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Gary J. Hanvelt

Gary J. Hanvelt

Gary J. Hanvelt age 73, of River Falls, died Monday November 21, 2022, at his home in River Falls.

Gary was born January 15, 1949, in Plum City.  He was the son of Lyman and Audrey (Crain) Hanvelt and grew up in the Rock Elm area of Elmwood.  Gary graduated from Elmwood High School in 1967.  Gary married his high school sweetheart, Bonnie Fritz on February 8, 1969, at the Elmwood United Methodist Church, in Elmwood.  Gary attended Chippewa Valley Technical School in Eau Claire for auto mechanics and became a GM Certified Mechanic.  After marriage they moved to River Falls where they made their home.  Gary worked as an auto mechanic for Moodys Chevrolet in River Falls for approximately 15 years.  Gary then went to work for Andersen Windows in Bayport, MN, until he retired in 2007.

Gary loved traveling with Bonnie to car shows with his National Points Car which he restored, a 1970 Chevy Chevelle SS.  He enjoyed working on anything mechanical.  If Gary couldn’t fix it, it wasn’t broken. He was a proud stockholder of the Green Bay Packers. Gary loved to spend time with his family and friends, especially his grandchildren

Gary is survived by his daughter, Kristi (Joe) Sharon of River Falls; three grandchildren, Ryan, River and Kane; two brothers, John (Dorothy) of Frederic and James (Dianna) of Pomona, MO; nieces, nephews other relatives and friends.

He is preceded in death by is parents, his wife Bonnie in 2019.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Gary’s birthday, from 2:00 to 5:00 PM Sunday, January15, 2022, at the Rhiel Funeral Home in Elmwood.



  1. Rick Yanke

    I'm sorry to hear of your passing, Gary. I was just preparing to send you a copy of our wrestling team poster, with your Grey Ghost truck in it. Family members, feel free to contact me via my email address supplied to the funeral home via this message board. I would love to have your address(es) and send a copy.

  2. William H Couch

    I knew Gary from Andersen Windows and periodically we'd run into one another at the grocery store. We had mutual friends and would always enjoy visiting with one another. I'll miss our chance encounters for sure. R.I.P. Gary.

  3. Wanda Gibson Traynor

    Lived next to Gary my grade and high school years. He and twin brothers came often to play with my brother, Don. My sympathy to the family

  4. Lawrence Waters

    Remember Gary from Andersen's and the River Falls recycling center. Great guy! Always a smile.
    Larry and Mary Waters

  5. George & Audrey Matzek

    So sorry to hear of Gary's passing. We always saw Gary with a laughing smile and a good story to tell. He will be greatly missed.

  6. Joe Robelia

    So very sorry to hear of Gary's passing, so many fond memories

  7. Rchard Bates

    I remember Gary well from High School. Good man. He will be missed at our class reunions. My sympathy to the family. Dick

  8. Teresa and Mike Davis

    Kristi, Joe, John and families,
    Oh how we cried when John called us to share of Gary's passing. We absolutely adored Gary and relished all of the visits of "coming home" and hearing all about how our farm was in years past. Gary was just an awesome guy and we are so blessed to have called him a friend. We are so glad he was able to visit his childhood home a bunch these last few years. We will dearly miss him and all his antics and stories. He was one of a kind and an absolute angel!! All our hugs and peace to you during this impossibly difficult time. Teresa and Mike Davis

  9. Judi M Stuart

    This is very sad to hear. I have known Gary my whole life. My deepest sympathy to his family. He is now with his beloved Bonnie.

    Judi Stuart

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