle Arena. Several hundred friends, family members and acquaintances came to pay their respects to their friend who died over a week ago after a long illness.

Gary was a familiar presence in educational circles in Lemoore, having worked for Lemoore High School and West Hills College during a long distinguished career. He started teaching at Lemoore High in 1965 after four years in Galesburg, Illinois and two years in Anaheim, California. He was born in Galesburg on July 11, 1935. He was 79 years old. 

Gary is a native of Galesburg Illinois, having attended Galesburg High School and originally planned on a career with the railroad – after all most of his relatives already worked for the railroad. For a year after high school he did in fact work on the railroad.

Gary was also a huge Chicago Cubs fan and was always optimistic about the Cubs’ chances for the World Series, something that was mentioned numerous times during fond, sometimes humorous remembrances by speakers Don Warkentin, former teacher and LHS Principal Jim Bennett, and his grandson Zack Dameron, who have perhaps the most eloquent thoughts about his grandfather.

Warkentin remembered the first time meeting Sedgwick when he arrived on the campus in 1973 as a biology teacher. Sedgwick also taught science and warmly welcomed the new young teacher to the department.

A good friend convinced him to come to California, specifically Fresno. Gary made the trek and played basketball and studied for two years at Reedley College. He transferred to Fresno State where he earned a degree in 1958. He also met his future wife, Lynn in Fresno and they married in 1960. They returned to Galesburg where he taught for four years.

The winters of Illinois got to Gary and Lynn and they longed for the sunshine of California and wound up in Anaheim. Gary taught there for a couple of years before getting hired on in Lemoore, where he’s been ever since.

He began teaching Biology at LHS and then spent several years as a counselor. He coached track with the famous track coach Bob Fraley and during his first year with Fraley, coached 225 track and field athletes. Gary and Bob were two of 18 new teachers who joined the LHS ranks in 1965. Ralph Peterson was his principal.

At one point during his tenure he was asked to be the student council advisor and one of his great memories is meeting with an artist from Jostens Yearbooks and helping to design the current school logo, which he continues to be proud of. He coached frosh football with Wilbur Booth and Don Warkentin for several years. He coached frosh, JV and varsity basketball as well.

Gary left LHS for West Hills College Lemoore in February 1987. He was elected to the LHS School Board in 1994. During his 16 years on the board, the Lemoore Foundation and Lemoore High School Hall of Fame were started. Gary was a common sight at all LHS activities and athletics. He was a past president of Lemoore Rotary, a Paul Harris fellow, and a member of the Lemoore Presbyterian Church.

As a teacher Gary says one of his biggest thrills was teaching many outstanding young people along with Bennett, Warkentin, Dick Coxsey, and Jack Bow.  Former football coach Jim Hammond taught him most of what he knows in football.

His wife Lynne, daughter Lori Dameron of Visalia, grandsons Jeff and Zack, son Scott of Lemoore, brothers Ted of Galesburg and Jon of Florida, and three nieces also survive Mr. Sedgwick.

The family, in lieu of flowers, is asking that contributions be made to the Lemoore High School Foundation for Educational Excellence for a scholarship to be named in his name that will provide students an opportunity to study at West Hills College, where he worked for several years. Contributions may be sent to LHS Foundation, 5 Powell St. Lemoore, CA 93245.


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