Gary Lloyd Estergard, 70, of Nixa, Mo., died on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, at Mercy Villa in Springfield, Mo. He had been undergoing treatment for Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma since August.
Gary was born to Lloyd and Jackqulyn ‘Dottie’ Estergard on April 13, 1942, and grew up in Cambridge, Neb. He completed his bachelor of arts degree in art and art education at Doane College and was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study art history in Belgium and Holland. Gary met Barbara Schmidt when they were both attending Doane College and married on Dec. 20, 1964.
Gary inspired countless students throughout his 40-year career as an art teacher in the public schools. His teaching career started in Gary, Ind., where he was an elementary art specialist. He subsequently spent several years teaching at the K-12 level in Arapahoe, Neb., and then at the high school level in Blackfoot. Gary spent 10 years teaching elementary art in Nebraska’s Ashland Greenwood Public Schools before retiring.
Gary began designing and crafting abstract art quilts during his first battle with cancer in 2000. Over the course of the last 12 years, he created a prolific body of over 40 quilts. His quilts are featured in collections in both the United States and Europe.
Since the death of his wife, Barbara, in 2004, Gary spent his time with family and friends while pursuing his love of art and travel. His recent travels included tours to Greece, Germany, Eastern Europe, and Egypt. Gary was also an immensely loving and involved grandfather. He was an avid fan of his grandsons, Evan and Alex, and regularly attended their sporting and school events. He also frequently traveled to Arizona to spend time with his young granddaughters, Lily and Jessie.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife.
He is survived by his children, Scott Estergard and his wife Joan of Cave Creek, Ariz.; and Jana Estergard Roberts and her husband Anthony of Nixa, Mo. Grandchildren include Evan and Alexander Roberts and Lily and Jessie Estergard. He is also survived by his brother Richard Estergard of Loveland, Colo., and his sister Joan Estergard Larsen of Lincoln, Neb., and their families.
A memorial service will be conducted at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012 at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Nixa. A memorial service is also being planned for Cambridge, Neb., in January.
Memorial contributions may be made to KSMU National Public Radio, 901 S. National Avenue, Springfield, MO 65897 or to Ozarks Public Television, 901 S. National Avenue, Springfield MO 65897.
Online condolences may be left at www.gormanscharpf.com .