Gary Jorgenson


Gary was born Nov. 2, 1944, in Clarkfield, Minn. to Dale and Alice (Koepp) Jorgenson.

In the spring of 1954, his family moved to Coeur d’Alene, ID where he attended the Coeur d’Alene schools graduating in 1962 from CHS. Following graduation Gary attended North Idaho JC graduating in 1964 with an A.A. degree and then the University of Idaho in 1966 with a Bachelor of Science degree in History and Physical Education. Gary earned a master’s degree in School Administration from Eastern Washington University (1981).

In 1966 Gary was hired by the Tonasket School District (WA) to teach history/government and coach basketball and track where he took teams to state in each sport. In 1967 he started a successful Cross-Country program winning the Washington State Class A Championship in 1977.

While in Tonasket, he met and married Vernabeth (Babb) Jorgenson Aug. 12, 1967, and they had been married for 54 years. Gary and Vernabeth have five children, Heidi McCormick (Jerry), of Rathdrum, Idaho, Jennifer Larsen (Scott), of Sherwood, Ore.; Stacey Lamond (Don), of Maple Valley, Wash., Todd Jorgenson (Danielle), of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and Matt Jorgenson, of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Gary and Vernabeth were blessed with 13 grandchildren, Cassidy Hall, Nick, Taelor, Jordan, Blake and Eryn Larsen, Megan, Drew, and Mason Lamond, Isaac, Ruby, Luke and Fiston Jorgenson; and four great-grandchildren, Tessa; AJ, and twin boys due in February.

Gary’s education career spanned over 38 years as teacher, coach, and school administrator. Thirty-one years were at Tonasket High School where he spent the final 20 years in administration before retiring in 1997 as the high school principal. From 1997 to 2004 he was the high school principal at McCall-Donnelly High School in McCall, Idaho.

Gary was honored in 1991 as the Washington Athletic Director of the year and elected to the Washington Athletic Administrators Hall of Fame in 1998. He served on the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) Representative Assembly from 1986-91 and on the WIAA Executive Board from 1991-1997.

Gary was preceded in death by his parents Alice and Dale Jorgenson, and Stepmother Laura Jorgenson. He is survived by his wife Vernabeth, his five children, 13 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren; his sister Linda (Bob) Aavedal, of Sandpoint, Idaho; step-siblings, Sue Clow, Greg Mills, Steve Mills, Sydne Trueblood, and Sharon; and many nieces and nephews.

Gary attended Tonasket Community Church and Real Life Ministries of Post Falls.

Memorials in Gary’s name may be made to the Tonasket Community Scholarship fund, PO Box 1297, Tonasket, WA 98855, or to a memorial of your choice.

No funeral has been planned at this time. A memorial will be held sometime next year.

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