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Gary Michael Klingler, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Grand Valley University, was welcomed into Heaven on Friday, August 14, 2020, surrounded by Colleen and his six children.

Gary was born May 13, 1948 in Detroit, Michigan, son of Ira and Virginia (Ryan) Klingler. He was united in marriage 52 years ago to Colleen (Kordecki) Klingler. Together Gary and Colleen raised six children and loved ten grandchildren.

Gary graduated from Allen Park High School in 1966.  Gary received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Michigan State University, then his Master of Mathematics Degree from Northern Michigan University, and finally concluded with his PhD from Michigan State University.  He had a career as an educator for 45 years and a basketball coach.

His teaching career included stops in Petoskey, Michigan (St. Francis), Clarion State University in Pennsylvania, University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, Michigan Tech University in Houghton, Michigan, and finally Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan.  Gary was a life long educator and learner.

Gary was a loving husband, father, grandfather, friend and one of the best Professors.  His motto was – An Educated man is one who knows the one who knows all things “Jesus Christ”.  Gary was also a graduate of the Lay Ministry program from the Diocese of LaCrosse, Wisconsin.  Gary was a beloved and dedicated member of the Catholic Church.  He loved the Lord and prayed constantly especially for those in need and was a big advocate for social justice.  Gary’s passion was serving the Lord and his family.  He took great joy in all six of his children and their spouses and all the grandkids.

Gary loved writing, reading and singing in church or anywhere.  He loved being Santa at Christmas time and sharing the joy of the true meaning of Christmas.  Whether it was children or adults they loved seeing Santa out and about almost as much as Gary himself enjoyed it.  “Gray hair is a crown of glory it is gained in a righteous life” Proverbs 16:3.

Gary is survived by Colleen; his children, Jennifer (Jerry) Pray of Bartlett, Illinois,  Jason (Cindy) Klingler of Traverse City, Michigan, Hope (Aaron) Haase of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Ryan Klingler, Ross Klingler, and Gary Klingler, all of Holland, Michigan;  ten grandchildren April, Taylor, Autumn, Jordan, Tobias, Drew, Gina, Aspen, Mason, and Miles;  a sister, Janet (Steve) Clapp; and many more family and friends who loved him.

Many thanks to the doctors and nurses at Spectrum Health-Butterworth Hospital for doing everything in their power to save Gary’s life…  ultimately God wanted him in Heaven.  Gary taught many people the value of daily prayer and the importance of appreciating your family.  “As for me and my family we will serve the Lord” Joshua 24:15

The Mass of Christian Burial to celebrate Gary’s life and thank God for blessing us all with his presence will be at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, August 21, 2020 at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, 171 W 13th Street, Holland, Michigan, where visitation with the family is from 12:00 noon until Mass.  Masks are required.  If you are unable to attend the Mass, it will be live streamed at

“The Lord giveth and the Lord takes away, Blessed be the name of the Lord” Job1:21.

Christ has Risen…He has Risen indeed!

To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Gary’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:  Cremation arrangements are entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids, (616) 452-3006.


Let the family know you care by sharing this tribute.


  1. Sandy Forester Bloem on August 17, 2020 at 9:18 pm

    I’m so sorry you lost your precious husband but he is in heaven with his loved ones. You sure had a great life together and raised some awesome children. You will have lots of great memories to cherish. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
    Sandy Bloem

  2. Tish Fackler on August 17, 2020 at 9:26 pm

    I will miss my dear friend so much!! I cherished him as my math professor and then as my colleague for many years. He was a true gift to all who knew him. Most of all, he shared the love of Jesus wherever he went. I still smile when I think of his rather “busy” office with the Jesus sign sitting on a shelf. Rest In Peace, my friend!

  3. Cherie Hall on August 17, 2020 at 9:29 pm

    Colleen and children,
    My deepest condolences during this period of grief. Bless you all!
    Mom’s friend

  4. Vivian and Dino DeMartino on August 17, 2020 at 9:39 pm

    Gary was one of the kindest, most sincere people I’ve had the privilege to know. We are so sorry for the loss of your husband, father, grandfather. He had a positive impact on most everyone in his life and will always be kindly remembered.
    Hugs to you my friend Colleen.

