Gary Christian, 1955-2017

Published 1:00 am Saturday, May 13, 2017

Funeral services for Gary R. Christian, 61, of Albert Lea will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Salem Lutheran Church. The Rev. Elizabeth Endicott will officiate. Interment will be at Hillcrest Cemetery at a later date. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday at Bayview/Freeborn Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service at the church on Tuesday. Online condolences are welcome at

Gary died Wednesday, May 10, 2017, at Mayo Clinic Hospital Methodist Campus in Rochester.

Gary “Colorado” Robert Christian was born May 31, 1955, in Albert Lea, the son of Robert and Florence (Renchin) Christian. As a young child his family moved to Colorado, where he grew up and graduated high school. In 1978, he returned to Albert Lea and worked at Wilson & Co.

Gary Christian

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While working there, he met Linda Hacker. They were married Oct. 15, 1988. When Wilson & Co. closed, Gary went to the VoTech for automotive repair. He worked as a mechanic for a Chevy dealer and later a Ford dealer.

After a work accident, Gary worked several other jobs, most recently at Karl’s Carquest until his illness in February. He was a member at Salem Lutheran Church. Gary enjoyed working on cars, delivering groceries in the community, baking — especially his banana bread, NASCAR, fishing, spending time at the lake and playing dartball. He was an all-around handyman, always helping anyone who asked. Gary enjoyed spending time with family and friends, especially his little peach (granddaughter).

Gary is survived by his wife, Linda; daughter, Meaghan (Juan) Cazares-Gonzalez; son, Jamie Becker; grandchildren Leiden, Lane and Colt; siblings Daniel (Diane) Christian, Diane Ballard and Darlene Garduño-Gilby; mother, Florence Christian; and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.

Gary was preceded in death by his grandparents; father, Robert Christian; sister, Gayle (Doug Sydall) Lyon; brother-in-law, James Ballard; sister-in-law, Ann Serrano; mother- and father-in-law Mary and Robert Hacker; and grandnephew, Aric Ballard.