Gary Abrahamson, 83

Gary Ewing Abrahamson, long time resident of Tracy, MN, passed out of this life in Apache Junction, Arizona, February 27th, 2024 at age 83.

He was born in Dodge County, MN to Pearl and Dorothy Abrahamson on March 31, 1940. Growing up on the family farm with his siblings Delia, Arnold and Cindy, he graduated from High School in West Concord, MN.

Gary joined the US Navy and served for five years. While there, he married Arlene Leiting in 1961 and had two children, Kathryn in 1963 and Jeff in 1969. After returning home, the family lived in Rochester, MN where Gary worked as a car mechanic and then began work with the natural gas distribution company, where he was promoted from service technician in Rochester and then Farmington, MN to managing the local office in Tracy, MN.

He became an over the road truck driver after leaving the gas company and enjoyed seeing America from coast to coast. Gary retired in 2003 and was preceded in death by Arlene in 2012. Donna Hoffman became his wife in 2013 and they traveled between homes in Minnesota and Apache Junction, AZ, where he settled in for the last time in 2021.

Gary was preceded in death by Arlene Abrahamson, Pearl Abrahamson, Dorothy Saxer Abrahamson, sister Delia Doffin.

He is survived by his brother Arnold (Judy) and sister Cindy Tate; his children, Jeff and (Marcie) Abrahamson and Kathryn (Tim) Trainor; grandchildren Jakob, Faith, Kyle, Isaac, Josiah, Nathaniel, Irena, Tracy and Phillip; and great-grandchildren Dakari and Irwin.

Gary enjoyed golf, fishing, camping as well as woodworking. If we could measure contributions to this world properly, the wraparound details of his life will be remembered by countless people who may not even hear of his passing in their homes far away.

Gary was generous with his time, his talents and adding extra plates at his table. One dear friend, who represents a continual stream of people he cared for and loved, shared stories of when she was new to America and needed help with her car in the bitter cold. He said she must wait until it reached 20 degrees below zero, but he’d be coming to get it started.

She remembers years of shared meals and stories, not just of our family, but helping us learn about her interests, work, homeland and faith. He offered to make popcorn on one of her first visits, and she was surprised that it could be done away from the movie theater, so he brought her into the kitchen and got the “popcorn pan.”

As the heat rose and the pinging started inside, she excitedly pulled up the lid and flying, hot kernels flew around the kitchen.

Everyone knows that Gary would just laugh, of course. It’s all fun and we’ve got plenty.

Hundreds of people, church friends, neighbors, family and travelers have had their own tastes of delicious food he loved to cook and warm hospitality and friendships that lasted for decades. If everyone sat at one banquet table, it would stretch so big. What a feast.

An accomplished woodworking craftsman, Gary handmade a collection of sturdy, heavy bookshelves, tables, quilt racks and pulpits still being used around SW Minnesota. Cabinets have been built and repaired and young men, now older were taught how to do home and auto repairs.

It wasn’t enough for Gary to just do good work and helpful things, he wanted others to be able to help themselves the next time and help others in their circle of living.

The source for this delightful mix of fun and enduring stability, was Gary’s faith in Christ. We are thankful as his children that he prioritized living with heaven in the long view and caring for others in the daily plan.

He looked forward, the last few years, to being reunited in heaven with his beloved Arlene. It was his firm request to not have a funeral, and just let his remains get back up to where he felt the most at home in Tracy, MN. They are laid to rest in the local cemetery.

No requests for flowers, foundations or other donations. We ask that you honor his memory by following his example of hospitality, helpfulness and daily celebrating another chance to love and help someone that needs a warm meal, a true friend or extended family, when they are a long way from home.

Gary’s gone Home, but he left his best in us.