Gary Linn Smith, 77, died August 7, 2019 at Gundersen Lutheran Hospital after a short illness. He was born March 3, 1942 to Harold and Elsa (Scheelhasse) Smith in West Union, Iowa.
After graduating from North high school in West Union, Gary attended Milwaukee Institute of Technology and became a baker, working in Iowa Falls for ten years. He joined his brother, Allan farming in partnership for fourteen years until 1987. He then worked as a home health aide in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin until his retirement in 2004. After a medical emergency, he spent the last three years at Great River Care Center Assisted Living in McGregor, Iowa.
He was very close to his brother Allan and to Mary and family, Hope, Sara and especially Jenny. From a very young age, Gary’s love and interest was his garden. He grew many varieties of bearded iris, then in later years, grew over 80 varieties of lilies -not so much vegetables except for tomatoes for himself.
Gary was a member of Zion Lutheran church in West Union, Emmanuel Lutheran in Iowa Falls and St. Paul Lutheran in Monona, attending faithfully and singing in the choir for forty-five years and also teaching Sunday school for several years. Gary loved playing cards, especially Pinochle, usually with family members. Gary hosted a family picnic yearly around his mother’s birthday.
In 1997 a 31-year-old man knocked on his door to introduce himself as Gary’s longlost son, whom he hadn’t seen since his divorce when Leroy was 2 years old. In his older age Gary became a grandfather to Leroy and Beth’s three children, Aaron, Kristen and Matthew Smith, though this was a long distance relationship, as they live in Florida.
Gary is survived by two sisters, Sharleen Schissel and Shela Fretwell; two brothers, Allan (Mary) Smith, and Kipling (Jan Huron) Smith; nieces and nephews, Jay (Eileen) Schissel, Tom (Jill) Schissel, Jon Schissel, Lori Schultz, Christine Fretwell Dietz, Lorraine Dunagan, Hope Wells, Sara Messier, Jenny Pladsen, and Mitchell Smith.
He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers-in-law, Vern Schissel and Cecil Fretwell; a grandchild Michael Smith; nieces and nephews, Frank Schissel, Dellane Tressel and Peggy Swift.
Visitation will be held from 4-7 pm on Tuesday, August 13, 2019 at Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Monona, Iowa. There will also be a one hour visitation before services at the church on Wednesday.
Funeral Service will be at 11:00 am on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Monona, Iowa with Rev. Erika Kielstrup as the officiant.
Burial will be at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at West Union Cemetery, West Union, Iowa.
Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Monona, Iowa are in charge of arrangements.