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On Monday September 15, 2020 Gary Lyle Schaben of Elk River, MN passed away at the age of 73 years while watching the sun rise with his loving family.

Gary will be dearly missed by his wife Rita (36 years) of Elk River, sons Chad (Debra) Schaben of Saint Michael, and Ben (Amanda) Schaben of San Antonio, TX, beloved grandchildren: Metabelle, Parker, and Will and Brother Edd (Diane) Schaben of LaCrosse, KS.

Gary will be greeted in heaven by many saints including his parents: Emma (Rothe) and Alva Schaben, brother John Schaben as well as Rita’s parents Winnie (Brees) and Al Friendshuh.

Among his many trades, Gary found passion while hybridizing daylilies. As a farmer and daylily genetics hobbyist, he was able to practice his problem-solving skills as an engineer and engage his creative mind as a journalist and a creative artist.

Gary was actively involved with many organizations throughout his life.  His fondest memories involved contributing to the mission of the Daylily Society of MN, the American Hemerocallis Society, the Monticello Rod and Gun Club as well as many youth baseball organizations.

Energized by connecting with nature, Gary found peace on a still lake, on a brisk fall morning usually while hunting or fishing, but also through photography. He often found joy while competing on a trap-shooting league, watching his 2 sons playing sports, hearing the stories of his grandchildren’s adventures, listening to the adventures of his many friends and sharing time in the garden with anyone who would listen to him.

A memorial service will be held Friday, September 18, 2020 at Otsego County Regional Park (15198 96th St. NE, Otsego MN 55330). Gathering welcome at 4:00 with a 5:00 service with snacks and memory sharing after the service.  The setting and dress is outdoor casual with limited seating so your own lawn chair is welcomed. The family is grateful for your presence (in body or in thought/prayer). Acknowledging the real threat of COVID-19, the family would be devastated if someone would become ill as a result of attending Gary’s funeral.  To maximize infection control, the family will be practicing social distancing and donning protective face coverings.

Memorial donations may be made in honor of Gary Schaben, to The Miracle League of Central Minnesota ( or your local food shelf.

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