Gary Leonard Van Dusen

gary  van dusen

September 20, 1941 ~ September 6, 2022

Born in: Los Angeles, California
Resided in: Manhattan Beach , California

Gary Van Dusen, a loving husband, father of four, grandfather to six and great grandfather to four passed away on September 6, 2022. Gary was born on September 20, 1941, to Helen and Albert Van Dusen in Los Angeles, California. On June 16, 1962, Gary married Grace Pauline Roehl. They recently celebrated 60 years of marriage. Gary was 80 years old when he passed away.

Gary graduated from Junipero Serra Catholic High School in 1959; University of Portland with a Bachelor of Arts in Education in 1964; University of Southern California with a Master of Science in Systems Management in 1971. His military education included the Air Force Squadron Officers School, Air Command and Staff College, Air War College, and Pilot Training (Helicopter).

Gary earned the rank of Major during his 20 years of service in the United States (U.S.) Air Force as a Services Support Staff Officer. His service included the U.S. response to the Korean Pueblo incident, 5 years of foreign service in Naha A.F. B, Okinawa and Clark A.F.B., Philippines, including support services for Vietnam. After retirement from active duty in 1985, he worked for the SAGA/Marriott Corporation’s Educational Food Service Division as the food service manager at Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska for two years. Gary returned to the U.S. Air Force as a Civilian for 19 years serving in Omaha, Nebraska as an Inspector General; in Dayton, Ohio and Los Angeles, California as a Service Manager.

Gary received numerous honors in his career, including the Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with one Oak Leaf Cluster, American Defense Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal-Korea, Air Force Longevity Service Award with four Oak Leaf Clusters, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, and the SAC Outstanding Services Senior Civilian Manager for 1988.

Gary enjoyed traveling with Grace; together they have visited all 50 United States and countries in 4 continents. When he was not traveling, he enjoyed staying active by visiting family, golfing, reading, hiking, cooking, bicycling, camping, canoeing, basketball, fishing, hunting, snow skiing, square dancing, hand ball, squash, racquetball, rock climbing, gardening, and chaperoning field trips for his grandchildren. He was an active adult leader in Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, coordinator and volunteer for swim meets, and served in children’s school PTA and church ministries.

Gary is preceded in death by his parents, Albert Leonard and Helen Winker Van Dusen and his sister Mary Van Dusen Wilkerson. He is survived by his beloved wife Grace Roehl Van Dusen; brothers Bill, Ken  and his wife Christine, Tom, and Tim and his wife Amy; his four children Geoffrey, Gail Campos and her husband, David, Gloria and her husband Stephan Kleine, Gretchen Axton and her husband Grant; six grandchildren: Anthony, Rosa, and Miguel Campos; Elise Kleine; and Janelle and Jeanna Axton; and four great grandchildren: Andre, Leilani, Malakai, and an expected baby.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, October 1, 2022, at 11:00 a.m., at American Martyrs Church, 700 15th St., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266. The service will be livestreamed and may be viewed later at The interment ceremony will be held at the Los Angeles National Cemetery at 10:30 a.m., on October 3, 2022.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the American Cancer Society or American Heart Association


Service: October 1, 2022 11:00 am

American Martyrs Catholic Church
624 15th Street
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

(310) 545-5651

Graveside Service: October 3, 2022 10:30 am

Los Angeles National Cemetery
950 S. Sepulveda Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA


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  1. candle 7My love goes out to the whole Van Dusen family, my inlaw family for sure. I’ll miss Gary’s smile when we visit the Axtons and my memories include him taking my kids and his grands to the tide pools and always a genuine interest in us and making us feel welcome. We’ll see you on the other side Gary! Much love.
    Penny, Marc, Mallory & Logan Kidd

  2. Geoff and Gloria, so sorry for your loss. I feel like I knew your dad from hearing Geoff talk about him. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, as you honor his memory.
    God’s peace trip each of your family.

  3. I was the one who would be at miss Debbie’s house doing there yard and as soon as Gary and Grace hurd me they would come out super fast. He would ask tons of questions about there ground cover and just genuinely ask how I was as I was going thru my own hard times . Gary would always come out with gifts of cookies and candies and smiles and laughs as I never would charge them to blow off or just a quick touch up on there front . He would stand there and just smile the whole time . No matter what was going on or how Mr Gary felt him and miss Grace would walk out and chase me down . I don’t know what else to say except he was definitely the kindness happy man I have ever meet in my life and blessed I met him and got to here some pretty amazing stories. Rest in Peace Mr Gary 🙏 💔 😔 😢

  4. A very belated note since I just found out today of Gary’s passing. Grace just wrote me and I felt a deep sadness at the loss of a very kind human being. As a realtor in the South Bay area, I became acquainted with Gary and Grace, along with two of their children and their respective families when I found them their homes. When I moved to Arizona, Gary and Grace were among my first visitors. He never failed to offer a warm smile and genuine interest. My condolences to Grace and the rest of the family and may this fine man rest in everlasting peace. Until we meet again, Gary.

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