Gary Kingsriter, 74, Paynesville
February 11, 1946 - December 14, 2020
Gary Kingsriter was born to George and Betsy on February 11, 1946 in St. Cloud, MN. He died December 14, 2020. Gary’s life started on the family’s century farm in Paynesville, MN. He, his brother and sister attended District 43 Country School in Zion township. He loved to tell people that he and his siblings walked one mile, uphill, every day to school…because it was true! It was a big deal when he was finally old enough to attend High School in town.
After graduating from Paynesville High School in 1964, he attended North Central Bible College. While at North Central, he and fellow student and good friend Mike Kelley found work making hot dogs at the John Morrell plant in St. Paul. Gary really enjoyed eating a good hotdog and loved to joke about how they are made. He always told people they would not eat hotdogs if they knew what was in them. He even asked Nancy for a hotdog a few days before his death.
Gary married the love of his life, Nancy Jamrosy, on Dec 27, 1965 in Milwaukee, Wi. He began in his ministry as a pastor in 1967. Gary’s first pastorate was Montevideo Assemblies of God. It had less than 25 members and not much money came in the collection plate on Sundays. It was here in this tiny church that he and his wife learned to trust God in all things. On more than one occasion the kitchen cupboards were empty and they had to pray by faith for food. And God never failed, the groceries would appear on their doorstep! As time went on, he pastored two more churches, Casino Assembly of God in Pillager, MN and Faith Assembly of God in Chisago City, MN. Gary and Nancy cherished the years spent serving these churches and still have life-long friends from their times there. Gary’s ministry continued at two Christian campgrounds, Lake Geneva Bible Camp in Alexandria, MN and Beulah Beach Christian Camp & Retreat Center in Vermillion, Ohio. He especially enjoyed his work and ministry at Lake Geneva because it was a very good fit for his young family, and even his kids could be involved and learn to serve others there on the campground. Gary’s Grandpa Albert & Grandma Lillian Kingsriter also shared this same ministry service role approximately 30 or 40 years earlier, and it meant so much to him to share in that family legacy.
One of Gary’s special giftings was his ability to minister to the sick and elderly, and root for the underdogs in life. Even as a young minister, the senior citizens in his churches and communities loved him. He was an old soul with a tender spirit for those who were suffering and he like to pray with them and encourage them. He was a man of simple faith who believed the Bible to be unequivocally true, and he loved to teach sound doctrine and the truth of Jesus. When not pastoring, he would often serve wherever needed at whatever church they were attending at the time. He served as Sunday school teacher, small group leader, Royal Rangers commander, board member, choir member or wherever he felt lead.
The family’s farm, owned by his brother, was always home in Gary’s heart, and had been a safe landing spot throughout the years. So, after Gary retired, he and Nancy returned to the family farm where he loved to ride his “buggy” (four-wheeler) and find interesting and pretty rocks that he used to say God had made just for him.
The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at Meeker Manor in Litchfield, MN for their attentive and kind care of Gary in his last years. He loved to joke and tease with each of the staff members. When the staff asked how they could help him, he would often reply with the wisecrack “I’d like a million dollars, please.”
Gary is survived by his patient and loving wife Nancy, children Albert (Gail), April (Troy), Aaron (Debra), grandkids Erica Ellis (Steven), Eric Morrell, Evan Morrell, Josh Peterson (Sidney), Jeremy Peterson, Jared Kingsriter, four Great-Grandchildren, his brothers, sisters, many nieces and nephews and extended family.
A Celebration of Life will be held Sunday, December 27 at Crystal Hills Assembly of God in Paynesville, MN. Doors open at 3:00pm and service begins at 4:00pm. Masks will be required and social distancing will be observed. The service will also be live streamed at facebook.com/CrystalHillsAssemby or youtube.com/CrystalHillsAssembly. Memorials preferred in lieu of flowers. Funeral arrangements by Daniel-Anderson Funeral Home in Paynesville, MN.