    VivIan and Dino DeMartino

  5. Mary Ann Scofield on August 17, 2020 at 9:45 pm

    Sorry about the passing of your husband, Gary. Sympathy and Prayers to you and your Family. Also, God’s Blessings to all of you.

  6. Tom and Sandee Dusbiber on August 17, 2020 at 9:54 pm

    Gary, I will truly miss chatting with you and Colleen, and read your beautiful prayers you would send me when I was dealing with issues of my Mom with dementia.
    I know how you, Colleen, Tom and me would worried about our country, and we could not understand how many of our friends did not value our friendship but stood by Trump ‘s politics and how they believed Trump was such a good man for our country.
    You would say it’s okay don’t mind them, God will show them the way that they deserve.
    I remember how you prepared me, and said your doctor had said to you and Colleen that you will not be able to be on the donor list for a kidney… and you accepted what the doctor said. You knew you were in the best hands now and it was God’s loving hands.

    So many of our Allen Park Friends said so many nice things about YOU on the FB page and many were so sad to hear that you left us. I promise YOU ..Tom and I will keep an eye on Colleen and your beautiful family.Right now I think your family is holding on to each other, because you taught them to be strong and they know God is with them even on sad days. I have this feeling Colleen will be treated like a PRINCES, and smothered with so much LOVE and CARE by each one of your family members.

    Please rest in PEACE , and I know God has so many AWESOME PLANS FOR YOU! Today there were so many beautiful clouds out and I had this feeling you were sitting on a big fluffing cloud watching your family, and you were so PROUD of each one of them. Colleen will have her days missing you but I know the LOVE YOU TWO HAD , and the many BEAUTIFUL MEMORIES YOU TWO had ….will last forever in her heart until it’s time for her to sit on that fluffy cloud with you when God needs her.

    It was an such an honor for Tom and I to call you are Friend! Now that you have those beautiful Angel wings maybe you can whisper in Trump’s ear to start telling the truth to us

  7. Marilyn Garvin on August 18, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    Dear Colleen, Jennifer, Jason, Hope, Ross, Ryan and Gary – My heart goes out to all of you at this time. I remember Gary as a kind, generous and loving person from the days you lived in Steven Point. He and Colleen inspired me to have a deeper faith as I was always amazed at theirs. You are all in my thoughts and prayers and I will try to attend the Mass virtually if at all possible. Blessings and hugs.

  8. Patricia and Randy Brooks on August 18, 2020 at 4:14 pm

    So terribly sorry for the passing of your best friend, Colleen and for a dad who we are sure truly loved every single one of you kiddos.. As for the Grandkiddos, know that you were all so very special to him and he loved you all to the noon and back. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with ALL of you at this very difficult time. Hold tight to the wonderful memories that we are sure you all have and one day, some way, some how allow those memories to bring a smile…
    Much Love,

  9. Vic Indre on August 19, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    I will always remember the theme song from your wedding, by the Beatles— Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64. Yes, you two would have, until you were 104 . Everlasting love , in your case. Sincere condolences from Vic and Debbie Indre.

  10. douglas beadle on August 20, 2020 at 10:16 am

    Gary was a great friend. We loved to golf together and both had the ability to laugh at ourselves and each other. We weren’t great golfers but we sure had fun. I will surely miss my friend.

  11. Diana Patch on August 21, 2020 at 10:55 am

    Colleen, so very sorry for your loss!

  12. Monica Sawyn on August 22, 2020 at 11:28 pm

    The closest I came to meeting Gary was waving to him from the Badger, but Colleen and I were classmates. I know it was a tough fight, Colleen, but he’s home at last. Prayers for you, Gary and the family.

  13. Kevin & Susie Hayes on August 23, 2020 at 9:41 am

    Jason and Cindy,
    Sending Love and Support to y’all and family at this time of grief. Holding ya’ll in our hearts. 💕Kevin & Susie Hayes

  14. Gregg and Kathy Hansel on August 24, 2020 at 1:20 pm


    We just read about Gary’s passing. We are very sorry to hear that. We will keep you in our prayers. We have many good memories of you and your family.

    God’s Peace.

    Gregg and Kathy Hansel

  15. Sister Diana on August 25, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    Peace to Colleen, Jennifer and all the family!
    Gary was such a wonderful man. He truly lived his faith and was so generous. He taught his much by his life!
    His love for his family was so obvious! I am blessed for having known him!
    Know of my prayers for all of you!

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