Gary Westby of Dawson died Thursday, November 28, 2019 at his home at the age of 71.
Memorial services will be held on Monday, December 9, 2019 at 1:30 PM at Hanson & Dahl Funeral Home in Dawson. Rev. Matt Danielson will officiate and interment will be at Grace Lutheran Cemetery.
Visitation will be held for one hour before the service at the funeral home.
Gary Gordon Westby was born March 20, 1948 at Dawson, MN the son of Gordon and Wanda (Anderson) Westby. He was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Dawson. Gary was born with a septal defect in his heart. At the age of five he had open heart surgery and is one of the first to survive this surgery at the University of MN Variety Heart Hospital. He graduated from Dawson High School in 1966 and attended Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis in their machinist program. Gary spent eight years in the metro area working in machine shops.
Returning to Dawson, he was united in marriage with Sue Hauberg January 25, 1975 in Dawson during one of the worst blizzards of that year. They made their home in Dawson. He was the manager of the Farmers Elevator feed mill working there for 44 years before retiring in 2012. Coming out of retirement in the spring and fall, Gary drove tender truck for Lac qui Parle Co-op of Dawson. Work he enjoyed because he was able to be out in the country again and talk to people he knew for years.
Gary enjoyed trapping and hunting and held a Federal Fire Arm License. He was a bowler, did many cross word puzzles and loved history, especially WW II. Gary was an avid sports fan watching the Twins, Vikings, Timberwolves and NCAA basketball. He loved cars and drag racing. plus working on various pit crews. The most meaningful trips he took were to Pearl Harbor to see the Arizona Memorial, the battleship Missouri where the surrender of the Japanese was signed. Gary toured the Pacific Aviation Museum on Ford Island. Gary was also able to see his Uncle Kenneth Westby's name inscribed on the Court of Honor at Punchbowl Cemetery. Kenneth was buried at sea he always left a lei in honor of him. (Kenneth was killed aboard the USS Franklin during WW II).
He found joy in the cats and dogs that shared his life. His partner in crime, Warrior Lady Eilsa Jayne, a beautiful yellow lab, will be joining him in the burial of his ashes. Dazzling Amethyst Caleigh Faye continues to prowl the house looking for him. When she returns to the kitchen she flops in her taxi and heaves a big sigh with her head between paws. Her grief is keenly felt.
Gary enjoyed antiques and auctions. With a sharp eye, Gary and Sue furnished their house with antiques that required stripping, repairing and caning many of the items. He collected coins, stamps, old tools, handmade wooden lures and duck decoys. He was a walking encyclopedia of Dawson history and genealogy. He absorbed much of the knowledge from his parents and amassed a wonderful collection of advertising memrobilia from Dawson and the surrounding area. He could go years back and tell you the breed of livestock and the feed rations that were used by which farmer and if their kids won at the county fair or state fair.
He is survived by his wife, Sue; two children: Jennifer (Mark Sachs) Berven of Appleton and Dan (Wendy) Westby of Montevideo; four grandchildren: Keith (Danielle Sumner) Berven, Sutton Berven, Cody Westby and Rylee Westby; a great-grandson, Bryden Davis; his mother, Wanda Westby of Buffalo; two sisters: Dawn (Myron) Weis of Buffalo and Darcy (Mike) Sullivan of Mankato; one nephew, Adam (Tiffany) Weis; two nieces: Emily (Andy) Meyers and Heather (Wes) Pederson; brother-in-law, Tom (Judy) Baker; sister-in-law of Dallas, OR, Lila Lee (John) Salls of Ortonville; brother-in-law, Brian (Vicki Pittenger) of White Bear Lake; Kristy Baker; Laura Baker; Stephanie Baker; Natalie (Nate) Stublaski; Tony (Kristy) Salls; Heidi Salls; and 26 great-nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death were his dad, Gordon Wesby; a son, Brad Westby; and in-laws: Iver & Lila Hauberg; Sam Baker; Irene Baker and nephew Thomas A. Baker.
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