Gary Zylstra, age 69, of Hendricks, MN, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, August 18, 2012 in Hendricks.
Funeral service will be at 2p.m. on Wednesday, August 22nd at Christ Lutheran Church in Hendricks with Pastor Duane Baun officiating. Visitation will be 4 to 7p.m. on Tuesday, August 21st at the Christ Lutheran Church with a prayer service at 7p.m.. Visitation will resume one hour prior to the service at the church. A private family burial will take place on Thursday.
Birk Funeral Home of Hendricks is entrusted with the arrangements.
Gary LeRoy Zylstra was born at home in Prinsburg, Minnesota on July 20, 1943, to parents Gerald and Ella Mae (Roelofs) Zylstra.
He attended Central Minnesota Christian School in Prinsburg, graduating in 1961. That is where he met his wife of 50 years, Karen (Asche) Zylstra. They were married at Bunde Christian Reformed Church in Clara City on April 21, 1962. They were blessed with four children.
Gary had several careers in his life: working for his father, Gerald, at Zylstra Construction, Renville Farmers Co-Op as Assistant Manager, and later transferring to Hendricks Farmers Elevator Association as General Manager, where he worked for 25 Years. In his retirement years, he worked for NB Golf in Hendricks, MN, until his untimely death. Gary enjoyed dealing with people, selling golf cars and working trade shows.
Gary was an avid collector of antiques, firearms and coins. He also taught youth firearms safety training for many years. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, classic cars, having coffee with friends and attending his grandchildren’s sporting events. He was named “Fan of the Year” in 2006, by the Little Crow Ski Team, where several of his grandchildren performed. He also enjoyed spending time at the “Zylstra Zoo” on Diamond Lake and more recently on Green Lake in Spicer, MN.
Gary was an active member of Christ Lutheran Church, where he had been Church Council President and a Sunday school teacher.
Gary will be remembered for his gentle smile, firm handshake and his friendly personality.
Gary is survived by his wife, Karen (Asche) Zylstra; children: Vince (Mary) of Hendricks, MN; Vonn (Marcia) of Spicer, MN; Karla (Darryle) Henry of Eden Prairie, MN; and Jonathan, of Minneapolis, MN; grandchildren: Amanda (Kevin) Bednarek, Samantha (Bryan) Javier and Matthew Zylstra; Justin, Brandon, Shane and Jaden Zylstra; Ellie, John and Sam Henry; great-grandchildren: Braxton and Kamdin Bednarek; Lucy Javier; and Rylee Zylstra; father, Gerald Zylstra; and sisters, Barb Modderman and Denice Link.
Gary was preceded in death by his mother, Ella Mae Zylstra and his brother, Ronald Zylstra.
Gary was a wonderful, caring man and even in the end donated his tissue, to help save someone else’s life.