Gary Stewart Sjaastad, age 66, passed away at his home on December 7, 2023, after a courageous battle with cancer and COPD. Gary was born February 5th, 1957 to Eugene and Patricia (Stevick) Sjaastad. He was the 5th of 6 children in the family and enjoyed growing up in Minot with his siblings, cousins and grandparents. His family spent many summers at Lake Metigoshe, where Gary loved sail- boating and water skiing. He attended Longfellow Elementary, Ramstad Junior High and graduated from Minot High in 1975.
Gary attended Welding School in Tulsa, Oklahoma and established a successful career traveling to various welding sites around the country. He married Kellie Butler in 1989 and they had one son, Nikko Sjaastad. Becoming a father to Nikko was Gary’s greatest joy. He and Kellie later divorced.
Gary was a quiet, gentle man who enjoyed varied interests. He was a skilled woodworker, building unique, beautiful furniture that we still admire today. He became a model plane enthusiast, technically building and flying his gas-engine creations. Gary also learned carpentry skills from his father and remodeled his homes through the years. He was an avid rock hunter and claims to have meteorites in his treasured collection.
Those who knew Gary understood that he also was a seeker of the meaning of man’s existence in the vastness of our Universe. He was fascinated by the stars and moon, always pondering the possibilities that UFO’s and different forms of life exist well beyond our reality. Gary was a spiritual man in his own personal way. Dear brother, we hope you have found what you were seeking and are at peace.
Gary is survived by his son Nikko of Minot; brothers Ken and Greg Sjaastad; sisters Sally Sjaastad and Julie Renfrew and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles. He was preceded in death by his parents Pat and Gene; grandparents Elmer and Mildred Sjaastad and William and Hariette Stevick; sister Pamela Shipley; niece Michelle Mosure and her children Kristy and Kyle; and infant nephew Bruce Anderson.
A visitation will be held on Monday, December 11, 2023 at the Thomas Family Funeral Home from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00p.m.
A service will be held on Tuesday, December 12, at 1:00 at Thomas Funeral Home followed by a graveside service at Rosehill Memorial Park. A reception to celebrate Gary’s life will follow at Arny’s Bar, hosted by his son Nikko.