Gary James Heifort Sr., 64, passed away peacefully April 4, 2009, surrounded by his family at the Golden Living Center in Henning.
He was born June 20, 1944, in Stillwater, Minn., to George William and Alice Marion (Trosdahl) Heifort. He grew up on the family farm in rural Vining and Clitherall, and attended school in Henning. In February 1965 he enlisted in the Navy and completed basic training in San Diego. He was married to Sandra Karr from May of 1966 to 1973. On April 20, 1974, he married Deborah Lynne Crowe at NAS North Island, San Diego. He was a career aircraft mechanic for the Navy where he was stationed in Memphis, Tenn., San Diego, Meridian, Miss., Cubi Pt., Philippines, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and Kingsville, Texas. Throughout his naval career, He was deployed on the USS Constellation, two cruises on the USS Enterprise and the USS Kitty Hawk. He retired from the Navy in July 1986. They made their home in Henning from 1986 before residing in Eagan, Minn., where he was employed with Creative Labs as a bottling machine mechanic from 1990 to 1997. Since 1997, they made their home in Henning. He enjoyed deer hunting, NASCAR, and fishing, especially deep sea fishing in Cuba.
Memorial services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 18 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Henning with the Rev. Roger Johnson and Chaplin Wes Hart officiating. A gathering of family and friends will be one hour prior to the service at church. Arrangements were provided by the Karvonen & Son Funeral Home of New York Mills. Condolences may be sent online at www.karvonenfuneralhome.com.
Survivors include his wife of 35 years, Deborah Heifort of Henning; three daughters, Launie Sinclair-Ritchey of Clatskanie, Ore., Lori (Jason) Littrell of Athens, Ga., Susanna (Justin) Stuart-Botter of San Antonio, Texas; son, Gary James Heifort Jr. of Henning; nine grandchildren; sisters, Dorothy "Dort" Hollister of Fridley, Minn., Elizabeth "Liz" (Robert) Borchardt of Circle Pines, Minn., and Mary (Dennis) Underhill of Vining; three brothers, George Heifort of Battle Lake, Steven (Dorothy "Dot") Heifort of Lexington, Minn., and Joseph (LaVonne "Vonnie" ) Heifort of Hennng; many other relatives; and a host of friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; son-in-law, Terry Ritchey; brothers, John and Russell; and his nephew, Joshua.