School 09

Gary Lee Schlei

September 4, 1948 ~ June 23, 2020 (age 71)


Gary was born in West Allis to Rosemary (Adamec) and LeRoy Schlei on September 4, 1948.  He is survived by his wife Nancy Wilson Schlei, his dog Mozart, and brother Dennis (and Patty) Schlei, along with niece Jessica (Vaughnn) Parker and nephew Matt (Donna) Schlei.

Gary was a musical prodigy starting with accordion at age 5 (for which he had to give up ballet!) and progressing to clarinet and voice, spending his career as a band director in Wisconsin Hills Middle School.  Gary played with the Waukesha Park Board band, as well as a variety of community bands. 

In addition to music, Gary was an outstanding athlete and coach.  He did not learn tennis until 30, but worked with his usual dedication and soon was winning state tournaments and coaching high school tennis.  Gary also worked at the UW Whitewater Tennis Camps for 25 years, first serving under Ron Wangerin and later Frank Barnes.  Gary was known for his keen eye for strokes and helping students to achieve excellent form and success.

Gary was a dedicated photographer and was limited only by the number of walls in the house.  For each trip, he brought back videos and pictures for his websites and printed brilliant underwater and above water photographs that grace our walls.

Gary loved to travel, especially to Cozumel, where we went sailing and scuba diving.  Our last major trip was to Australia to see the Australian Open, enjoy the Sydney Opera House and dive on the Great Barrier Reef.  Gary was an outstanding sailor and we took our Hunter 170 on many adventures.

Gary will be greatly missed for his zest for life and for all of the wonderful adventures.

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