Gary Eckel

Gary George Eckel, son of Kenneth and Duna (Tonsager) Eckel, was born on August 15, 1953 in Bertha, Minnesota. Gary grew up in Eagle Bend, Minnesota where he attended Red Oak School House, a one room schoolhouse, until the 6th grade. He was in the last class to ever attend Red Oak. He attended Eagle Bend High school, where he graduated. He then went to tech school in Staples, Minnesota where he earned a degree in Farm Mechanics. Gary worked as a laborer for Hancock Concrete, where he retired after 40 years. 

On October 6, 1973, he was united in marriage to Sylvia Benson. The couple met through a family friend at her 17th birthday party, and were together forever after that. The couple had just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

In his spare time, Gary enjoyed tinkering with small engines and lawn mowers. He also loved woodworking, going outdoors to enjoy the sun, fishing, reading, and grilling outside. He loved sweets, and his favorite was white and rhubarb cake. He also enjoyed coffee, red licorice, and peanut butter, which was his favorite thing to eat. He loved goats and wanted a pigmy goat so in-lieu-of a real goat he was gifted many goat themed items by his son and daughter-in-law. Gary loved his dogs, and collies were his favorite, although cats always loved him. He enjoyed spending time with Andie, playing games, going for walks, and coloring together.

Gary passed away on Wednesday, May 29, 2024, at Sanford Hospital in Fargo, North Dakota. He was 70 years old. 

Gary is survived by his wife: Sylvia Eckel of Hancock; son: Dana (Sarah) Eckel of Morris; and grandchildren: Lillian Zeltwanger, Andulynn Eckel. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers: Kermit Eckel, and Keith Eckel; and sister: Patricia Eckel.

Per the family‚Äôs request, please do not send any flowers, but donations can be made to the charity of your choice. 

Pedersen Funeral Home is in care of the arrangements for Gary. To send condolences to the family, please visit