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1931 Virgil 2019

Virgil Henry Gartner

April 26, 1931 — December 17, 2019

VIRGIL HENRY GARTNER April 26, 1931 – December 17, 2019                   Virgil Henry Gartner, age 88 of New Hope, MN, formerly of Park Rapids, MN, peacefully joined his precious wife, Beverly in the splendor of Heaven on Tuesday evening, December 17, 2019 while in the familiar comfort of his home surrounded by his loved ones.                 Virgil was born on April 26, 1931 in Savannah Township of Becker County, near Two Inlets, MN. Virgil was baptized and confirmed at the St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Two Inlets. He attended the Golden Rod Country School near his home until age 12 when he moved into Park Rapids to live with his older sister, Bertha and attend the Park Rapids High School.  As a young man, Virgil gained employment pouring concrete for Malm Construction Company.  He also unloaded many railroad cars and worked as a brick tender, which led to a full-time job as an apprentice bricklayer in Minneapolis.  On June 30, 1952, Virgil was united in marriage to Beverly Ruth Chamberlin at the St. Peters Catholic Church in Park Rapids.  This union was blessed with six children:  Daniel, Bradley, Troy, Forrest, Jess, and Heather.  They made their home in Minneapolis for a few years before returning to the Park Rapids area where he logged and owned and operated a portable sawmill.  In 1958, Virgil ventured to Alaska where he found work and housing before sending for his wife and two small sons to join him.  He worked at the Usibelli Coal Mine in Suntrana, Alaska which was located in the middle of the Denali National Park where he drove truck and worked as a heavy equipment mechanic.  Their time there was filled with special and happy memories for Virgil.  In 1960, the contract was completed and Virgil returned to Minnesota with his family and bought a home in New Hope, MN with his earnings from Alaska.  It was here that Virgil and Bev raised their six children and made their home for a total of 60 years.  Virgil then began working for the Philippe International Tractor Company as a heavy highway mechanic and was sent throughout the tri-state region repairing heavy equipment where ever it was needed.  Later, Virgil worked for Barton Construction Co. as a mechanic and later was employed by the Ames Construction Company in Burnsville as their shop foreman. In the 1980s, Virgil went out to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado working for the Northern Construction Company where he lived in his Pickwick Travel Liner on the job site.  He enjoyed the special visits from family where many good memories were made during the time he lived and worked there.  In 1993, he retired from the C.S. McCrossan Construction Company in Maple Grove.  Virgil was a wonderful craftsman who could weld and fabricate almost anything.  He made and sold many trailers and wood splitters for family and friends.  He also designed and built a large demolition claw for the Bolanders Co.  He was a leader and teacher of men.  He was gifted with encouraging and affirming many young people he worked with.  In 1965, Virgil had been asked to teach at the Alexandria Vocational-Technical College for better money and benefits; but he turned the position down because he enjoyed working out in the field.  He loved the outdoors; especially when he could be fishing, hunting or snowmobiling.  He really loved to work and he worked very hard until his health began to give out in the early 1990s.  After his retirement, he and Bev enjoyed traveling and camping throughout the US and Canada.  Above all, Virgil devoted his life to his wife and children who he loved with all his heart.                 He will be lovingly remembered by his six children:  Daniel (Irene) Gartner of Park Rapids, Bradley (Rita) Gartner of Bethel, MN, Troy Gartner of Anoka, MN, Forrest Gartner of New Hope, MN, Jess Gartner of Brooklyn Center, MN and Heather Verplank of New Hope, MN; 11 dearly loved grandchildren, 8 precious great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren; his sister-in-law, Martha Gartner of Park Rapids as well as many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and many friends.                  He was preceded in death by his parents; his five brothers: Albert, Wally, Herman, Richard, and Joe and five sisters: Martha, Agnes, Regina, Bertha, and Sadella.                 Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be held 11 AM Saturday, January 4, 2020 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Two Inlets, MN with Father Thomas Friedl officiating.  St. Mary’s Funeral Choir will lead the mass music.  The casket bearers will be his six children.  Interment will be made next to his wife, Beverly in the St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery at Two Inlets.  Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 PM Friday, January 3, 2020 at the Jones-Pearson Funeral Home in Park Rapids and will continue on Saturday at the church beginning one hour prior to the service.  To leave online condolences or to view the video tribute, please visit www.jonespearson.com
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