Cover photo for Gary O. Sears's Obituary
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Gary O. Sears

February 22, 1943 — October 2, 2023

Devils Lake

Gary O. Sears


Gary Olof Sears, 80, a proud family man and lover of farming, of Devils Lake, ND formerly of Minnewaukan, ND passed away at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks on Monday, October 2, 2023 after a brave battle with that damn covid.


Gary was born on February 22, 1943 to Elwin James Sears and Elna Mabel (Pierson) Sears in Devils Lake, ND. He was reared on the Sears farm west of Minnewaukan with his brother Rodney where he took to farming like ice cream to a sundae.  He was baptized and confirmed at West Minnewaukan Free Church. He graduated from Minnewaukan High School in 1961 where he excelled on the basketball court and attended NDSU in Fargo, ND.  Gary met and fell in love with Virginia Ilene Olson in high school and on June 4, 1962, Gary and Ginny were married in St. Peter Lutheran Church in Minnewaukan.  They honeymooned on a road trip to the west coast staying with many relatives and life-long friends along the way.  They celebrated 61 years of marriage this summer.


In 2006, he and Rodney got the surprise of their life when their unknown to them sister Lynne Reister contacted them.  They were able to spend many years visiting each other and telling stories of their mother and their families.


Gary was undeniably born to farm. He started farming with his father, Elwin, until Elwin’s death in 1966. Gary would go on to farm for 70+ years near York and around the farmstead he and Ginny built west of Minnewaukan in 1967. There, they reared their four children and farmed.  Gary and Ginny moved to Eventide assisted living in 2021 where they enjoyed meeting new friends and didn’t have to cook. 


Along with Ginny, he attended almost every sporting game and musical event that his kids and grandkids played in no matter the weather or the distance.   He was an avid collector and repairer of farm toys amassing a collection of several thousand pieces. With his grandkids he attended many farm toy shows throughout the Midwest, where everyone knew Gary.  He also enjoyed doing carpentry work on the side.


He was a 50+ year member of the Farmers Union, Sons of Norway-Mollargutten Lodge, the St. Peter Cemetery Board and Church Council, the West Bay Township Board and the Minnewaukan Elevator Board with many of those years as president or board officer.


He loved his family, and he loved farming.  Gary was one of the good guys.  He will be greatly missed by his friends and his family: his wife, Ginny,  of 61 years; son, David, of Minnewaukan and his kids with Ann Sears, Tyler (Sam), Quentin and Spencer, all of Minnewaukan, and Madyson of Fargo, ND; son, Jim of Denver, CO; Son, Jerry (Miaa) and his kids with Marianne Sears, John (Jess) of Australia, Katherine of Lewistown, MT, Maria (Joey) of Kodiak, AK, Emily of Montgomery, AL; daughter, Mary, of Grand Forks, ND, and her kids Gabe, Chantelle, John, Jr., Brandon, Shania; a brother, Rodney, Eventide, Devils Lake; a half-sister, Lynne Reister of Seattle, WA; many great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews; Brothers-in-Law John Olson, of Fargo, ND and Mike (Cindy Moe) of Devils Lake.


Gary is reunited with his parents, Elwin and Elna Sears, his son Joel Andrew Sears born and died in 1965 and his Father and Mother-in-law, Holger and Ida Olson.


The family requests memorials be made to the St. Peter Lutheran Church Cemetery Fund, C/O Kathy Lalum 6149 47th St. NE, Minnewaukan, ND 58351


Visitation: Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake, ND on Sunday, October 8, 2023 from 2-4pm.

Memorial service: Monday, October 9, 2023 at 11am at Trinity Free Lutheran Church, Minnewaukan, ND

Burial following service at St. Peter Lutheran Cemetery west of Minnewaukan.



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