Cover photo for Gary John Dawley's Obituary

Gary John Dawley

January 18, 1956 — July 2, 2023

Nekoosa, Wisconsin

Gary John Dawley

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Update:  Burial with military honors will be 10:00 a.m. Thursday,  August 17, 2023 at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.

Former North Mankato area resident, Gary John Dawley, age 67 of Nekoosa, Wisconsin died July 2, 2023 at Aspirus Hospital in Wausau, Wisconsin after a brief illness.

A memorial service will be held 11:00 a.m., Saturday, July 22, 2023 at North Mankato Mortuary-Northview. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Burial at a later date in Fort Snelling National Cemetery.

Gary John Dawley was born to Frank and Joan Dawley on January 18, 1956, in Mankato. He attended Garden City area schools. He met his wife, Cheryl Ann Smith, in Mankato in 1973. They were united in marriage on May 22, 1976. He joined the United States Navy on March 7, 1976, serving for 11 years.  They have three children, Daniel, Robert, and Crystal. After leaving the Navy, they settled in North Mankato where Gary worked as a licensed Class A Chief Engineer for Archer Daniels Midland, eventually retiring as the power plant supervisor in 2011. He followed his wife to the east coast where he earned his AA degree at All State Career in Baltimore, MD earning a CDL. He also received the class valedictorian award. After a couple years as an OTR driver for Crete, he worked as a contractor for ADM for another 3 years. He retired for the last time in 2016. 

Gary joined the Kato Cycle Club in 1988 and earned his life membership. He and his wife spent many fun summer weekends with family and friends at the club. They enjoyed camping and motorcycle/ATV riding. He was a life member of the VFW 950 in Mankato. He followed anything racing and he and his wife traveled to many drag-racing events around the country. He loved to cruise and enjoyed the many ports of call.

With an eye on Cheryl's eventual retirement, they found an ideal spot in the Rome/Lake Arrowhead Wisconsin. Gary loved planning and supervising his log home build in 2019. He spent his time grooming his little corner of heaven in the woods and sustaining a large garden. The neighbor's enjoyed his lighted holiday home displays. 

He was a talented craftsman. He learned auto repair and wood working from his father. He truly understood the sound of a well running motor and enjoyed crafting wood creations. He was a kindhearted soul and will be remembered for his warmth and dedication to family. His cat family - Fred, Hotrod, and Beeline - brought him great comfort.

Gary was preceded in death by his parents, in-laws, Lois and Roger Smith, sister Linda Folmar, sister-in-law Rhonda Smith, and niece Taylor Smith.

He is survived by his wife Cheryl. Three children, Daniel (Mankato) Robert, (Des Moines, IA) and Crystal, (Mankato). His legacy lives on through eight grandchildren, Alexis, Austin, Madison, Adarya, Addison, Aidan, Leland, Payton, and his great-granddaughter Kayla. Also surviving are three siblings, Carol Dawley (Nicollet), Peggy Dawley (Indianapolis, IN) and Charles (Judy) Dawley (Rochester) and in-laws Susan (David) Krueger and Julie Smith (N. Mankato), Brian Smith (Cincinnati, OH), Jeff Smith, Scott Smith, and Rachel Smith (all of Mankato). He also leaves behind aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and many cousins.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gary John Dawley, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, July 22, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Northview - North Mankato Mortuary

2060 Commerce Drive, North Mankato, MN 56003

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Saturday, July 22, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Northview - North Mankato Mortuary

2060 Commerce Drive, North Mankato, MN 56003

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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