With his family by his side, Gary Matheny, 61, Garrison, entered heaven on June 10, 2013, following a lifelong battle with diabetes. Funeral services will be held today, June 13, at 11 a.m., in the Garrison Church of God. Burial will be at the Garrison City Cemetery.
Visitation was held Wednesday, June 12, from 4 to 8 p.m., at Thompson Funeral Home in Garrison.
Gary was born at the Riverdale Hospital on July 8, 1951, the first child of Gordon and Wylma Matheny. He lived on the family farm in the Emmet area for all but the last few years of his life. He graduated from White Shield High School in 1969 and attended the North Dakota State School of Science in Wahpeton, where he received a degree in diesel mechanics.
Gary was employed at the John Deere dealership in Garrison for 10 years before he left to farm full time. He also operated Gary's Repair from the farm for many years.
He married Ann Pearson Rohde on June 19, 1982, and took on the role of father to Ann's daughter, Candice. Two sons were added to the family, Matthew in 1983, and Mark in 1988.
Gary was active in the Farm Bureau and in his church, the Garrison Church of God. He also served on the Farmers Union Elevator board for several years.
Faith, family and farming were the cornerstones of Gary's life. With humor, kindness and patience he displayed the utmost care for the people, land and animals in his life. Whether it was tending to the cows in the middle of the night, checking crops in the middle of the afternoon or sharing cookies with his beloved dog "Maddie," Gary's stewardship of the land and animals shined through. He kept an active interest in the farm even after his poor health forced his early retirement.
In his younger days, Gary's love of friends and adventure made for interesting stories. He got his pilot's license shortly after college and loved taking to the sky! On land, his interests for boating and snowmobiling kept friends and family entertained on many afternoons. His mechanical and carpentry skills led to some homemade contraptions such as ski-boards and sleighs that made for some fun outings!
His family was Gary's greatest legacy. He loved his kids, doted on his grandchildren and was eagerly anticipating the arrival of baby Matheny in the fall.
Gary is survived by: his wife, Ann; daughter, Candice, and her husband, Marc Perea, Minot; his son, Matthew Matheny, and his wife, Sarah, Garrison, and his son, Mark Matheny, Garrison; grandchildren, Elizabeth Mautz, Alexander and Phineas Perea; foster grandchild, Evan; brother, Bruce Matheny, Garrison; sister, Nancy, and her husband, Barry Mehlhoff, Wheatland Wyo.; sister-in-law, Rebecca Kelly, Garrison; nieces, Kristi, and her husband, KJ Ritter, of Colorado, Alicia, and her husband, Oscar Enriquez, Gillette, Wyo.; nephew, Ryan Mehlhoff, and his wife, Maria, Pittsburgh, Pa.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Gordon and Wylma Matheny; sister, JoAnn Vetsch; niece, Nicole Vetsch; and father-in-law and mother-in-law, the Rev. Sidney and Marie Pearson.
Memorials: The family prefers memorials to the Garrison Church of God.
To sign the online register go to (www.garrisonthompson.com).
(Thompson Funeral Home, Garrison)