Gary Richard Gaard

Gary Richard Gaard

MADISON – Gary R. Gaard, passed away at his home on February 24 at the age of 72, after a year long battle with Melanoma.

He was born on August 2, 1941 in Eau Claire, the son of Doris and Melvin Gaard. Gary graduated from the UW River Falls in 1963 with a degree in Agriculture. He married Sally Brunstad and they moved to Madison where he began his career at The U.W. in the Plant Pathology Department.

Gary enjoyed spending time with his family at their cottage on Pine Lake, where he taught his grandchildren to fish and enjoy the outdoors. He spent many seasons hunting and ice-fishing with his dear friend Emmitt and nephew Dan. He cherished his annual trips to Colorado where he spent time with his grandchildren and went to elk camp in the mountains. Gary was a member of the U.W. faculty bowling league and spent summers gardening. One of his greatest joys was to build and maintain bluebird houses on several golf courses and parks in the Madison area. He was always willing to share his bluebird passion with others.

After his retirement, Gary worked part time at the University Ridge as a Naturalist. He enjoyed restoring the natural wild prairie flowers and grasses, building fences, clearing unwanted brush, and promoting wildlife.

Gary and Sally began taking annual mission trips in 1990 with Volunteers in Mission. Their work took them to beautiful places such as Kenya, Trinidad, Dominica and Hawaii.

Gary was very involved at Bethany United Methodist Church and received unending support from his church family. Gary will be remembered for his love of nature, kind heartedness and willingness to help others.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Sally; his daughters, Jennifer (Tom) Goulette and Stephanie (Rick) Hoselton; grandchildren, Danielle, Matthew, Darren, Dillon and Lacey; sisters, Shirley (Dan) Bullis, and Marlys Lund; many nieces, nephews, and wonderful friends as well as his beloved granddogs.

A funeral service will be held at 11:00 am on Tuesday, March 4, at Bethany United Methodist Church, 3910 Mineral Pt. Rd., Madison, with Pastor Greg Jewison presiding. A memorial visitation will be held at the church from 9:30 am until the time of service.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations to Bethany United Methodist Church, Wis/VIM (Volunteers In Mission) or the charity of donor’s choice would be appreciated.