Palo Alto Online - Lasting Memories - Gary Jon Dufresne's memorial

Gary Jon Dufresne
Aug. 19, 1934-April 24, 2024
Palo Alto, California, USA

Submitted by Ree Campana Dufresne

Gary Dufresne was born on August 19th, 1934. He was a devout Christian and raised by his grandparents on a dairy farm in St. Paul, Minnesota until his teens. His stepfather Ray Dufresne was an officer in the US Army and was deployed to Japan during the Korean war, bringing Gary and his mother along for 2 years. After moving back stateside, Gary attended Messick High School in Memphis, TN where he graduated in 1953. Shortly after graduation, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corp. He was trained at Paris Island where he honed his skills as a Sharpshooter.

After serving his country, he briefly worked as an insurance adjuster in Kansas City, MO for the Hartford Insurance Company, where he quickly realized his calling was to be a Public Servant. He left Hartford and became a police officer in Kansas City. He was married shortly after and had 2 sons and moved to California.

In 1967, he took a job with the Stanford University Police Department, eventually moving to an opening in the Stanford University Fire Department, where he found a brotherhood that he truly cherished. He was then divorced.

After establishing himself in the Stanford University Fire Department, he married Ree Campana in 1975. He took on her 5 teenagers as his own. In 1976 Stanford University Fire Department merged with the City of Palo Alto Fire Department and He moved up the ranks of the the Palo Alto Fire department and enjoyed the brotherhood for many years, being referred to as " The Duffer", and retiring in 2001 as an Arson Investigator. He was a devout Christian and a friend of Bill W. for 37 years. He was an avid golfer, a true outdoorsman, a firearms enthusiast, an animal lover, a father, a grandfather, a great-grandfather, and a man of honor. He enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was a man lost to the ages and was an example of integrity and faith. He was predeceased by his beloved step-daughter Bunny Rovegno and his son- in-law, Cephas Ball. He is survived by his wife, Ree Campana-Dufresne, his sons, Paul and Chris Dufresne, step-children, John and Joe (Julie) Rovegno, and Lisa Rovegno Ball, grandchildren, Jeff (Dafne), Will, and Angelia Dufresne, Greg and Teresa Brown, Tony (Stephanie) and Josie Rovegno, Mike (Venessa) and Damon (Shahoney) Ball, and great-grandchildren, Noah Dufresne, Zylah and Zane Ball, and Galileo and Giovanni Rovegno.

Tags: veteran, public service

1 entry Submit a remembrance
From Fred Levinson
May 31, 2024
May Gary’s memory be a blessing. Fred Levinson
Memorial service
A Celebration of Life Service will be held Saturday, June 29th at 11:00 a.m. at Peninsula Bible Church, 3505 Middlefield Rd. Palo Alto. Reception following: RSVP by email to
Make a donation
Memorial donations may be made in Gary's name, to "Heart Fit For Life" "St. Jude Hospital for Children" hitps:// or the Charity of your choice.

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