Gary Carlson, 71, of Lafayette died Thursday, January 3, 2013 at his home in Lafayette. Funeral service will be 11 am Tuesday, January 8 at First Lutheran Church in Lafayette with Pastor Scott Jakel officiating. Burial will follow in the First Lutheran Church Cemetery. Visitation will be 4-8 pm Monday at the Minnesota Valley Funeral Home SOUTH CHAPEL in New Ulm and will continue for one hour prior to the service at the church on Tuesday. Memorials are preferred to Mayo Clinic Cancer Research.
Gary is survived by his wife of 51 years, Marie Gehrke Carlson; daughters and sons-in-law, Tascha and Peter Helland of Oronoco, Holly and Rich Kitzberger of New Ulm; son and daughter-in-law, Danny and Theresa Carlson of Cannon Falls; grandchildren, Nathaniel Helland, Zachary Helland, Joshua Helland, Andrew Kitzberger, Scott Kitzberger, Tiffany (Scott) Stewart, Sterling Carlson, and Madeline Carlson; great granddaughter, Madison Stewart; sister Betty Smith; sister-in-laws Jeanne (Don) Cordes of New Ulm, Lorna (James) Lipsey of Montgomery, Texas, JoAnn (Jim) Shofer of Howard Lake, Nell Gehrke of Hutchinson; and by many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; grandson, Jesse Joe Kitzberger; great grandson, Jackson Scott Stewart; brothers-in-law, Bill Smith, Gordon Gehrke, and David Gehrke.
Gary Ronald Carlson was born March 27, 1941, in Lafayette, to Ronald and Leona (Tauer) Carlson. He was baptized May 11, 1941, at Clear Lake Lutheran Church, Gibbon. He attended Lafayette Grade School and graduated from New Ulm High School in 1959. Gary served in the Army National Guard of Minnesota from 1959 until his discharge on July 31, 1967. On August 26, 1961, he was united in marriage to Marie Grace Gehrke at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in New Ulm.
Gary worked at Lafayette Block and Tile Company from its inception--a business started by his father. He later managed the plant and finally purchased it in 1981. He started farming at the age of 37. He always enjoyed watching his crops grow. He planted his last crop in 2011.
Gary was a member of Lafayette First Lutheran Church where he served on the church council. He was a dedicated member of the Lafayette Fire Department for 33 years. He also served on the Lafayette City Council. He enjoyed playing sports. In 1959 his high school baseball team went to state. Later in life he became an avid spectator. Young at heart, Gary enjoyed woodworking, camping, fishing, hunting, traveling, sports, and his cabin on Little Cutfoot Sioux. He made his love of his family known to all of us. Blessed be his memory.