Oct. 23, 1925 — July 20, 2013
Gerald Walter Mosman, 87, long-time Walla Walla resident and businessman, passed away peacefully on Saturday, July 20, 2013.
Jerry, as he was known to many, was born on Oct. 23, 1925, in Uniontown, Wash., to Gerald J. and Margaret E. (Waldher) Mosman, the second of six children, one twin brother and four sisters. He grew up in Clarkston, Wash., graduating from Clarkston High in 1944 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He served as Seaman First Class on the USS Cowpens in the Pacific with his brother from 1944 to 1946. His aircraft carrier was one of the first into Tokyo Bay to witness the signing of the Japanese surrender on the USS Missouri that ended the War in the Pacific in World War II.
He returned to Clarkston and attended North Idaho College and the State College of Washington, majoring in architectural engineering and working part-time as a draftsman for Hugh Richardson Architect in Lewiston. While singing in the choir at Holy Family Church, he met his future bride, Loretta Worms, a Minnesotan, and they were married on Feb. 3, 1951, by Fr. Hugo Pautler at that church. After brief stints in Spokane and Missoula, they settled in Walla Walla in 1954 with two daughters, Charlotte and Karen. The next four children, Margaret, Eileen, Robert and Kenneth, were all born at St. Mary’s in Walla Walla. He worked for 10 years as a draftsman for H. Brandt Gessel, Architect, became a licensed architect in 1961, was a partner for three years in the firm Putnam, Dimke, Mosman, Architects, worked the next two years in his own firm, 10 years after that with Theron Smith in the firm of Gessel, Smith, Mosman, Architects, Planners, the next 11 years with Smith Mosman Associates, and the last 13 years as Gerald W. Mosman, Architect Planner, retiring at age 80 in 2005.
Loretta supported him many years working as his office manager and was very proud of his business ethics and diligence. Among Gerald’s building designs was his beloved Assumption Catholic Church in Walla Walla, the rectory, convent and social hall. As a draftsman in 1954, he worked on the drawings for Assumption School which the couple lived across the street for 46 years. He was part of a group of young men who were instrumental in the early development of Assumption Parish in the 1950s-70s and he served on many boards in the parish and the Walla Walla Catholic Schools where all six of his children attended and graduated from. He loved attending sporting events at DeSales and supported his children in all their endeavors. He enjoyed family road trips around the northwest and longer trips to visit relatives in Minnesota, to national parks, salmon fishing on the Washington coast and to his first Mariner’s game at the age of 84.
Gerald enjoyed photography and was well-known in the family as the one to record weddings, reunions and events. His legacy of family life and the buildings he created is recorded in his 20,000 fascinating slides. He also was a pilot and developed friendships through mutual interest in flight. Later in life he enjoyed meeting with friends every Tuesday for lunch and developed a unique sense of humor. Gerald was a member of the Noon Rotary Club of Walla Walla, the local Elks Lodge 287, the Knights of Columbus, DeSales Booster Club, the WW Pioneer Historical Society, and American Institute of Architects. He was very involved in the Washington state chapter and rose through the ranks to become AIA Central Washington Chapter president and AIA Washington State Council of Architects president, serving during Gov. John Spellman’s term. He and Loretta enjoyed many trips around the state with the chapter, and also to Washington, D.C., and Hawaii. Their most ambitious trip was to Germany, where they researched and visited Loretta’s ancestral lands. Gerald was also deeply proud of his work at Fort Walla Walla, having designed the original buildings of the museum complex and the amphitheater for the annual production of “Trails West,” which later became the site for Walla Walla Community College’s summer musicals he and Loretta attended every year. Another fond design project was the Lewiston Elks Club, making full circle from his early years growing up in the Lewiston area. His 50-plus career years in the Walla Walla valley and beyond ranged from residences to city planning, commercial, industrial, educational, religious, health care and governmental-public works facilities. One of his last projects was with Orchard Homes in Milton-Freewater, Ore.
He was very proud of his large family and prayed for them, especially in his 80s when he and Loretta participated in Adoration at their church every Thursday. He was preceded in death by his parents; his twin brother, Harold Mosman of Clarkston, Wash.; his sister, Virginia Stockwell of Coeur d’ Alene; numerous brothers and sisters-in-law; and a first-born infant son. He is survived by his sisters, Patricia Nanninga and Carol Albright of Lewiston; his sister, Marilyn Frost of Spokane Valley; his six children, Charlotte (Ted) Vollet of Boise, Karen (Richard) Heinzman of Walla Walla, Margaret (Rick) Webb and Eileen (Scott) Anderson both of Vancouver, Robert (Deanna) Mosman of Spokane, and Kenneth (Carol) Mosman of Kirkland, Wash.; 11 grandchildren, Stephanie Buchanan of Austin, Texas, Nicole (Barrett) Waggoner and Gregory (Angela) Heinzman of Boise, Kyle Webb of Manhattan Beach, Calif., Matthew Heinzman of Covington, Wash., Justin (Carly) Vollet of Portland, Brian (Amy) Heinzman of College Place, Evan Anderson and Ryan Anderson of Vancouver, and Cole Mosman and Drew Mosman of Spokane; and five great-grandchildren, Robert Buchanan and Julia Buchanan of Austin, Texas, and Teegan Waggoner, Kyloe Waggoner and Stone Heinzman of Boise; many brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins; and special family friend, Geneva Heinzman.
Visitation hours beginning at 3 p.m. on Thursday, July 25, 2013, will be followed by the Rosary service at 7 p.m., both at Herring Groseclose Funeral Home. Catholic Funeral Mass will be held Friday, July 26, 2013, at 11 a.m. at Assumption Catholic Church with Father Pedro Bautista Peraza officiating and a graveside service will follow at Mountain View Cemetery in Walla Walla with military honors. Memorial contributions may be made to the Assumption Church Memorial Fund through the funeral home.
Family & friends are invited to sign the online guestbook at www.herringgroseclose.com.