Gary Lee Stauffer passed away on Monday, June 21, 2021, after a brief and courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born in Lecompton, Kansas, May 2, 1945, to Walter (Les) Stauffer and Betty Joyce Crady Stauffer. He was preceded in death by his parents and his beloved wife, Carolyn J. Foster Stauffer. He graduated from Lecompton High School in 1963 leaving his mark as one of the top 15 Kansas all-time prep boys basketball scoring leaders. He graduated from Emporia State in the spring of 1967 and married his high school sweetheart, Carolyn J. Foster, on August 6, 1967 in Lecompton, Kansas.
Gary spent his career with the Lawrence School District. He was fortunate to secure his first teaching position at Schwegler Elementary immediately following his student teaching in the exact same classroom. After obtaining his Masters, he moved into Administration and became the Principal at New York Elementary. Not long after, he was grateful to have the opportunity to return as Principal to what would become his home away from home for nearly 25 years, Schwegler Elementary School. He made numerous lifelong friends over the years who have kept in touch. Various principal buddies, former classmates and their families, and a loyal band of former staff continued to be an integral part of his life, and their support after Carolyn’s passing meant the world to him.
Gary retired after the arrival of his first grandson. In retirement he enjoyed spending time with Carolyn and was grateful they both had the opportunity to have an active role in their grandsons’ lives. He also enjoyed marshaling at Alvamar, biking with his cousin, taking up an interest in photography, continuing to be tech-savvy, but most importantly he enjoyed attending all of the school and athletic events for Cole and Carson. Gary was an active supporter of his hometown, Lecompton, Kansas. In recent years, Gary put his passion for photography to good use as the official photographer for the Lecompton Bald Eagle. He helped with many photographic enhancements, documented various events and special projects, which contributed to several exhibits in the Lecompton Territorial Capital Museum.
He will now have a most joyous reunion with his lifelong love, Carolyn, and leaves his loving memories, passions, and amazing legacy to be cherished by his daughter, Mendi Hanna, and son-in-law, Scott Hanna, of Olathe and his pride and joy grandsons, Cole and Carson, as well as numerous loving family, friends, former students and colleagues. Gary’s strong dedication, commitment, love and generosity was a blessing to all who knew him.
Visitation will be 5:30-7:00 PM Monday, June 28 at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home. The funeral service will be held at 10:00 AM Tuesday, June 29, at Lecompton United Methodist Church in Lecompton, Kansas. Burial will follow at Maple Grove Cemetery in Lecompton, Kansas.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Gary’s name to the Lecompton Historical Society, P.O. Box 68, Lecompton, KS 66050.