Trustee – Four Year
Gary is the 5th of 7 children of Bill and Marjorie Lisignoli. His siblings in age order are Bill, Marilyn, Dave, Carol, Gary, Joan and Lori. He was born and raised in Portland and attended schools through college in Portland.
Memories of childhood include annual family trips to the Oregon coast where they played outside, rain or shine, from morning to night, soap box cars, raising pigeons, badminton in the back yard, cardboard box forts, playing in the woods in tree forts and swinging on vines, roller skating in the basement and helping his Dad do repairs on homes he was remodeling for sale. School was always a priority for all of the kids and helping to pay for your education was expected. They had a busy family life with lots of activities going on with all of the kids and many social gatherings with relatives. The most unusual thing, as he looks back, was that his Mom did not drive so public transportation was often used for every day activities until the older kids learned to drive.
Gary met his future wife, Gloria, at the University of Portland and they married in 1968 shortly after graduation. He took a job with an insurance company and was relocated to San Francisco for 9 months before being assigned to the Hartford, Connecticut home office to work in the computer services department. Their first child, Kristina, was born in Napa, California in 1969 while Gary was in a training class in Hartford. The family moved to Connecticut for 2 years before returning to California in 1971 after several health issues convinced Gary that he was not going to adapt to the east coast weather.
In California, they stayed with Gloria’s parents for 6 months until Gary got a job with Walt Disney Productions in Burbank. He continued his career in computer systems development and was assigned lead analyst in charge of all Disney payroll, personnel and employee benefit systems. In 1972 they had their second child, Michael. Some of the kids fondest memories during the Disney days were the movies the employees were allowed to check out along with the 16mm projector and screen for home viewing. This made birthday parties and holidays very special for the family and many of their friends. Another benefit of working for Disney was the frequent distribution to employees of passes and tickets to Disneyland. Their kids went to Disneyland so many times they grew tired of going. In 1975 the company was looking to move all computer operations to Orlando, Florida. After the experience in Connecticut, Gary decided that he did not want to move to Florida, so the job search began again.
Gary was hired in 1976 by a petrochemical engineering and construction company in Alhambra, California. Again working in the computer services department on payroll, personnel systems and field computer systems. In 1977 their third child, Dolores, was born.
In 1983 the company had a contract for a long term construction management project in Kuwait. The project was to start in 1984 and run for 2-3 years. After discussing the opportunity of computer system supervisor with family, Gary decided he would apply for the position. It would be a married staff position and family accommodations were available. The family was sent in October 1984 to start the adventure. Housing, vehicles and American schooling were provided by the company. It was an interesting adventure and cultural immersion for all of the employees sent overseas. The most rewarding was the opportunity to travel to other countries for vacations. Thailand was one of their favorites with great weather and reasonable prices for resort living.
The 2-3 year project dragged on with many construction and materials setbacks. Eventually the project was near completion in 1989 and most of the families were returned home. Gloria returned to the states with the kids after the school year and Gary stayed an additional 2 months to shut down the computer department.
After returning to California in 1989, Gary continued to work in computer services until 1992. During this time, Gloria began working as the church secretary and Gary started a Bingo program at the church to raise funds for support of the church and school.
In 1992 the company was planning to downsize the computer services in Alhambra and move operations to Houston, TX. Having made several business trips to Houston, Gary knew this was not a direction he wanted to go. Gary and Gloria had been talking about moving back to the Northwest since their return from Kuwait and thought this was an opportune time to make that move. Bend was their target location, but work opportunities were limited. Hope and Faith in their back pockets, they made the move along with Gloria’s parents a short time later.
Bend was like a breath of fresh air after southern California, with many of natures offerings to explore. Several fishing trips were enjoyed and exploration of surrounding areas. Good work opportunities continued to be a problem. Gloria found work in a medical office and Gary continued to look for work. In late 1993 the company in Alhambra called with another opportunity to work overseas in Saudi Arabia. It was a single status position for about 2 years. Gary accepted the position and went to Alhambra for training in 1994 for 4 months then overseas for 2 years. Vacations home were few, with many long flights to endure, but a welcome break.
Acclimation to Bend was going well and Gloria had changed jobs to a financial investment company that she was employed by for 17 years until retirement in 2013. The 2 kids still living with them were completing school and the oldest daughter, Kristina, was married in 1993 and living in Arizona. Gary took a part time bookkeeper position and helped with some of the farm activities with his nephew, who had moved to Central Oregon to farm. In 2003 Gary started a handyman business that he operated for 10 years until retirement.
As retirement approached for both of them, Gloria suggested he look into some organization to join. She specifically mentioned the Elks as she was a regular Bingo player there and knew some of the members. Gary checked out the lodge and liked what he saw and applied for membership. He joined in August of 2012. Having some Bingo management experience years earlier, he was attracted to the Bingo program and soon became a regular worker. Since then, his involvement grew to include Friday night dinner server, Website committee member, Trustee in 2013, building maintenance coordinator, inventory coordinator, Bingo manager and Boy Scout charter organization representative.
Their family continues to grow as their children married. Kristina and Kevin married in 1993 and have 4 kids, ages 19 to 14, and live in Scottsdale, AZ. Dolores and Garth married in 2003 and lived in AZ then moved to Bend in 2005. They now have 2 daughters, 10 and 4. Mike and Julie married in 2010 and live in McKinleyville in northern California.
Gary and his siblings have maintained a close relationship over the years and have had a family reunion every 5 years since 1987. The family has also participated in a Delfino (Gary’s fraternal grandmother) Family Picnic for over 50 years in Portland. In Sept of 2013, Gary with 4 siblings and two of their husbands, took a trip to Italy for 3 weeks. Several of them had been to Italy before, but traveling as a family group was fun with many memories to share for years to come.