He was born July 28, 1935, at home in Newton Township. He attended country school District 105, confirmed his faith at the Apostolic Lutheran Church and graduated from New York Mills, class of 1953. He enlisted in the Army in April 1954. After he was honorably discharged in April 1956, he relocated to Silver Bay, Minn. for a time. Later he moved to St. Paul and attended the University of Minnesota, College of Forestry. He met Mercedes Arneson while he was employed by the Postal Service, and they were married in North St. Paul, Minn., on June 24, 1961. He had a long career in the auto parts industry, working for several different companies and dealerships, and had his own store for a short time. He had a knack for knowing his customer and their needs; many was the time he was able to help customers when all they could tell him was the color of the tractor. He retired in 1999 to enjoy his grandchildren at "Grandpa's Daycare and Wildlife watching." He enjoyed hunting, fishing, trapping, taxidermy, reading, poetry, and telling stories about his childhood and his time in the Army. He and Mert lived in rural Newton Township on the Pary place and attended the Wadena United Methodist Church.
A service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 11, at the United Methodist Church in Wadena, with the Rev. Shirley Nelson officiating. The pallbearers were Scott Pajari, Brad Pajari, Brian Pajari, Jeff Pajari, Eric Pajari, Joshua Arneson, Kenneth Tervola and Robert Pary Jr. The honorary pallbearers were his grandchildren, Lars Hetland, Olaf Hetland, Latham Hetland, Zachary Pary and Samantha Pary. Military honors were provided by the Charles D. Center VFW Post 3289 of New York Mills. Internment at the Fort Snelling National Cemetery. Arrangements were provided by the Karvonen & Son Funeral Home in New York Mills. Online condolences may be sent to www.karvonenfuneralhome.com.
Survivors include Mercedes (Arneson) Pary; daughter, Wendy (Andrew) Hetland; son, Tad (Fay) Pary; daughter, Holly (Steve) Ness; five grandchildren; siblings, Robert (Mary) Pary, Elizabeth Pikkaraine, and Susan (Gearld) VanWatermulen.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Olaf and Ida Pary; brother, Wallace Pary; sister, Jean Nyland; and an infant sister.