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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.


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15 Condolences

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

    Colleen, so very sorry for your loss!

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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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