Gary A. Dontje, 64, of Maquoketa, Iowa, and formerly of Forest City, Iowa, died on Sunday evening, March 4, 2012, at the Crestridge Nursing Home in Maquoketa, Iowa.
A celebration of his life will be held at 10:30 A.M., Saturday, March 10, 2012, at the First Congregational Church in Forest City, Iowa. Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 P.M. on Friday, March 9, 2012, at the First Congregational Church in Forest City, Iowa. Burial will be in the Olena Mound Cemetery, Buffalo Center, Iowa. The Carson Celebration of Life Center in Maquoketa is caring for the family.
Gary Allen Dontje was born on July 27, 1947 in Buffalo Center, Iowa, to John Henry and Leona Lorraine (Harringa) Dontje. He grew up in Buffalo Center and moved to Swea City where he was a 1966 graduate of Swea City High School. He married Patricia Carol Heitland on October 31, 1970 in Buffalo Center, Iowa, and they lived in Forest City, Iowa from 1971 to 2001, Garner, Iowa from 2001 to 2009 and Maquoketa, Iowa from 2009 until present.
Gary had worked various jobs through the years, including work as a truck driver, then for Winnebago, Larson's Contracting in Lake Mills for 4 years, Big Bear/CT Farm & Country as the assistant manager for 11 years and lastly for Mike Harms/Wright Materials Co. in Forest City as an operations loader from 2001 to 2010.
Gary was a member of the First Congregational Church in Forest City. He enjoyed fishing for Walleyes and Crappies, deer hunting, watching stock car races, and going to county fairs. He especially enjoyed helping 4-H kids.
Gary is survived by his wife, Patricia Dontje of Maquoketa, IA; a son, Travis (fiancÃ© Emily Beck) Dontje of Maquoketa, IA; 2 grandchildren, Zachary and Charisma; a sister, Sharon Dontje-Yell of Stacy, MN; several nieces and nephews, including Sharon's children, a niece, Tena Yell of Stacy, MN and a nephew, Todd (Mandy) Yell and his children, Isabella and Alexia, of Woodbury, MN. He was preceded in death by his parents, mother-in-law and father-in-law, Joe and Ruth Heitland, great nephew, Devon, and a brother-in-law, Gregory Heitland.
In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, a Gary Allen Dontje memorial fund has been established.
Online Condolences may be left at www.CarsonAndSon.com.
Our class is having the 50th reunion. I will be going, but it will not be the same. I miss my brother. I am taking a special friend with me. He will help me through this. Our birthdays are just around the corner, I remember our birthday calls to each other. Love you!
I wish you were here to see me play tackle football but I know you are looking down on me and are very proud of me
3 years wow I miss u like u left yesterday love u dad
I love u grandpa
I love u
happy birthday dad on the july 27. i love u and miss u so much
I really miss you grandpa
So sorry to hear of Gary's death. You have our sympathy
I have fond thoughts and memories of Gary. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Sharon - I was so sorry to read of your brother's passing in the paper. The 3 of us always had such a good time together while in school. He was so kind and wonderful to visit with. Thinking of you and your family.
Pat and Travis...I am so sorry for your loss. You have my sincere sympathies and remember he loved you guys as much as you loved him.
Travis ,I'm glad you have such great memories of your dad,,keep them close to your heart!! Keep on fishin' Gary .!!! with sympathy,Cindy& Steve
Gary you were a dear friend that will be missed, but I always thought of you and Travis and Pat to be more like family. I just know that your looking down on us as we celebrate your life.
Gary, you left us too soon. Memories of our fishing trips and business adventures always brings a smile to my face. The first time we fished with leeches and we argued about who was going to put them on the hook. Or the time we sat on the cooler in the middle of the tent holding it down while a tornado went over. We were like brothers and I will miss you! Lord take care of my friend, my fishing buddy,my cousin, my brother.
I love u Gary.
Dad im going to miss u alot. You were my dad and my best freind. I only hope i can be half the man you were. I remember the time fishing with you in canda and minnesota, but the memory i best have was us on the mississippi river fishing, what a time and what fun we had laughin and yes getting mad at the fish if they didnt bite or they got off by the boat. Dad i love u and thank you for being my dad for 33 yrs
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