May 6, 2019 at 10:43 a.m.

Gary Koecher

Gary Koecher
Gary Koecher

Gary Lyle Koecher (“Big Gar” or “Jeremiah”), age 71, of St. Croix Falls, WI passed away unexpectedly April 26, 2019 at his cabin on Half Moon Lake.

Gary was born on February 14th, 1948 to Leonard and Genevieve Koecher of Stacy, Minnesota. He grew up farming with his family and then enlisted into the US Army in support of the Vietnam War.  Gary belonged to the 82nd Airborne Division as a Paratrooper. On his second tour he stayed with the 82nd Airborne as a diesel engine mechanic on tanks. He was in Vietnam for one year and then finished out his tour in Germany.  Gary took great pride in his service to his country.

Gary married Wynne “Winkie” DeCoster on August 31 of 1975 and they built a life together after purchasing a farm in Saint Croix Falls, WI.  The farm was a complete remodel and his father Leonard taught him carpentry skills that he used to build his barn, pole shed, and many buildings on their farm.  Gary and Winkie enjoyed 43 years together- three children, five grandchildren and weathering the ups and downs of farm life.  After 30 plus years of dairy farming, Gary took on the “retirement” life that consisted of beef cattle, cash crop farming, and passing along the farming knowledge to his son Gus.  

Gary was well-known as an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed his days trapping, sitting in a deer stand, pass shooting wood ducks, and sitting on a bucket jigging for walleye.  Only the love for his grandchildren and family traditions surpassed his enthusiasm for appreciation of land conservation.
Gary is preceded in death by his parents Leonard and Genevieve; siblings Hazel and Melvin and nephew: Fritz Koecher.  

Survived by his wife Wynne; children: Katie Koecher (John Park), Emily Koecher-Chelberg (Chris Chelberg), and Gus Koecher (Megan); grandchildren Cyrus Koecher-Park, Oliver Chelberg, Dahlia Chelberg, Magnolia Chelberg, and Case Koecher; siblings Wayne Koecher, Lorne Koecher, Marilyn Peterson (Koecher), Lyle Koecher and  nieces and nephews, Farrah, Zach, Jesse, Ryan, Sheena, Mindi, Gina, Mike and their families.

A memorial service will be held 3 pm, Sunday, May 5 at Sunflower Hill Wedding and Event Venue (1265 220th Street St. Croix Falls, WI) with military honors and a celebration of life to follow. A visitation will be held one hour prior to the service, on Sunday. Arrangements are with Grandstrand Funeral Home in Osceola, WI. Condolences may be expressed online at www.grand strandfh.com.


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