Cover photo for Gary Gavin's Obituary
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1960 Gary 2020

Gary Gavin

November 26, 1960 — October 16, 2020

St. Germain

On Friday, October 16th, 2020, Gary L Gavin, lovingly known as “Opa” to his grandkids, passed away at the age of 59 from COVID-19.

Gary was born on November 26th, 1960 in Greenfield, WI to the late Frances (Herb) and Elaine (Olson) Gavin. After graduating from Greenfield High School, and while working full time, he received his associates degree in Accounting and went on to become the Controller of the Country Springs Hotel for over 15 years. Gary found his love of living in Northwoods Wisconsin and particularly enjoyed summers on the boat, watching the dozens of deer in his yard, motorcycle rides, and the many area festivals.

He had just recently accepted a promotion to Accounting Supervisor at Lac du Flambeau Business Development Corporation and also found great joy working in the kitchen on Friday nights at Pitlik’s Sand Beach Resort.

In 1995, Gary fell in love and married Donna Marie Gavin (Rykaczewski). He became a father to her three children - Mathew, Keith, and Lauren - and loved them as his own. He eventually went on to adopt all three children. Fatherhood was one of Gary’s greatest accomplishments, and something he devoted his life to. There was nothing he wouldn’t do his for kids and he took great pride in filling his fatherly duties. From driving the kids to choir practice multiple times a week, to last-minute rescues for empty gas tanks - and always, always supporting his kid’s hopes and dreams - Gary never failed to put his children first. His daughter and son-in-law will especially miss the countless home projects he helped them to accomplish - a full basement renovation, multiple carpentry projects, tiling, replacing light fixtures, and laying hardwood floors, to name a few. He lovingly and patiently guided them through each one, teaching his craft along the way.

Gary was also an incredible “Opa” to his grandkids. The love he had for his children was only multiplied when it came to his grandchildren. He loved spending time with them, whether it was making Christmas cookies together, catching a movie at the theater, playing mini-golf, or cooking them a wonderful dinner. His love was endless and knew no limits, and his absence will be felt in all the days going forward.

He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Donna Gavin; three children, Mathew Gavin, Keith Gavin, and Lauren (Thomas) Williams; sister Diane (Jerry) Nelson; niece Amy Nelson and nephew Jeff Nelson; in-laws, James (Susan) Rykaczewski; and his grandchildren, Aiden, Wesley, Ella, Austin, Allaina, Damion and Essance. He is further survived by many aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and co-workers.

As per Gary’s wishes, and out of respect for the current health crisis, no formal services will be held. The family will notify loved ones in the future of a small gathering to celebrate his life and share the wonderful memories we have.

The family would like to express their sincerest gratitude to the staff at Aspirus Wausau Hospital for the compassionate care they provided at the end of Gary’s life.
To make sure the loved ones left behind in the wake of Gary’s loss are cared for, we humbly ask all gifts be made to The Gavin Family c/o Brainard Funeral Home, 522 Adams Street, Wausau, WI 54403. Online condolences may be shared with the family at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gary Gavin, please visit our flower store.


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