Gary Dean Strasser, Sr., 72, passed away at his home in Deerbrook, Wisconsin, on the morning of Jan. 23, 2019.
Mr. Strasser was born in Antigo, Wisconsin, Feb. 15, 1946, to the late Leeland and Norma Strasser. He grew up on a farm north of Antigo and lived there with his parents, brother, and two sisters until he was 9 years old.
Then his father, Lee, got a job on the railroad as an engine conductor, which moved the family to Cicero. Mr. Strasser met his wife, Carol, in high school, while he attended Morton West in Berwyn and she attended Morton East in Cicero. They married in 1967 and lived in Stickney and Brookfield before moving to Antigo.
Mr. Strasser grew to love hunting, fishing, and shooting as a young boy on the farm, which eventually led him to build a career out of a sport he was so passionate about. He first worked as a computer software analyst at Western Electric and then studied criminal justice at Northwestern University, which led to a career in law enforcement.
In 1969, he was hired as a patrolman in Stickney before moving on in 1973 to Riverside, where he was promoted to sergeant in 1979.
In 1980, Gary and Carol Strasser took his love for hunting to another level, starting Northwoods Adventures, a travel agency just for hunting and fishing.
The business took Mr. Strasser from Alaska to Mongolia and Africa, hunting with his son Gary Jr., and meeting some of his most treasured friends. He also helped hunting enthusiasts create many Safari International chapters throughout the world.
In 1995, Mr. Strasser retired from the police force and moved to Deerbrook, where he continued to manage Northwoods as president with Carol as the vice president.
He also served as director of the Northeast Zone Trap Club, and was one of the founding members who established the shooting range in Antigo. He attended the annual state shoot in Rome, Wisconsin, every year, and even won an award last year right after having heart valve replacement surgery.
Mr. Strasser is survived by his wife, Carol (nee Miller); his daughter, Susan (Rob) Ewing; his granddaughters, Kylie and Savannah Strasser and Ava; his brother-in-law, Ernie (Judy) Miller; his sisters Judy (Larry) Smykal, and Bari (George) Rezebek; his daughter-in-law Julie Strasser; nephews Jeff (Patty) Smykal, Tim (Susan) Smykal, Adam (Emily) Miller, and Steven Miller; his nieces Debbie Smykal, and Sandra (Nate) Lineman; and many great nieces and great nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Leeland and Norma Strasser of Antigo; his brother, Daniel Strasser; his son, Gary Jr.; and his parents-in-law, Ernest and Eleanor Miller.
Services have been held. Interment was at Woodlawn Cemetery in Forest Park.
Arrangements were handled by Strasser-Roller Funeral Home in Antigo, Wisconsin.