Gary Lee Oleson - Red Wing

RED WING — Gary Oleson, 71, of Red Wing, died Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2010, at Saint Marys Hospital in Rochester.

Born Sept. 17, 1938, in Hampton, Iowa, Gary lived there with his parents, Gilbert and Doris (Harlan) Oleson. He married Ruth Jane Nelson in 1957, and they had seven children. Mr. Oleson was a cheese maker in Iowa before moving to Austin, Texas, where he worked as caregiver for the state. In 1996, he moved to Red Wing, working for Lutheran Social Services and Treasure Island.

He played high school football and continued to enjoy sports throughout his life. He was an avid fisher and kept his "sweet spots" closely guarded. He was a lifelong Twins fan and looked forward to the Red Wing Aces and Miesville Mudhens games every summer. While he had close friends, in the past few years his closest friend was Rachel Lee.

Mr. Oleson is preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Marlys Petrie and Eunice Oleson; and one daughter, Dorene Haydon. He is survived by his children, Kandis Mendez of Taylor, Texas, Penny S. Oleson of Red Wing, Jeffrey Oleson of Pittsfield, Mass., Melissa Oleson Mastan of Buckholts, Texas, Angela Buhrman of Columbia, S.C., and John Eric Oleson of Georgetown, Texas; nine grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; his sisters, Phyllis Griffith of Manor, Texas, and Valda (Donald G.) Santee of St. Charles; a brother, Vail Oleson of Blair, Neb.; and many nieces and nephews.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Oleson has left the building. Good night."

A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Monday at Mahn Family Funeral Home, Bodelson-Mahn Chapel, with a visitation one hour prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, donations are preferred to a charity of the donor's choice or a local food shelf.