Thief River Falls – Gary Hanway, 68 of Thief River Falls, died Monday, April 25, 2016 at Villa Maria, Fargo, N.D., with his loving sister, Margaret at his side.
Funeral service to celebrate his life will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, at Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls. Interment will follow at the Finnish Cemetery in Middle River.
Visitation will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. on Saturday at the funeral home.
Gary Lee Hanway was born on Feb. 26, 1948 in Reno, Nev., the son of Ralph and Ina (Sandberg) Hanway. He was baptized and confirmed at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls. He attended Northrup Elementary, Knox Elementary and Lincoln High School graduating with the class of 1966.
On April 24, 1968, Gary enlisted into service with the United States Army and worked as an Air Traffic Controller on an American Base in Vietnam. Gary was decorated with the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and Vietnam Campaign Medal. He was honorably discharged on April 5, 1970.
Gary returned to Thief River Falls where he worked as an orderly and worked on the ambulance crew at Northwestern Hospital. He also worked at various jobs in the area including Falls Concrete, Arctic Cat and for various farmers. As time went by, Gary had medical issues after the war and was diagnosed with Vietnam Syndrome. He was treated for it in St. Cloud, and continued with treatment while living in Thief River Falls.
He lived at Northern Lights Group Home in Thief River Falls until April 2011 when he moved to the Villa Maria in Fargo, ND. Gary dearly loved the staff and residents at Villa Maria and also the Northern Lights Group Home where they also became like extended family to him.
Gary dearly loved the staff and residents at Villa Maria and they also became like family to him. Those were the best years of his life.
Gary was an avid Minnesota sports fan. He especially enjoyed following the Twins, Vikings and Gophers. He had a great sense of humor and always had a smile on his face. Gary loved visiting his family and friends and always enjoyed drinking his coffee. In his younger years, he loved hunting whitetail deer and catching the walleyes at Waskish.
Survivors include his sister, Margaret (Les) Nelson of Thief River Falls; nephews, Dale (Brandi) Nelson of Karlstad, and their children, Jordan and Jadyn; and Darren (Jackie) Nelson of Eagan; and many friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents and many aunts and uncles.
Family condolences may be sent to www.johnsonfuneralservice.com.