Gary Ronken, 70, of Spring Valley

Gary Ronken

Gary Lee Ronken, 70, of Spring Valley, died unexpectedly on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, at his home.

He was born in Rochester on May 26, 1948, to Harvey and Maxine (Howard) Ronken.

He attended school in Spring Valley and graduated in 1966.

He enlisted in the United States Navy on Jan. 11, 1967. During the Vietnam War, he was stationed on the USS Intrepid as a hook runner and later promoted to deck edge operator. He was honorably discharged on Oct. 12, 1970.

After returning to Spring Valley, he married Kathy Finley on Jan. 21, 1973.

Together they had three children. He enjoyed spending time fishing, hunting, camping and boating with his family and extended family. He loved to fish. He enjoyed his yearly fishing trips with his wife to northern Minnesota and Canada. The trip enjoyment was amplified if his grandchildren or children were along. He was an avid fan of trap shooting both competitively and with family and friends. Besides the fishing and camping excursions, he enjoyed attending all of his grandchildren's activities and events.

He retired in December 2014 from SEMA Equipment in LeRoy, where he was a John Deere salesman and enjoyed visiting with customers.

He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Kathy; three children, Gary Ronken, Jr. of Canton, Joe (Skye) Ronken of Dodge Center and Rebecca (Matt) Jacobson of Spring Valley; four grandchildren, Finn, Owen, Aden and Colton; siblings, Howard (Joyce) Ronken of Kenyon, Sharon (Vernon) Jahn of Bloomington, Evelyn Rios of Centennial, Colo., Emore (Bonnie) Ronken of Rochester, Victor (Joanne) Ronken of Rochester, Lois (Terry) Petersen of Brainerd and Betty (Perry) Bowen of Burnsville and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by two brothers, Jim and a brother in infancy. 

Committal services for him were held on Friday, Feb. 15, at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Preston.

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