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Gary Schlickeiser

Nina Johnson '99

March 10, 2023, in Portland, Oregon, of illness.

For 38 years, Gary kept Reed connected. The former director of Technology Infrastructure Services (now Information Technology) maintained the campus network, email, phone system, internet connection, and other vital technology resources. He was equally committed to the well-being of students, faculty, staff, and co-workers. Marty Ringle, chief information officer emeritus, said, “As the person with primary responsibility for Reed’s technology infrastructure, Gary was genuinely ‘on duty’ 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year,” and he kept everything up and running “more than 99.9% of the time.” When Gary was asked how he achieved such success, he’d always credit his staff. “They were great,” said Ringle. “Thanks to the way that Gary mentored them, respected them, and cared for them.”

Alongside his indoor profession, Gary loved the outdoors. When he was younger, he enjoyed backpacking in the mountains. Later in life, he continued hiking, along with biking and bird-watching. He and his wife, Katy Schlickeiser, would take trips to central and eastern Oregon to view wildlife. Gary was an excellent chess player. His son, Tom Schlickeiser ’07, introduced him to some modern board games, which they played together, along with Tom’s wife. While Tom could never beat Gary at chess, he did usually dominate with the newer games—except in what would be their final match of Wingspan (a bird-themed board game), which Gary was proud to win.

Rabeca Reese MALS ’86 started working for Gary in her first year as an MALS student. “The best thing about the job was getting to work with Gary and be welcomed by the groups of people who were all part of his family.  Also, I actually thought some of his puns were funny.” Rabeca said Gary navigated the changes and challenges of technology in higher education, and “he did this with patience, kindness, intelligence, and honor.” 

Gary’s son recalled how his father was so willing to train and nurture new employees. “When they eventually left, he was sorry to see them go,” Tom said. “[But] he was only sorry because everyone he worked with was a friend, and saying goodbye is hard.”

Gary retired in 2018. He is survived by his wife and son. 

Appeared in Reed magazine: Fall 2023

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