Obituary | Gerald Okland of Thief River Falls, Minnesota

Gerald Okland
Gerald Okland

Gerald “Gerry” Arthur Okland, of Thief River Falls, MN, passed away on Monday, April 17, 2023, with Barb and Ellen by his side, at Sanford Medical Center, Thief River Falls, MN, at the age of 76.

On November 30, 1946, Gerry was born to Theodore and Muriel (Cotton) Okland in Winona, MN. He attended his schooling in Winona, graduating from high school in 1965. Gerry studied at Winona State College, graduating with a BA in Social Sciences and Speech. On October 14, 1967, Gerry was united in marriage to Barbara Kubicek at Winona, MN.

Gerry entered the Naval Reserves in 1964 while still in high school. On January 25, 1971, he went active in the Navy, serving as a Quartermaster 2 in Comfairwing Two, NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii. Barbara and his children could be with him during his time in Hawaii. Gerry was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal. He was honorably discharged on April 24, 1973, and they returned to Winona, MN.

Gerry began teaching at Olin, IA, and Freeborn, MN, before moving to Thief River Falls, MN, in 1977. He began working as a Veteran’s Employment Representative in Thief River Falls from 1977 to 1991. Substitute teaching and other odd jobs occupied his time until he retired. He continued to substitute teach as needed for the next few years. Gerry loved working with the Middle School students, and they loved him.

Gerry enjoyed researching any kind of history and related subjects in books and on the Internet. Driving in the area while looking for wildlife, feeding birds, and caring for cats kept him and Barb busy. Spending time with family meant a lot to him. Gerry was a member of the American Legion for many years.

Gerry is survived by his wife of 55 years, Barbara, Thief River Falls, MN; three children: Christopher (Sharie), Turtle River, MN, Erik, Pittsburgh, PA, and Ellen Okland, Thief River Falls, MN; 9 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren; brother, Howard (Linda), Anchorage, AK and sister, Judy Benson, Winona, MN; and other relatives; and a special kitty, Abigail.

He is preceded in death by his parents, 2 infant granddaughters, in-laws, Jim and Shirley Kubicek, and brother-in-law, Jamie Kubicek.

Burial will be at Oakland Cemetery, Minnesota City, MN, at a later date.

Gerry requested not to have a service, but your thoughts and prayers will be deeply appreciated.

# Gerald Okland, #


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