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Gary Dwayne Tonhouse

Posted February 17, 2014 in Ankeny, Obituaries

May 23, 1945 – February 14, 2014

Gary Tonhouse

Gary Tonhouse

Gary Dwayne Tonhouse, 67, of Ankeny, Iowa, passed away February 14, 2014, at Mercy Hospice in Johnston, Iowa, surrounded by his family.

On May 23, 1946, Gary was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa, to Leonard Frank and Jessie Lucille Tonhouse. During his early years, he served with the U.S. Army. On January 28, 1967, Gary married Marian Ryan, and together, they had two children, Jacqueline (Jackie) and Gary (Bubba).

Gary was a Brickmason and a General Superintendent in the construction industry. During this time, photography also captured him, initially as a hobby and later as a purpose. Driven by a lifelong love and respect for our natural world, Gary captured images of landscapes, floras, and wildlife for more than thirty years. His photography collections, exhibits, and Web site reflect the beauty of everyday subjects. Gary believed the goods of the earth are gifts from God and that we have a responsibility to care for these goods as stewards and trustees, not as mere consumers and users.

Gary genuinely enjoyed sharing the experience of being in nature with others by teaching them how to create their own photographic images of the natural environment. He helped people discover a new perspective through a viewfinder for more than fifteen years with nature photography workshops. His purpose was to build a bridge between nature and people by creating images to help them make the connection.

Gary is survived by his wife of forty-seven years, Marian, and his children, Jackie and Gary. He is also survived by his aunt, Sandy Essig, as well as his cousins, Cindy, Ted, Eric, and Kristen.

He was preceded in death by his father, Leonard, mother, Jessie, grandparents, Flavius (Ted) and Josephine Victoria (Alma) Essig, and his uncles Theodore Frank, Jimmy Dean, and Dwayne Richard Essig.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held for Gary at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, February 19, 2014, at Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart Church in Ankeny, Iowa. A visitation will also be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 18, at Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart Church. Immediately after the visitation on Tuesday, you are invited to join the family in praying the Holy Rosary for Gary in celebration of his courageous journey Home.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Grotto of Redemption in West Bend, Iowa, or to the charity of your choice.

Information provided by:
Memorial Services of Iowa
4208 North Ankeny Blvd
Ankeny, IA 50023


  1. Pingback: A tribute to Gary Tonhouse | Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation

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