Gary Laurence Paulsen, 82, of Mason City, passed away on Saturday, September 23, 2023, at MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center.
A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 30, 2023, at Wesley United Methodist Church, 1405 S Pennsylvania Ave. with Pastor Nadine Ilunga officiating. The family requests that those attending the funeral dress in casual clothing.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday, September 29, 2023, at Major Erickson Funeral Home, 111 N Pennsylvania Ave. Interment will be held in Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery.
Memorials may be directed to Wesley United Methodist Church or the North Iowa Humane Society, 2700 S Birch Dr, Mason City.
Gary was born on July 6, 1941, in Hampton, Iowa, to Laurence and Ilona (Maassen) Paulsen, the oldest of three children. He grew up on the family farm south of Mason City, where he lived and worked up to 2022. He always said that he started farming shortly after birth, doing the milking in his first year. He attended country school until the age of 14, when he went to Roosevelt Jr. High. He graduated from Mason City High School in 1959. In November 1966, a friend introduced him to Sandra TeKippe. They married on August 6, 1967, and had four children.
GP loved food, gadgets, John Deere tractors, country music (the old kind; not the new stuff), NASCAR racing, birding, watching traffic on the Avenue (especially the “blue light specials”), and trains. His dream was to win the lottery so he could buy his own train and drive it all around the USA. He enjoyed chatting with folks and made friends wherever he went. If you weren’t friends when he met you, you sure would be when you parted ways. He was a master joke teller and joke collector—most of which aren’t fit for print—and had a laugh that the neighbors could hear a mile away. Fall was his favorite time of year because he could spend his days driving his big John Deere tractor around getting the crops out.
GP is survived by his wife of more than 56 years, Sandy; children, Stephannie Paulsen; Jennifer Thorson (Neil) and their son Nebraska (Madison); Stephen Paulsen and his children Addison, Cooper, and Maddox; and Brian Paulsen (Audra) and their children, Maverick and Abigail Paulsen, Nick Hinton, and Logan Campbell; cat, Betsy; sister-in-law, Mary Paulsen; brother-in-law, Burton TeKippe, Jr. (Barb); brother-in-law, Michael TeKippe (Vicky); and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his father, Laurence; mother, Ilona; brother, John; sister, Janet Carlson; father- and mother-in-law, Bud and Dorothy TeKippe; and grandparents.