WAUWATOSA, Wis. — Conrad “Gary” Franklin Gaarenstroom, age 92, died peacefully Sunday, May 6, 2018 at his home. Memorial services will be held at St. Camillus retirement community in Wauwatosa, Wis.
Becker-Ritter Funeral Home of Brookfield, Wis., is handling arrangements for the service.
Gary was born July 26, 1925, in Fairmont, Minn., to Edna and Christian Gaarenstroom. In 1944/45, he served as a U.S. Army infantryman in WWII. He was wounded, captured and held in a German prison camp until his escape in 1945. He was the recipient of several medals, including the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.
Gary married Beverly Peterson of Minneapolis in 1948.
After graduating from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1949, he returned to his native Fairmont to form the law practice of Gaarenstroom and Gaarenstroom with his father. He served as County Attorney of Martin County, Minn., for two terms from 1958 to 1966. Conrad was elected to the office of Judge of the County Court in 1968, in which capacity he served for 21 years until his retirement in 1989.
He and Beverly retired to Sanford, N.C., and eventually moved to Haines City, Fla. In 2001, they moved into St. Camillus Independent Living in Wauwatosa.
Conrad was a member of Greenfield Park Lutheran Church in West Allis, Wis.
Gary is affectionately remembered for his shrewd card-playing ability, particularly at bridge. He described his golf game as “just passable,” which he enjoyed all the same. His quick-witted sense of humor, often self-deprecating, and his great humility are traits that endeared him to many. He will surely be missed by all who knew him.
Gary is survived by two sons: twins, Stephen (Nancy) of Warren, Mich., and Phillip (Nancy) of Charleston, W. Va.; daughter, Carol Klassen (Ronald) of Elm Grove, Wis.; 11 grandchildren, Dale, Amy, Amanda (Stephen Harris) and Eric Gaarenstroom, Daniel (Melissa), Richard, Benjamin, Alexander, Bridget, Elizabeth, and Matthew Klassen; four great-grandchildren.
His wife, Beverly, preceded him into the next life in 2014.
Memorials may be given to The St. Camillus Foundation – https://stcam.com – or The Stars & Stripes Honor Flight – www.starsandstripeshonorflight.org