April 14, 1926 – May 16, 2015
Carl Gieseke was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin on April 14, 1926 and entered into rest on May 16 in Fresno with family and friends by his side. After a stint in the United States Navy, Carl attended Springfield College studying youth work with the YMCA. His first job was with the Peoria YMCA then on to YMCA Camp Duncan with the YMCA of Chicago and finally to the Crescenta-Cañada Family YMCA in La Cañada.
Carl will be remembered for his work with people in the YMCA through Y Camping, Innovative Youth Programs and building a YMCA that has touched thousands of lives over the years. He mentored many young staff and volunteers into becoming some of the finest YMCA directors in the movement who went on to mentor many more – he touched thousands of lives through his YMCA work.
After leaving the YMCA, Carl worked with the ALS Society, California Literacy, and the United Way of Antelope Valley – continuing his life of service.
Carl spent the last years of his life in Fresno near longtime friends Terry and Kathy Horak. He loved to get outdoors and sit in the sun, remember great times and experiences with the YMCA, and dream of fishing once again in the California High Sierra.
Carl is survived by his son Peter (Watsonville, California), his sister June Fleck (Ann Arbor, Michigan), niece Sandy Wilkerson (Bert) also of Ann Arbor and many friends. Carl was preceded in death by his first wife Edith Gieseke and his second wife Margie Gieseke.
A celebration of life will be held for Carl on Sunday, July 12 at 2 p.m. at the Crescenta-Cañada Family YMCA in La Cañada. As per Carl’s wishes, no flowers, please – a Campership Fund has been set up in Carl’s memory. Contributions can be marked “Carl F. Gieseke Campership Fund” and sent to the Crescenta-Cañada Family YMCA, 1930 Foothill Blvd., La Cañada, CA 91011.