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Dr. Gary Bukovec

Dr. Gary Bukovec Dr. Gary Bukovec

Dr. Gary J. Bukovec, 68, Santee, Calif., formerly of Greenwood, passed away suddenly on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020, while visiting his sister in Vancouver, Wash. Graveside services will be held at 11 a.m., on Saturday, Oct. 17, at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Greenwood. A celebration of life will follow for the family.

Gary was born on Nov. 22, 1951, in Chicago, Ill., to Albert and Christine Bukovec. The family moved to Greenwood when Gary was very young. Gary attended St. Mary’s elementary school and graduated from Greenwood High School in 1969. Gary attended UW-Eau Claire from 1969-72, then graduated in 1976 with a degree in optometry from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore. He worked for one year in Port Angeles, Wash., then moved to sunny San Diego and worked for Kaiser for 37 years. Gary grew absolutely stunning roses while he lived in El Cajon until people passing by started to pick his roses. So, no more roses! After his move to Santee, he started growing citrus and would send his family a treat every year just before Christmas. Like his roses, he put all his effort into growing the citrus and the fruit was absolutely delicious. After he retired, Gary traveled and became an accomplished amateur photographer. His favorite travel destinations were Yosemite National Park, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the Nation Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., and the White House Tour. The most famous athlete to shake his hand was Ray Nitschke before Super Bowl XXXII in San Diego. On one of his travels, Gary discovered that his brother and sister-in-law were in a movie at Custer State Park visitor’s center in South Dakota. Gary did have an eye for detail.

Gary is survived by his four siblings: Richard Bukovec of Loyal, Mary Lee Keller of Vancouver, Wash., Glen Bukovec of Arpin, and William Bukovec of Mountain City, Tenn.; and his nieces, a nephew, and many grand-nieces and grand-nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Carol Walter.

Please visit the memorial website for Gary at gary-j-bukovec/5095