Gary Ohlemiller

Dec 16, 1951 - Jan 28, 2018


On December 16, 1951, Christmas came early to Wayne C. Bland and Marilyn J. Ohlemiller [Lampkin] when their son, Gary Wayne Bland, was born in Peoria, Illinois. At age three, Gary was adopted by his maternal grandmother, Florence Ohlemiller, and his last name was changed to Ohlemiller. After the adoption Gary moved with his family to Canton, IL, then to Arizona for a few months then on to Oregon. When Gary was a teenager, they moved back to Canton.

Gary was an avid learner and graduated as valedictorian of Canton High School’s Class of 1969. While there he participated in track, earning a letter. He was also the football manager for a year so he could get into all the games free. He continued his lifelong love of learning at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, earning his Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences with honors in June 1973. He did post graduate work at City College of New York.

After a year in the Big Apple, Gary moved to Maryland and spent the next 15 years there. His work as a computer programmer and systems analyst took him to Japan and occasionally back to New York as well as Maryland and Washington, D.C. Gary took on a new career as a political fundraiser while still in Maryland. In 1992 he moved to California and continued political fundraising through 2012.

Gary had deep convictions about the importance of equality for all. A soldier for social justice, Gary marched for women’s rights and in recent years supported Black Lives Matter.

Even with his busy work schedule, Gary found time to pursue hobbies and express his creativity through writing songs, short stories, and poetry. In 1970, he wrote and recorded a song titled “We”. He credited his favorite group, “The Beatles” with providing musical inspiration. Gary was also a Bible scholar.

He was compassionate and always willing to help family, friends, and colleagues. He was never too busy to respond when called on. He encouraged others to stretch themselves and be their best. He was the go-to guy.

He loved his family. Gary was very fond of his aunt, Linda Lister, and her children Tim and Amy. Despite being a loner by nature, Gary reveled in spending time with his siblings and in later years, his growing number of nieces and nephews. Sharing trivia with and answering questions from his young relatives brought him hours of joy. Uncle Gary savored the next generation’s stories and admired their artwork.

Mild mannered Gary was an avid online gamer playing World of War Craft, Dungeons & Dragons, and Shogun Total War. After retirement, both his online games and social media connections via Facebook and other platforms played a significant role in keeping him connected with others.
His frequent companion was a stray black cat he named Gabby. True to his live and let live philosophy, Gary fed and cared for Gabby, but he respected her feline freedom. Despite constant visits, Gabby never moved in, an independence that Gary understood.

Too soon for those who loved him, on January 28, 2018, in Sacramento, California, Gary’s time on earth with his family and friends came to an end. He leaves to treasure his memory and celebrate his special life his surviving family members:

• Brothers: Mark E. Lampkin of Vallejo, CA and Marvin W. Lampkin of San Francisco, CA
• Sister: Michele (James) Watson of Elk Grove, CA
• Aunt: Linda Lister of Pekin, IL
• Nephews: Rodney (Yaneth) Jackson II, Maurice Jackson, Jeremiah Lampkin, and Camerin Hudson
• Nieces: Brook (David) Williams, Monique (Tavaris) McCoy, Meisha Lampkin, Tracy Totty, and Lisa Lampkin,
15 great nieces & nephews, 2 great-great nieces, 1 great-great-great niece, and numerous cousins.


  • Thomas Morland says:

    I worked with Gary in the mid 90s and early 200s. He was smart and a nice guy, who was decent to me.R.I.P.

  • John (Jay) Kareken says:

    I am very sorry to hear. I was a friend and his fellow manager in school. I met him in junior high and watched him teach himself French and German in math class while still participating in the class. Never a dull moment when he was around from then through high school.

    • Steven M. Graham says:

      I too was in Junior and Senior High with Gary and am also just learning of his passing. Gary was such a nice and funny guy. He was also infuriating to most of us who had to study hard to make it. He was so smart that he just knew the various subjects without studying. As Jay said, Gary could do multiple things in class while we were forced to concentrate so hard. His life story is wonderful and what we would have expected to hear. My sincere condolences.

  • Wendy Faubus says:

    I just had a weird dream about Gary, and googled his name to see why.I had no idea he passed away. I worked with him for 10 years and came to think of him as a friend. He was extremely intelligent with a great sense of humor. Those who didn’t have the chance to know him sure missed out. He was a good honest person and I was honored to have known him. RIP dear friend.

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