Gary Craig McDonald, age 82, of Savage, MN, sadly left his family’s side on Monday, March 13, 2023, at St. Francis Regional Medical Center, in Shakopee, MN.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 25, 2023, at 11 AM, with a time of gathering from 9:30-11 AM, at Ballard-Sunder Funeral & Cremation, 4565 Pleasant Street SE, Prior Lake, MN.
Family and friends are able to watch a recording of the service at the following link: Gary McDonald Service.
Alexander and Dorothy (Harper) McDonald announced the birth of their son Gary, born on June 28, 1940. Gary and his younger sister Gail grew up in Toronto, Canada, where he experienced all sorts of great adventures. As a young boy, he was very close to his aunts, uncles, and cousins. Every summer the families would spend time at Wasaga Beach in Ontario. Gary joined three different church youth groups so he could participate in plenty of sports and social programs. He loved getting the opportunity to talk to others and he made friends everywhere he went.
After graduating from high school, Gary worked for National Grocers until being accepted into the Toronto Police Academy. He spent the next 28 years serving his community. During his career he brushed shoulders with dignitaries and celebrities, including his favorite, Queen Elizabeth. Gary spent many years as a Detective Sergeant and was involved in nationally known investigations.
Gary married Joan Chapman and from this union welcomed two daughters, Denise and Meredith. Years later, after his marriage ended and he retired from the police force, Gary traveled across the border to visit friends in Minnesota. He eventually settled down in the Twin Cities.
One evening, Gary saw a blonde in a red dress across the dance floor. He knew instantly that was the woman he was going to marry – and he did just that. Gary and Kathleen Howard Nelson were married on June 29, 1997, in their Minneapolis backyard. His family then grew to include her daughters and extended family.
Gary loved to be with his family. Gary and Kathleen loved to visit everyone back in Canada as often as possible. He also relished the annual family gathering each August at a resort in Northern Minnesota. Many hours were spent fishing, swimming and cooking. The days would end around the campfire (“Hey, wait a minute!”). Gary was happiest being Papa Bear/Grandpa to his grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Gary had diverse interests. He and Kathleen loved to travel. They experienced their long hoped for dream trip to Ireland and Scotland to visit the country where his father was born. He loved painting, following Bob Ross’ style of landscape painting. He loved to cook and liked to watch cooking shows to get new recipes and inspiration. Gary loved to learn new things. He worked in various jobs after retirement including refinancing mortgages, picture framing, truck dispatching and working as a courier. He also enjoyed gardening, golfing, and bowling. But, it’s Gary’s storytelling, energetic voice, and contagious laugh that will be missed the most.
Gary will forever be loved and missed by wife, Kathleen; daughters, Denise Reman, Meredith (David) MacNaughton; step daughters, Bethany (Ray) Ranney, Amy (John) Dennehey; grandchildren, Taylor (Nick) Van Schaik, Hunter (Liam) Reman, Kennedy Reman, Logan (Matteo) Peaker, Ashlin (Chris) Peaker, Heather Ranney, Jake Ranney, Joseph (Amber) McKay, Killian Monahan, Frankie Ranney, Morgan Ranney, Lylee Dennehey, Myra Dennehey; great-grandchildren, Rowan, Kaydence, and Easton Van Schaik, Drake Lien, Henry Breutzman; sister, Gail Montague; niece, Anne Harrison; bonus sons, Scott (Jennifer) Peaker, Scott (Toni) McKay; many other relatives and friends.
Previously departed loved ones include his parents, brother-in-law, Brian Montague; and son-in-law Randy Reman.
Print Obituary & Condolences