Gary Meridith Woxland, age 83, of Goodview, Minn., passed away on September 12, 2023, at La Crescent Health Services in La Crescent, Minn.
Gary was born on August 13, 1940, at home in Rushford, Minn., to Gerhard “Gilly” and Madeline (Eggebakken) Woxland. He was baptized and confirmed at the Rushford Lutheran Church in Rushford, Minn. Gary graduated from the Rushford High School in 1959 and shortly after graduation Gary enlisted in the United States Navy, reporting to Great Lakes Naval Training Center Boot Camp in Great Lakes, Ill. On October 28, 1960, Gary was united in marriage to Mary Johnson at Grace Lutheran Church in Peterson, Minn. During Gary’s 10 years of service, he was a Aviation Electronics Technician Second Class Aircrewman. His service included time during the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam. Gary, his wife Mary and their three small children at the time went wherever the Navy sent them, living in Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee and California. Gary was extremely proud of his Naval service, talking about his time often with his five children.
In 1970, the family had grown to seven and by this time, Gary had left the Navy and began working for Northwestern Bell Telephone/USWest in Red Wing, Minn. In 1982, Gary and Mary had taken a transfer and moved from Red Wing to Winona, Minn., and then Rushford, Minn., and finally moving to Goodview, Minn. Gary retired from USWest in 2001 after 31 years. While Gary was with USWest he had the opportunity to travel, working and living in Arizona and Utah during the winters. Gary enjoyed visiting with his children and grandchildren whenever he could visit. He was considered the “Navy Dad” as four of his five children were in the Navy and now two grandchildren are currently serving as Commissioned Officers in the United States Navy. Gary was a member of the Rushford Lutheran Church and a member of the American Legion. Gary enjoyed cooking and entertaining family during the holidays, listening to music, playing cribbage, and he was forever a Minnesota Vikings, Twins and Gophers fan. He also loved watching history documentaries or reading a good military history book. Gary had a “big heart” and was always willing to help out anyone that needed it.
Gary is survived by two sons, Ron Woxland and Jody Woxland of Goodview, Minn.; two daughters, Diana (Glenn) Faraone of Rushford, Minn., and Melanie (Heath) Olstad; and daughter-in-law Nicole (Gitt) Woxland of Hampton, Va.; eight grandchildren: Jessica “Jess” Woxland of Massena, N. Y., Levi (Julia), Melody, Zachary (Leah), Connor (Maggie) Woxland of Oak Harbor, Wash., Garett (Brianna) Woxland of Virginia, Jakob Woxland of Hampton, Va., and Kelley Faraone of Rushford, Minn.; two great-grandchildren, Madeline and Samuel; and eight siblings: Donna James, Dan (Kirsten) Woxland, Rodney (Gayle) Woxland, Wayne (Sharon) Woxland, Craig (Joan) Woxland, Brad (Lori) Woxland, Pam (Terry) Rasmussen and Brian (Sal) Woxland; sister-in-law Roxanne Woxland, many nieces, nephews and cousins; and his little buddy, Scooter.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents and his wife of 56 years, Mary; one son, Wade Woxland; one brother, Glenn Woxland; and one brother-in-law, Lee James.
Per his wishes, services will be held privately.
Hoff Celebration of Life Center- Goodview is assisting the family with arrangements.