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January 23, 2020

11/21/2019 2:29:00 PM
Gary Palmquist

Gary John Palmquist, age 77, passed away on November 10, 2019 in Denver, Colorado.  

A memorial service will be held in the Family Chapel at Horan & McConaty, 3101 So Wadsworth Blvd., in Lakewood, Colorado Friday, November, 22, at 11AM.  Visitation will be one hour prior to the service.  The family will host a luncheon gathering in the reception area, adjacent to the chapel, immediately following the service.  Inurnment will be held at a later date.  

Gary Palmquist was born on June 25, 1942, in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Arvid and Bernice (Sullivan) Palmquist.  Gary graduated from Edison High School in 1960, and in 1961 he began a 30-year career in telecommunications, first with Western Electric, then with Northwestern Bell.  In 1964, Gary was drafted into the US Army.  He received his basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and was trained to be a Medical Corpsman at Fort Sam Houston, in San Antonio, Texas.  After a six- month tour of active duty in Texas, Gary was released into the Army Reserves.  He returned to work in Minneapolis, and was then transferred to Omaha, Nebraska.  

Gary married Marilyn Thur in Omaha, in 1965.  They were blessed with two children, Susan and Steven.  His marriage to Marilyn ended in divorce.  In 1979, Gary married Brenda (Rothchild) Braga, and Gary gained a step-daughter, Stephanie.  They spent many family vacations with the three children at Leech Lake, in northern Minnesota, and in the Twin Cities area visiting Gary’s family.  They also went camping, fishing, and created many family traditions.  In 1990, Gary accepted an early retirement from US West, and in 1991, Brenda’s job was relocated to Denver.  They celebrated Stephanie’s high school and college graduations, Susan and Steve’s marriages, and the births of four grandchildren while in Colorado.

In 2002, Gary and Brenda moved to Lindstrom, Minnesota.  Gary was excited to get back to his roots, and became fully immersed in his retirement.  He did a lot of fishing and hunting with his brother, Neil.  Or, he could be found at Chisago Lakes Golf Course, where he had his second hole-in-one!  Gary enjoyed playing cards with family and friends.  He loved spending the holidays with the kids and grandkids, and he loved their visits to Minnesota each summer.  Over the years, each of the grandkids took a turn at “driving” Gary’s pontoon, while sitting on his lap.  Gary’s wife Brenda wasn’t ready to be retired, and worked as a para-professional for the Chisago Lakes School District, then was Director of the area Chamber of Commerce from 2004-2009.  During that time, Gary volunteered for water patrol each summer for the Chisago Lakes Triathlon.  Brenda remained very active in the community, and was a Chisago Lakes Area Community Foundation board member from 2009-2017.

Gary started having balance, mobility and memory issues in 2014, and was diagnosed in 2016, with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), a rare neurodegenerative disease with no known cause, and no cure.  In 2017, Gary and Brenda moved back to Colorado.  And, in 2018, as Gary became more debilitated, he moved to Sunrise at Pinehurst Senior Living.

Gary is survived by his daughter Susan (Marty) Day of Littleton, Colorado, son Steve Palmquist of Lincoln, Nebraska and step-daughter Stephanie Braga (Chris Thompson) of Gypsum, Colorado; grandchildren Nate Day, Katie Day, Brooklyn Palmquist, Daniel Palmquist, Mason Thompson and Miles Thompson; sisters Shirley Nelson, Margaret Langlais, Sharon (Jim) Bredumus, and Judy Palmquist; brother Neil (Retha) Palmquist; father-in-law Garold Rothchild; sister-in-law Cheryl (Jack) Johnson; brother-in-law Randy (Brenda) Rothchild; several nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Gary was preceded in death by his parents, brother Jimmy Palmquist, sister Carol Palmquist, brothers-in-law Don Nelson and Jim Langlais, and mother-in-law Mabel Rothchild.

The family greatly appreciates family and friends who have lovingly supported them on Gary’s journey these past five years.  They will never forget the loving care that Gary received at Sunrise at Pinehurst, and the angels at Suncrest Hospice.  The family requests that donations be made in Gary’s memory to the Chisago Lakes Area Community Foundation, to CurePSP, or to the Mayo Clinic (with designation for PSP and other Neurodegenerative disorders).

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