Gary Allen Nielsen of Tyler, Minnesota who passed away peacefully at the age of 70 the Avera Tyler Hospital in Tyler on March 28, 2023. A visitation will be on April 4 from 4:00 – 7:00 PM at the Danebod Lutheran Church in Tyler. A memorial service will be on April 5 at 10:30 AM, also at the church. A private family burial will take place at a later date. The Hartquist Funeral Home’s Tyler Chapel is handling the arrangements.
Gary Allen Nielsen was born to Niels “Kiar” and Corlene (Johnson) Nielsen on March 11, 1953 in Tyler, MN. Gary was confirmed on June 2, 1968 at Danebod Lutheran Church. He attended and graduated from Tyler High School in 1971. He furthered his education at Southwest State University in Marshall, MN and received his Bachelor of Arts degree, with a major in Photography and a minor in ceramics. He had an appreciation of arts, culture and history that he carried throughout his life. After college, he was a photographer for the Tyler Tribute capturing local events and activities for the paper before moving to Plymouth, MN where he continued in the photo industry through most of his life. He was employed as a lab manager at Snapshot Photography where he oversaw film processing, photography and photofinishing. He also worked for Kodak and Blacks photo shops during his time in the cities and even spent a few years at a shop in the IDS building in downtown Minneapolis. Later in life, when he moved back to Tyler, he was employed as a cook at Danebod Village which allowed him to share his love of baking and cooking with the residents preparing meals for them. A hip injury pushed him into retirement a few years ago, but he could still be found with a camera around his neck taking pictures. He was admitted to the Avera Tyler Hospital and died there on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 at the age of 70 years. He was a member of Danebod Lutheran Church in Tyler where he was part of the Danebod youth and adult choirs, call committee and other various committees through the years. He loved the church and all the traditions, artwork and foods of his Norwegian and Danish heritage, especially peppernuts, lefse, and kransakeke. Gary loved the holidays – every holiday was a reason to send a card, make a craft, or decorate. Christmas was a favorite with a collection of unique ornaments, nutcrackers and snow globes. He loved to read and loved books! The books always had to be paper, he never went digital or e-readers. He said there was something about “turning the page” and hearing the crack when you opened a new hard cover book for the first time. Barnes and Nobles was one of his favorite stores when he lived in the cities. He combined these interests by picking out unique and specialty books for all his great nieces and nephews through the years for every holiday. Signing and dating each book that reflected the special holiday or event in which they were given and reading to them when they were young. He will be remembered by how much he loved and valued his family, past and present. Gary was our family historian through photographs and writing, keeping dates and who we were. Always looking forward to the next school event to attend, holiday or reunion we could all be together. Gary always made a point to go to the cemeteries and put-up memorials of family who had passed. He wore goofy hats or glasses at Christmas, made homemade gifts and crafts for every occasion.
Gary is survived by his brothers, Randy and (Diana) Nielsen of Tyler, and Richard Nielsen of Tyler; three nieces: Kristy (Brandon) Gifford of Lake Benton, MN, Tammi (Neil) Hennen of Otsego, MN and Leanna Eastman (Bo Acheson) of Sioux Falls, SD; and eight grand nieces and nephews, Kira (Gared) Moorse, Cody Gifford, Brady Gifford, Drew Hennen, Ryan Hennen, Isaiah Hennen, Violet Eastman, Isaac Eastman. He was preceeded in death by his parents, Niels “Kiar” Nielsen and Corlene Nielsen.