Michael “Mike” Kelly Garrity, 80, St. Cloud
September 1, 1942 - February 22, 2023
Michael "Mike" Kelly Garrity, age 80, of St. Cloud, MN died Wednesday, February 22 at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis, MN.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, March 2, 2023 at 11:00 AM at Christ Church Newman Center, St. Cloud, MN. Visitation will be Wednesday, March 1, 2023 from 4:00 to 8:00 PM at Benson Funeral Home, St. Cloud, MN and one hour prior to the service at Christ Church Newman Center on Thursday, March 2. Burial will be in Assumption Cemetery, St. Cloud, MN.
Mike was born September 1, 1942, in Austin, MN, to George and Marie (Kelly) Garrity. He married Judith “Judy” Ann Weber on June 26, 1965, in Sauk Centre, MN. Judy died on August 26, 1984. Mike married Sandra “Sandy” Lee Olson on May 31, 1985, at the Christ Church Newman Center, St. Cloud, MN. Sandy died on October 5, 2014. Mike married Sandra “Sandy” Lynn Peck on January 2, 2016, at Christ Church Newman Center, St. Cloud, MN.
Mike enjoyed traveling and experiencing new places. From trips to Denmark with Judy and the kids, an African safari with Sandy Lee, or a week of jazz at the Montreal Jazz Festival with Sandy Lynn, he always had fond memories of his travel adventures (except for the airports). His other passions included jogging and running Grandma’s Marathon for his 40th birthday, his love of eccentric music and playing it on the piano as a forever student, biking, hosting St. Patrick's Day parties, studying science, and spending time with family. He greatly enjoyed playing and winning games with friends and family. Card games such as cribbage, bridge, and Euchre were among his favorites along with Scrabble and other board games. Mike was adventurous in the kitchen and loved to cook for friends and family. Some of his signature dishes included spaghetti, spicy chili (if it doesn't make you sweat or cry, it's not hot enough), jambalaya, garlic gut-bomb, egg drop ramen noodle soup and last, but not least, the best homemade malts you can imagine.
Mike’s spirituality and faith were both meaningful and essential to his life. Being raised in a devout Catholic family, he rarely missed Sunday Mass. Upon moving to St. Cloud, he became a member of The Christ Church Newman Center which remained a significant and invaluable part of his life for over half a century.
He attended Queen of Angels Grade School and Pacelli High School in Austin, MN, and graduated in 1960. He then attended undergraduate school at St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN, from 1960-1964, receiving bachelor’s degrees in both physics and mathematics. He attended graduate school at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ, from 1964-1968 where he received his PhD in Theoretical Physics. In the early ’80’s, he completed a post-doctoral residency at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities in Minneapolis, MN, in Medical Physics. He was triple certified by the American Board of Radiology in radiation therapy, diagnostic, and nuclear medical physics.
His career consisted of teaching physics and astronomy at St. Cloud State University. He also was a successful and proud business owner of North Central Physics and Dosimetry, a medical physics and dosimetry consulting company. In addition, he was a medical physicist from 1981-2002 and conducted eye movement research with NASA to reduce nausea while in space. Other academic endeavors included exploring astronomical observatories in Hawaii, teaching in Denmark for a semester, guest speaking in China, and visiting Harvard, Stanford, and Yale.
Mike and Sandy Lynn left their beautiful home on the Mississippi five months ago to move into Senior Living with Mike’s beloved parrot, Chico, his tortoise, Methuselah, and their dog, Sunshine.
Survivors include his wife, Sandra “Sandy” Lynn Peck-Garrity of St. Cloud, MN; children, Patricia (Tony) Osborn of St. Augusta, MN; Rick Behr of Rockford, MN; Nolan Garrity of Sartell, MN; Gwen (Dave) Tetzloff of St. Cloud, MN; Brenden (Melissa) Garrity of Plymouth, MN; Kelly Garrity (Ghassan) of Irvine, CA; Shannon (Ryan) Mahoney of Albertville, MN; Jonathan Garrity of St. Cloud, MN; Robert Garrity (life partner Dina) of San Diego, CA; step children, Jocelyn (Atul) Subberwal of Frisco, Colorado and Philip (Angela) Krause of Springfield, MO; grandchildren, Morgan Tetzloff (fiancé Hunter Johnson), Ryan Tetzloff, Ivy Garrity, Jude Garrity, Charlie Rehbein, Mars Rehbein, Micah Mahoney; step grandchildren, Kaeli Subberwal, Priya Subberwal, Bailey Krause, Curtiss Krause; sister, Mary (Doug) Logeland of Minneapolis, MN; and best friend, Tom Allen of Sartell, MN.
He was preceded in death by parents, George and Marie Garrity; 1st wife, Judith “Judy” Ann Garrity on August 26, 1984; and 2nd wife, Sandra “Sandy” Lee Garrity, on October 5, 2014.
The family would like to thank the staff at Abbott Northwestern Hospital and especially his nursing assistant, Katie.
Memorials are preferred to Alzheimer’s Association, Catholic Charities, Clearwater Lions Club, or St. Cloud State Science Department.
Mike will be missed by his family and by his many friends and associates who knew and loved him.
In honor of Mike’s love of Ireland and all things Irish, please wear something green, whether it’s a pin or a full blown suit, to the wake and funeral.