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Gary Kaarto

February 2, 1945 ~ March 28, 2020 (age 75)


Gary F. Kaarto, 75 of Mass City, Michigan passed away at his home on Saturday, March 28, 2020. He was born on February 2, 1945 to the late Eino and Helen (Willman) Kaarto. On August 19, 1978 he married Lucy Cleland at her parents’ home in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

In Gary’s younger years he was an avid hunter and trapper. He loved reminiscing about his outdoor experiences with his sons and grandkids. Gary also enjoyed gardening and took great pride in it. He loved to be able to share his fresh garden produce with anyone and everyone he knew. Nothing made Gary happier than spending time with his family, telling stories of the past and attending the annual Mud Creek Reunion at Bob Lake.

In 1970 Gary moved to Farmington Hills and began working as a sub-contractor in the drywall business, which he continued until an injury forced him to retire. He and Lucy taught their sons the trade and carried on until they moved back to Mass City in 1994.

Gary is survived by his wife Lucy, with whom he celebrated 49 years together on March 6, 2020, their sons Shawn (Laurie) Cleland of Ironwood, Kenny (Corrie) Kaarto of Mass City, and Brian (Lisa) Kaarto also of Mass City. His biggest pride and joy were his grandchildren Destiny, Amber, Tessa, Tyler Cadence, Noah, Kayle and Ailee, and great-grandchildren Conner, Ava, Noah, Carter and Wyatt. He is also survived by his siblings, Norman Kaarto, Florence (Ron) Sandve, Jeanette Juntunen, Joyce (Donald) Liuska and Doris (Dave) Carlson, along with numerous nieces and nephews.

Gary is preceded in death by his parents, sister Marie (Kaarto) Alapert, sister in law Charlotte Kaarto, brother in law Norman Alapert, brother in law Norman Juntunen and his nephews whom he was especially close to, Gary “Nonny” Alapert, Norman “Butchie” Alapert and David “Dobs” Alapert.

A memorial to celebrate Gary’s life will be held at the Kaarto Family Home on Saturday, August 8, 2020 at 3:30pm, with Pastor Sean Brizendine officiating.

Cane Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

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