I was saddened to read of the passing of Walter Gary, long time Washington State University extension agent and a community leader.
It was an impressive obituary and, as I read it, I felt it belonged on the front page rather than in the obituaries.
I first met Walt in 1978 and within five minutes I knew that I was speaking to a man of keen intellect and a passion for learning. In a town where a large part of its commerce is now driven by the wine industry, he was one of the early and prime motivators, pulling people together, stimulating interest from outside the area, and bringing in knowledgeable people and information to educate us.
It’s my understanding he did the same thing for the alfalfa seed industry and now, reading the obituary, I see that there were many in other fields who benefitted from his presence.
I’m many years separated from the Valley’s wine and grape organization, and so I can only hope that we thanked him before he left.