Gary R. Braatz, age 72, of Pickwick, Minn., died on Thursday, January 10, 2013, at the Red Wing Health Center in Red Wing, Minn.
Gary was born in Winona, Minn., on April 15, 1940, to Theodore and Elizabeth (Malenke) Braatz. He was a lifelong resident of Pickwick and was baptized, confirmed and a member of St. Lukeís Evangelical Lutheran Church in Pickwick. He attended Pickwick Grade School and was a graduate of Winona Senior High. On November 21, 1964, he was united in marriage with Mary Stever at St. Johnís Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lewiston, Minn.
He was employed at the A & P, Red Owl and Randallís as the produce manager, and he also delivered papers for the Winona Daily News, the Winona Post and the La Crosse Tribune. Gary inherited his musical talents from his father, and was a drummer and banjo player with Redís Polka Band, and he later played with the Noteworthy Band, the Gopher Dutchmen and Melís Polka Stars. He was a member of the Pickwick Mill Association.
Gary is survived by his wife, Mary Braatz, Pickwick, Minn; children, Steven Braatz, Pickwick, Minn., and Laurie Braatz, Winona, Minn; sisters, Shirley Kauphusman, Winona, Minn., and Donna Fritz, Gibbon, Neb.; nieces and nephews; as well as other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Dolores Whitney and Betty Dejno; brothers-in-law, Peter Whitney, Alphonse Dejno, Edward Kauphusman and Ralph Haedtke; and a niece, Kathy Lynn Dejno.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, January 14, 2013, at St. Lukeís Evangelical Lutheran Church, in Pickwick, Minn. The Reverend James Nelson will officiate.
Gary will be laid to rest in the Pickwick Cemetery.
Visitation will be held at Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home, on Sunday, January 13, 2013, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Visitation will also be held at St. Lukeís Evangelical Lutheran Church in Pickwick, on Monday, January 14, 2013, from 10 a.m. until the time of service.
Pallbearers will be Garyís brother-in-law, Robert Stever; nephew, Alan Whitney; special friends, Gene Gunderson and Don Gunderson; and musician friends, Darrel Reutzel and Rich Oldham. Honorary pallbearers will be musicians Duane Adler and Arv Fabian.
Memorials may be directed to St. Lukeís Evangelical Lutheran Church, Pickwick.
Online condolences or memories may be left for Garyís family at www.watkowski-mulyck.com
Entrusted to Our Care Ė Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home.