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Obituary: Gary Michael Ojanen Sr.

Gary “The Handyman” Ojanen was born May 12, 1958, to Alvin and Violet Ojanen in

Duluth. Gary passed away Friday, April 28, 2023, at the age of 64.

Gary graduated from Proctor High School in 1977. He loved the outdoors, and hunting

was his passion, especially up at “The Farm,” where he shot numerous deer over the

course of his life. He started working for UPS and at numerous jobs before landing a job at

Potlatch, where he worked for more than 20 years. After that, he found his true calling of helping others by becoming a local handyman.

Over the last 20 years he built a successful business with numerous friends (clients) with

work that ranged from painting, snow removal, yardwork, finish carpentry and anything

that his clients might have needed. He sure was the handyman of the community. One of his greatest joys was to be able to socialize with others and tell stories. Gary had an unbelievable memory and could recite stories and facts from many years ago. But nothing would get Gary more excited than to tell everyone who would listen about his kids. He wanted everyone to know that his kids were doing well and how proud he was of them.

Gary would want everyone to know “he is doing fine” and that “he has a lot of life to live” and will continue to do so in heaven. God needed a handyman and a storyteller; he knew Gary was the perfect guy.

Gary is survived by his children, sons Gary (Melanie) Ojanen and Jeff (Nikki) Ojanen; daughter, Katie (Jon) Beck; brothers, David (Louise), Don (Paulette) and Ed; grandchildren, Cody, Kaylee, Eleanor, Stella, Quinn and Lilly; and the mother of his children, Teri (Keith) Klosner.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his son Christian Ojanen.

Visitation: 11 a.m. until the noon funeral service Friday, May 5 in Atkins Northland Funeral Home, 801 14 th St., Cloquet. A luncheon will follow the service in the Fireside Room of the funeral home. Burial will be at Maple Grove Cemetery at 2:45 p.m. To sign the guestbook and leave an online tribute see http://www.atkinsnorthlandfuneralhome.com.