Gary Paul Bricher, 75, of Eugene, Oregon passed away September 15, 2022 of Alzheimer’s Disease. Gary was born in Eugene, Oregon, on October 14, 1946 to parents Vincent and Doris (Anlauf) Bricher and was raised in Cottage Grove, Oregon. He graduated from Cottage Grove High School in 1964 and attended the University of Oregon where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics in 1968.
While attending the University of Oregon, Gary threw the discus for the 1966-68 track teams under coaches Bill Bowerman and Bill Dellinger. After working as a computer operator on an IBM 360 mainframe in the US Navy, Gary returned to the UO to study computer science, earning his Master of Science degree in 1977.
He then worked 20 years for Lane County Public Works, first as a programmer and later as a systems analyst, network administrator, and finally, as a network infrastructure manager. In 1998, Gary joined the computer information technology faculty at Lane Community College, specializing in network technology. In addition to teaching full time at LCC, Gary taught computer science courses for the UO part time.
A well-rounded individual, Gary enjoyed participating in many sports, including cross country skiing, hiking, bicycling, sailboarding, golf, bowling, and running. He also enjoyed photography, art, poetry, classical music, and international travel, especially to the Lake District in England where he went “fell walking” with his wife Marilyn Nippold. Gary and Marilyn also enjoyed bicycling in the San Juan Islands in Washington State.
Gary played the piano and the recorder, wrote poems and children’s stories, and created many beautiful picture books from his travels around the world with Marilyn. He also loved playing chess and started out as a child learning from his father. One of his most prized accomplishments in chess was getting a draw with former world champion Boris Spassky at a simultaneous exhibition in Reno, Nevada. During the 1990s, Gary organized and played in many chess tournaments in Oregon. He also collected chess sets from his international travels and had an extensive library of rare chess books at his home in Eugene.
Gary and Marilyn met in 1988, and after a 12-year courtship, they married on September 16, 2000 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Cottage Grove, Oregon. They celebrated 34 precious years together.
Gary was a member of the Thoreau Society, an international organization that promotes social and environmental justice, and often attended the Annual Gathering in Concord, Massachusetts, with Marilyn. He was also a member of the Downtown Athletic Club, the Oregon Track Club Masters, and the Mechanics Institute, a San Francisco chess club.
Gary is survived by his wife Marilyn of Eugene; brothers Roger and James Bricher of Cottage Grove; and his loving nieces and nephews in Oregon and California. Gary was preceded in death by his parents and brother John Bricher.
A visitation will be held Thursday, October 6, 2022 at 5:00 PM at Smith-Lund-Mills Funeral Chapel. A funeral mass will be held Friday, October 7, 2022 at 10:00 AM at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Cottage Grove. The interment will be held 11:00 AM at Fir Grove Cemetery, Cottage Grove. Reception following interment at Our lady of Perpetual Help. A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, October 8, in Eugene.
Arrangements are in the care of Smith-Lund-Mills Funeral Chapel and Crematorium. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating in Gary’s memory to the Thoreau Society, Western Rivers Conservancy, McKenzie River Trust, Chamber Music Amici, or Greenhill Humane Society.