Dr. Gary B. Blodgett, 83, of Clear Lake, died on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, at the Good Shepherd Health Center.
A celebration of life will be held from 4:30 to 7:30 on Friday, July 16, 2021, at the Historic Park Inn, 7 W State Street.
Memorials can be directed to the Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank, 122 S Adams Ave, Mason City, IA 50401, the Alzheimer’s Association, or any charitable entity of your choice.
Gary Burl Blodgett was born in Pleasantville (Marion County) Iowa, on Oct. 17, 1937. He graduated in 1955 from Pleasantville High School and then attended Central College in Pella, Iowa for a semester. In early 1956, he travelled to Florida to attend a prospects camp and was offered a contract with a low minor league baseball team affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, but chose to return to Iowa. On June 29, 1956, he married the love of his life, Sandra ‘Sandy’ Hodgson. Upon completing his undergraduate studies, he entered the University of Iowa Dental School in the Fall of 1958
Blodgett joined the Mason City orthodontic practice of Dr. Lowell T. Oldham in 1967 and was later joined in that practice by Dr. Tom Johnston and Dr. Judy Demro. Blodgett practiced orthodontics until 1992, when he was elected to the Iowa House of Representatives. In 2001 he was appointed by President Bush in 2001 to serve as a Federal Judge with jurisdiction over the Provider Review Reimbursement Board and retired in 2007 to Clear Lake.
Known for his dry sense of humor, Blodgett once told President George W. Bush that he had “served two years in a Texas prison, in the early 1960s.” Pausing for effect as the President was taken aback, Blodgett then explained that those two years represented his service as the general dentist of La Tuna Federal Correctional Facility, in El Paso, Texas.
He was a 66-year member of the Masonic Lodge (#128 – Pleasantville, Iowa) and, for decades, of Mason City’s First Presbyterian church. From 1968 to the early 2000s, he generously supported many charitable organizations and gave his time as well serving as the coach of a little league baseball team in Mason City for three years. He was elected as president of the Iowa Orthodontic Association in 1971 and, in the 1990s, served as a member of the American Dental Association’s Political Advisory Board. In 2007 he was honored as the University of Iowa Dental School’s Distinguished Alumni of the Year award.
While serving in federal and state office, Blodgett frequently observed that “successful private sector experience, prior to serving in elective or appointive capacities, is essential to public service.” He disdained career politicians who, prior to entering government, “hadn’t met payrolls or created real-world jobs.”
He is survived by his wife of nearly 65 years, Sandy; sons Todd and Troy Blodgett; his daughter, Suzette Blodgett-Clark, daughter-in-law Brenda Blodgett, and six grandchildren. Dr. Blodgett’s sister, Sharon Sinnard, of Davenport, also survives him.
Gary Blodgett was preceded in death were his parents and a sister.