Gary Roland Deal, age 76, of Odessa, MN, passed away on Tuesday, December 24, 2019, at St. Cloud Hospital in St. Cloud, MN, succumbing to complications brought about by his long battle with frontotemporal dementia. Funeral services will be held on Friday, January 3, 2020, at 3:30 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Odessa, MN. Rev. Dennis Klatt will officiate. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the funeral service at the church. Burial will be at Hope Cemetery in Odessa at a later date.
Casket bearers will be: Todd Deal, Vanessa Reese, Howard Paulsen, Monte Reese, Adam Kusler, and Robert Kadelbach.
Gary Roland Deal was born on August 15, 1943, in Big Stone County, MN. He was the son of Donald and Wanda (Paulsen) Deal. He attended Odessa High School.
Gary joined the United States Army right out of high school because of his pride in his country and his sense of duty. He bravely served two tours in Vietnam from 1961 to 1968, attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant. Later in life, Gary developed neurofibroma, a condition that resulted in much of his body being inundated with skin lesions and believed to be caused by Agent Orange. After his honorable discharge, he returned to Minnesota and worked for 33 years at Tennant Company in Golden Valley in the shipping department.
Gary was united in marriage with Judy Rockweiler in 1974, and was blessed with a daughter, Molly.
Gary enjoyed visiting with friends, collecting baseball cards, photography, and working with and on electronics, the latter of which he did professionally for 15 years. While he was physically able, Gary loved to travel. One of his traveling passions was to visit as many towns or cities named Odessa as he could. While no one is quite sure just how many village namesakes he made it to, best estimates are that it was seven or eight. Those who knew and loved him will miss his good nature, his love of children and family, and his generosity.
Cherishing the memory of Gary are his sister, Dawn Deal-Dahle of Aberdeen, SD; brother, Todd Deal of Virginia, MN; seven nieces and nephews: Vanessa (Monte) Reese, Howard (Roshanda) Paulsen, Michelle (Sev) Wollschlager, Brian Comeau, Niketa (Adam) Kusler, and Kent Severson; and many great-nieces and great-nephews.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Sandra; and many of his Vietnam brothers in arms.