The funeral service for Gary Van Winkle, Sr., 70, of Echo, will be at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, October 23, 2023, at Christ Lutheran Church in Cottonwood.  Visitation will be Sunday from 3:00 until 5:00 p.m. at Sunset Funeral Home in Echo, with a prayer service at 5:00 p.m. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service at church. Interment at Rock Valle Lutheran Cemetery in rural Echo will follow the funeral luncheon.  The Sunset Funeral & Cremation Association in Echo is handling the arrangements.  

Gary Dean Van Winkle was born January 13th 1953   to Arnold and Helen (Hively) Van Winkle in Marshall MN . He was raised on the farm at Balaton MN. His farm roots and love of animals stayed with him his whole life. Many were stunned when Gary could keep his cattle penned with something so simple as twine string, a simple come on girls and they’d just follow him. The farm brought challenges many more than once to Gary. A farm accident nearly took one leg in the late 1960’s but he fought back and with the help of a very good Dr kept his leg and many stories of it. Safety was a HUGE issue that he forced very sternly and demanded all the time from everyone.  Gary was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith at Trinity and Sillerud Lutheran Churches of Balaton MN .  Gary wore many different hats in the working world; from hiring out as a farm hand to the best tire guy this side of heaven (as many have said). If it was a tire repair even duct tape got you through the last few rounds of harvest or allowed the scrappers to finish part of road building for the day. He thrived on long hours and quick naps and was always just a phone call and a little drive time away from getting you up and going. He’s missed his unplanned unexpected road trips after his health forced him to retire. He has been able to be home on his own farm with his cattle full time for 5 years. His Peidmontese cattle have been his pride for the past 20 years. All of the seasons always brought with them long hours of hard work but there was nothing Gary loved more than spring when new life was coming to the farm and the green pastures with grazing mommas and babies.  Gary was united in marriage to Patricia Truwe in 1974. To this union four children were born. Gary Jr of Garvin MN, Gwen (Eric) Andree of Tracy MN their children Kristen (Darrien) Poppen and son Ryan; Brittany Andree and special friend (Brandon Willard) and Allison Andree; Mark Van Winkle of Hamilton MT his sons Dominic and Scott Van Winkle his Daughter Hayley of MN.  After their divorce Gary had a son Joseph Wilmes of Mankato his children Aiden Wilmes of Mapleton MN and Hunter Wilmes of Mankato. Gary and Wendy (Muhl) Van Winkle were Married April 19th 1986 at Hemnes Lutheran in Rural Minneota MN. To this union a son Matthew (Brandy Idso) Van Winkle of Wood Lake MN. Their children Asbjorn (Becca Silvers) Idso their children Oden and Frejha; Kjell Idso and special friend (Sierra Van) and daughter Cora. 

Gary died on Thursday, October 12, 2023, at his residence in Echo Township.

Gary is survived by his Wife Wendy; all six children; grandchildren and great grandchildren. His 3 sisters, Betty Ustanko (Lee Eslinger) of Coleman SD, Darlene Sjoberg of Willmar MN and Mary (Brad) Turtle of Gibbon MN. Aunt Betty Johnson of AZ Aunt Rosemarie Van Winkle of MN Uncle Raymond Kirk of MN and Aunt Betty Hively of ND as well as numerous cousins. His parents in laws Darrel and Sharon Muhl of Minneota MN. Brothers and sisters in law Jeff and BethAnn Muhl of Florida, Brian and Kris Muhl of TN Troy and Martha Muhl of MN and Chad and Carmen Muhl of MN along with many nieces and nephews. Gary will be missed deeply by very special friends: Tom Gleason of Denton TX and Peter and Keri Wood of Echo MN most of all his favorite sidekick Nightcrawler of the past 2 ½ years.  Gary was proceeded in death by his parents Arnold and Hellen (Hively) Van Winkle; his maternal and paternal grandparents and one brother in law George Ustanko.