Dr. Gary Michael DeLoia, 66, died on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, in Duluth, from complications of leukemia.
A resident of Duluth for most of his life, Gary was raised near Pike Lake by parents Joe and Lorraine DeLoia. He graduated from Proctor High School in 1963, and from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry in 1969.
Gary was a patriotic person, and joined the United States Army stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, and the Republic of Vietnam. After military service, he established a dental practice in Duluth with Dr. Robert Ryan, and later became an associate at Lake Superior Dental. He practiced dentistry for 42 years and was an advocate for continuing dental education and preventative dentistry.
Gary lived with an innate sense of empathy for those less fortunate in his community and in other parts of the world. He had a strong desire for volunteerism, which included dental missions within Vietnam, and later missions in Israel, St. Vincent, and Cambodia.
A parishioner of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary since 1972, Gary was a member of the Holy Rosary School Board, also serving as chairman for one year. He served on the boards of Port Area Catholic Education, and St. Mary's Hospital. He was also a member of the American Dental Association, the Minnesota Dental Association, and the Northeastern District Dental Society.
Gary had many hobbies, and most were centered around the outdoors. He cherished the times shared with his dogs. He also enjoyed enhancing the natural beauty of his surroundings.
Self-described as a Catholic American father, Gary was most proud of his family, his faith, and his military service. He also took pride in his work, and fully appreciated the many wonderful friendships he made with his patients and coworkers. He was amazed by the outpouring of kindness bestowed upon him throughout his illness, and was immensely appreciative of the care he received from so many exceptional doctors and caregivers. Most of all, he was grateful to have been able to confront his illness in an honest and accepting way with the loving support of his wife, Linda. Together they shared a full and beautiful life.
Gary is survived by his wife of 44 years, Linda (Laase) DeLoia; parents Joseph and Lorraine DeLoia; in-laws John and Myrtle Laase; daughters Allison (Timothy) Johanson and Kimber DeLoia; son Matthew (Jennifer) DeLoia; grandchildren Adelaide, August, Erik, and Tomas Johanson, and Giselle and Glenn DeLoia; brothers Thomas (Gail) DeLoia and Jeffrey (Karen) DeLoia; sisters Halene (Paul) von Wiegandt and Betsy (Steven) Godmare, and his nieces and nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, and many friends who enriched his life immeasurably.
VISITATION: 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, in Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, 2801 E. 4th St., Duluth. Funeral Mass 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 19, in Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church. Burial Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 1 p.m. at Fort Snelling National Cemetery, 7601 34th Ave South, Minneapolis.
Memorials preferred to Holy Rosary Catholic School, 2802 E. 4th St., Duluth, MN 55812 or Solvay Hospice House, 801 Baylis St., Duluth, MN 55811.
Arrangements by Dougherty Funeral Home, 600 E 2nd St. (218) 727-3555.