Gary Bailey, 71

Gary Bailey of Williams, MN, was able to walk down the next road on March 23, 2020.  He was lovingly taken care of for nearly four years at the Lakewood Care Center in Baudette, MN.

Gary was born on July 28, 1948 in Minneapolis, MN, to Katherine Bailey. His mom later married Thomas Duderstadt who was in the United State Air Force.  He lived many places growing up, including Redby, Bemidji, Mississippi, Kwajalein, and graduated high school from the Philippines.  He joined the US Army soon after graduating high school and was the youngest Army Captain to serve in the Vietnam War, serving two tours from 1968 to 1971.  Gary received several military medals, including two purple hearts, the air medal, a bronze star, and a silver star. After returning from Vietnam, he received his Bachelor’s in business from the University of Minnesota. He married Kathryn Bailey (Butterfield) in October of 1971.  They lived in Rockford, MN, a few years before moving up to Grand Rapids, MN, where their daughter, Erika, was born. Gary bought Itasca Lumber Company, moved the company south of town, and started Custom Building Logs. In 1979, Gary was involved in a logging accident that paralyzed him from the waist down, but that didn’t slow him down.

Gary bought a farmstead and land south of Williams, MN, in the early 1980’s and moved the family up permanently in 1985. Over the next few decades, Gary managed sawmills, logging operations, and brokered wood across northern Minnesota and into Canada. He was his daughter’s #1 fan, following her to nearly every athletic event in high school and college. Gary and Kathy went their separate ways in 2002, and Gary married Lynn Bailey (Miller) June 29th, 2004.  Gary was well known for his hunting adventures which included Alaska, Montana, New Mexico, British Columbia, New Zealand, and several trips to Africa.  One of his highlights was hunting the Marco Polo sheep high in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan. Gary also enjoyed hunting pheasants out in Mott, ND, with many good friends and loyal dogs.

Gary was preceded in death by his brother, Larry Bailey, mother, Katherine Duderstadt, and stepfather, Thomas Duderstadt. He is survived by his wife, Lynn Bailey, his first wife, Kathy Bailey, his brother, Tom Duderstadt (Kris; St. Simons Island, GA), his daughter, Erika Bailey-Johnson (Matt Johnson; Bemidji, MN), and his two grandsons, Noah and Reed Johnson.

In lieu of a service, flowers, and cards, please consider making a donation in his honor to Chapter 41 of the Disabled American Veterans (32719 State Hwy 89  Roseau, MN  56751).

1 Comment

  1. Jill Duderstadt on April 1, 2020 at 11:34 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. I will always have fond memories of Gary. May your memories comfort you during this difficult time.

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