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Gary Ryhti 1952 – 2023

Gary Harlen Ryhti of Menahga, MN passed away peacefully, holding the hand of his “Angel” Mary, at home on Friday, May 26, 2023 at the age of 70. He was born September 29, 1952, to Oiva and Arleen Ryhti in Grand Rapids. He grew up in Calumet and Pengilly – many of those years on Swan Lake. Following graduation from Greenway High School, he worked at National Steel Corporation in the 1980s as a heavy equipment operator in the pit and several other seasonal jobs allowing for lots of time for his favorite hobbies of trapping, hunting, and fishing, which were his passion and life. He was a Lifetime Member of the Minnesota Trappers Association. No one could remember or tell and retell stories better than Gary.
Gary served in the Army on Okinawa as a Military Policeman from July 1972 through July 1974. When hundreds of employees lost their mining jobs and the mine shut down during the Ronald Reagan recession Gary decided to further his education at Bemidji State University. He obtained a degree in Law Enforcement and was hired as a Police Officer in Menahga in the late 1980s. In 1998 he became Chief. Retiring in 2009, he commented that he would miss the daily interaction with community members. But, there were critters to trap with trapping partners, trapping conventions to attend, fishing with friends or Mary, deer, small game, and waterfowl hunting, camping, and more time for reading, relaxing, and listening to favorite songs.
In the spring of 1992, Gary met the love of his life, Mary. They were married on June 26, 1993. It was a package deal with five children whom Gary embraced lovingly. Together they built a life they loved. Everyone who knew Gary knew he was the most loving husband, sibling, father figure, Grandpa, and son a family could ever ask for. Truly, one of a kind.
Gary is survived by his wife, Mary (Burgess Carlson); the children he always referenced as “my children” Jessica (Karth) Carlson, Jamie (Brandon) Boyle, Joy (Wade) Fredrickson, Josie (John) Williamson, and Jordan (Stephani) Carlson; grandchildren: McKenna, Nora, Brogan, and Rory, Hailey, Beckham, Crosby, and Landry, Haddy, Linden, and Jenks, and Ellery, brother John (Jane) Ryhti; niece Tara (Chris) Brown; nephew Jeff (LeaAnn) Ryhti; cousins: Kathryn Will, Roger Will, and Bruce Ryhti, and many other caring family and friends.
Family, friends, Blue Line Family, and neighbors will miss him. The family thanks everyone for their support, prayers, and the time spent with Gary before his passing.
Thanks to Sandford Kidney Dialysis Doctors and Nurses, Knute Nelson Home Care and Hospice Care Nurses, Physical and Occupational Therapists for their compassionate care and support.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made to the Menahga Get Hooked on Fishing Program.
There is no Memorial Service planned at this time.
Arrangements are entrusted to Wevley Funeral Home of Sebeka. Online condolences may be left at

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