Gary A. Vliem, age 67, of Villard, MN, died Thursday, September 16, 2021, at his home under the loving care of his family and Glacial Ridge Hospice. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday, September 21st, at the Starbuck Community Center in Starbuck, with Pastor Yolanda Williams officiating. Visitation will be on Monday, September 20th, from 5:00 - 7:00 P.M. at the Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home in Glenwood and will continue Tuesday morning at the Starbuck Community Center, one hour prior to the service. Interment will be in Grove Lake Cemetery. Arrangements are with Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home of Glenwood.
Gary Arlan Vliem was born March 22, 1954, in Willmar, MN. The ninth of ten children born to Arthur and Ethel (Brink) Vliem, Gary was raised on a farm near Westport. He attended school in Villard and graduated with the Class of 1972. After high school, Gary went to work for West Central Marble in Osseo, MN. He was united in marriage to Donna Elwood on June 2, 1973, at Villard United Methodist Church. The two made their home in Brooklyn Park for 3 years before moving to Mandan, ND. There, Gary and Duane Donahue went into business manufacturing cultured marble sinks under the name Donahue Products. In 1980, Gary and Donna decided to buy the business and moved the business to West Fargo, ND, where they continued to operate it until their retirement in 2015. Since that time, they have resided on Gary’s family farm near Westport, which they purchased years prior.
Gary was man of his word and appreciated the simple things in life. He was fun loving, hardworking, and a very generous man. He loved hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, and being in the outdoors. One of his greatest passions was farming. He would often say that if he could, he would setup a lawn chair and just sit and watch his crops grow. His favorite memories were of time spent with family and friends, especially at the farm, whether it was shooting clay pigeons behind the barn, deer hunting (good ole red dot), fishing on the pontoon, playing dice or cards, or just simply talking about the good old days. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him.
Gary is survived by his wife of 48 years, Donna; their two children, Michael (Michaella) Vliem of Fargo and Jodi (Beau) Nyhof of Frazee; three grandchildren, Kaiden and Kaleb Vliem and Rylee Olson; three sisters, Myra (Richard) Foner of Villard, Nancy (Herman) Grussing of Sedan, and Janice Hanson of Fargo; four brothers, Ronald (Karen) Vliem of Belgrade, Robert (Paulette) Vliem of Isle, Norris Vliem of Alexandria, and Arlan Vliem of Maple Grove; sister-in-law, Barbara Vliem of Scottsdale; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur and Ethel Vliem; two brothers, Donald and Dale; and son-in-law, Jamie Olson.
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