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FIshing 12

Gary Wayne Klessig

December 26, 1950 ~ June 6, 2019 (age 68)

Gary Wayne Klessig, 68, of Mellette, SD, died Thursday, June 6, 2019. He was doing what he loved; fishing on Twin Lakes at Tulare, SD, with his dog Ziggy by his side, when he peacefully passed away.  His memorial service will be 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, at Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ in Aberdeen, SD.  Pastor Jon Damaska will officiate.  Inurnment will take place at a later date at St. Peter’s Cemetery in New Richland, MN where he will be laid to rest beside his parents. 

Visitation will be one hour prior to the service, from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m., at the church.  Arrangements have been entrusted to Hyke Funeral Home in Redfield, SD (

Gary Wayne Klessig was born December 26, 1950, in Owatonna, MN to Francis “Frank” and Nancy (Broscoff) Klessig.  He attended country school in rural Owatonna before graduating from Owatonna High School.  He then attended trade school for two years to become a certified gunsmith and engraver.  With his brother already with the U.S. Army in Vietnam, Gary served his country with the U. S. National Guard until his honorable discharge.

Twenty-three years ago, Gary met Fran Ness and they had been together since that first date.  Gary struggled for years with health problems and Fran was always at his side.  After he received a heart transplant, Gary never hesitated to help others transition through the many stages of these life-saving operations. 

Besides his passion for engraving guns, he was also passionate about fishing and hunting but also enjoyed drawing.  He was a quiet man who was friendly and very hard working. 

Gary is survived by his most significant other, Fran Ness of Mellette, SD; sons: Corey (Miriam) Klessig of Dallas, TX; Nate Klessig of Virginia; and Justin Klessig of Illinois; grandson Alec Klessig of Dallas, TX; and brother Gene Klessig of Waterville, MN.  He is also survived by several cousins. 

He is preceded in death by his parents; sister-in-law Nita Klessig; and several aunts and uncles. 



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