Surrounded by his family, Gary Dale Hammerschmidt, age 69 of Gatesville, passed away on January 14, 2019 in Temple, TX. A Memorial service will be held at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen, TX, at 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 22, 2019. Gary was born at Barksdale Airforce Base in Louisiana in July of 1949 to the late George Spencer Hammerschmidt and Betty Gean Hammerschmidt (Elsheimer). Due to his father’s military service, Gary called many places home in his young years. After graduating from Amarillo HS, Gary enrolled in the United States Army. After his time in the army, Gary found a career as a firefighter at Ft. Hood, working his way up to Assistant Chief. After retiring, he worked at Bell County WCID #3 until his death. Gary married Cathy Botkin of Killeen, TX, and together they raised their children. Gary loved his family overtly and unconditionally. He took pride in his wife, children, grandchildren and great granddaughter. In each phase of his life, he acted as a quiet leader. He was the center of every family gathering and approached each day with optimism and morality. He was generous in every way, and never failed to use courtesy with those closest to him as well as to complete strangers. His kind nature immediately endeared him to others. When his family encountered difficulty, he was the light who showed the way. Gary was happiest when with his family. He was known as Dad, Gary, Pop Pop, and Grandpa by those who loved him. He enjoyed riding his Harley-Davidson throughout central Texas, skiing with his firefighter friends, working on anything with his tools, listening to The Beatles, following NASCAR, and rooting for his Dallas Cowboys. Gary is survived by his loving wife Cathy and their four children: Tina Battaile (Andrew), Kenneth (Hailey), Berry (Chrissie) and Dale as well as seventeen grandchildren and one great grandchild. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the National Fallen Fighters Foundation at www.firehero.org.