Gary Praegitzer died Friday, July 11, 2014, at home.
He was born Dec. 7, 1958, in Stockton, Calif., to Don and Barbara Praegitzer. Gary grew up in Stockton and graduated from St. Mary's High School and attended Delta College. He also lived in Elk Grove, Calif., for eight years.
Gary married Julie (Tucker) Praegitzer on Dec. 17, 1989, in Stockton. They were happily married for 24 years.
Gary was very devoted to his family. His children, Sam and Anna, were the light of his life. He was always so proud of their accomplishments and the amazing young adults they have become. Gary had a soft spot for his dog, Katie, and couldn't resist giving her more treats than her vet recommended.
Gary loved coffee and the local Starbucks locations will miss his daily visits. He loved to cook, but didn't use recipes and never made the same dish exactly the same way twice. Gary loved diving into home improvement and remodeling projects. He was a self-taught computer whiz and his passion for technology led to a lifelong IT career.
He loved traveling with his family, especially taking the kids to Disneyland, visiting Hawaii, and traveling throughout northern California.
Even though Gary was a California native, he loved living in Iowa over the past eight years. He embraced the beauty of the changing seasons, the backyard wildlife and especially loved his Cedar Rapids neighborhood and neighbors.
He worked for BVS Performance Systems in Cedar Rapids as a network ad-ministrator. He previously worked in IT for Jelly Belly in Fairfield, Calif.
Gary is survived by his wife, Julie Lynn (Tucker) Praegitzer of Cedar Rapids; children, Samuel Praegitzer and Anna Praegitzer, at home in Cedar Rapids; parents, Don and Barbara Praegitzer of Stockton, Calif.; brother, Kenneth (Sally) Praegitzer of Acampo, Calif.; nieces and nephews, Kyle, Kelsey, Michael and Danielle; and his uncle, Dennis (Kathy) Praegitzer.
He also is survived by extended family and friends, including in-laws, Laurie (Dickie) Gaskell of Maui, Hawaii, and Steve (Joanie) Tucker of Fresno, Calif.; father-in-law, Richard Tucker of Fresno, Calif.; and lifelong friend, Chris Lancaster.
Gary was preceded in death by his brother, Thomas (Suzi) Praegitzer; and grandparents, Leonard and Ardath Covello and Alvin and Lillian Praegitzer.
Funeral arrangements will be handled by Iowa Cremation.
Funeral Mass will be 1 p.m. Friday, July 18, at St. Pius Catholic Church.
Online condolences for Gary's family can be left at www.iowacreamation.com.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to St. Luke's Hospice Inpatient Unit in Cedar Rapids, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (www.lls.org), or Cedar Valley Humane Society (www.cvhumane.org).