- April 10, 1948 - May 12, 2006
of Gary's Passing
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Gary Lee Sluka, 58, of Spicer died Friday evening, May 12, at his home after a long courageous battle with lung cancer. Memorial services will be at 2:30 PM on Wednesday, May 17, at the Cross Roads Community United Methodist Church in Spicer with burial at 4:45 PM at the Spicer City Cemetery in Spicer. Military honors provided by the Henderson-Lewis American Legion Post #545. Visitation with the family will be from 5-8 PM on Tuesday, May 16, at the Green Lake Funeral Home in Spicer and for one hour prior to the service at the church. Following the committal services, there will be a celebration of life gathering at the Spicer American Legion.
Gary was born April 10, 1948 to Marvin and Lillian (Heacock) Sluka in Willmar, Minnesota. He was baptized into faith in 1949 at Olivia Methodist Church in Olivia, Minnesota and later confirmed at Hope Presbyterian Church in Spicer, Minnesota. The family moved to the New London-Spicer area in the early 60's. Gary attended New London-Spicer School where he graduated in 1966. In 1967 he joined the U.S. Navy, where he was a Jet Engine Mechanic for over 4 years stationed out of Georgia and Florida and served on the USS America. He married Karen (Chapin) Hagemeier, in May of 1968. Of this union Gary and Karen had two children, Minda (Sluka) Henjum and Tige Sluka. After being discharge from the Navy, the family returned to Spicer and Gary worked in construction as an insulator. In 1977 he co-founded Lake Region Insulation and Construction Company. After their divorce in 1981 Gary moved to Fairbanks, Alaska. He went to work for Overhead Door Company of Fairbanks as a garage door installer and became a Union Carpenter with Local 1243.
Gary married Robin (Walton), his wife of the past 19 years, on December 27th, 1986 at their home in North Pole, Alaska. Of this union they had one daughter, Autumn Sluka. In 1987 they moved to Spicer. Gary continued working in the garage door trade, starting Superior Garage Door Company. Gary was an active Life member of Legion Post 545 in Spicer. He went through all the chairs of command and was Post Commander for 2 years. In 1994 Gary, Robin, and Autumn moved to Oregon where they lived for the past 11 years. Gary worked for Overhead Door Company of Salem until 1998 when they moved to the Central Oregon Coast and he started Central Coast Garage Doors. Gary also continued to work for Overhead Door of Salem as a sub-contractor until their move back to Minnesota in September of 2005. While in Oregon, Gary became an avid Dory sport fisherman, fishing out of Pacific City, Oregon. He loved the thrill of the Dory boats launching off the beach and the slide of the landing to bring the boats and the catch back to shore. Gary was a loving and devoted Husband, Father, Son, Brother, and Friend who loved to be around his family and friends. Gary enjoyed camping, was an avid football and NASCAR fan, and loved to talk politics. At Gary's request he will be cremated with part of his ashes being buried at the Spicer City Cemetery and the remaining ashes taken out to sea on a Dory Boat out of Pacific City, Oregon.
Gary is survived by his wife Robin, Daughters; Minda (and Chad) Henjum and Autumn Sluka of Spicer, MN., Son; Tige (and special friend, Karen Thompson) Sluka of New London, MN., Mother; Lillian Sluka of Spicer, MN., Brothers; Marvin "Butch" (and Donna) Sluka of Fairbanks, AK., Edward (and Linda) Sluka of Spicer, MN., Sisters; Judy (and Dennis) Wallin of Atwater, MN., Marcia (and Wilton) Paul of New London, MN., Mary (and Corey) Zehnder of Savage, MN., 2 Grandchildren, 3 Step-Grandchildren and numerous Nieces, Nephews, Cousins and Friends. Gary was preceded in death by his Father; Marvin Sluka, Sister; Darla Zuroff, Paternal and Maternal Grandparents, Brother-In-Laws; Marlow Zuroff and John Walton, Father-In-Law; Rex Walton.