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Gaylyn Odean Wigen

Gaylyn Odean Wigen, age 60, of Hutchinson, died unexpectedly Sunday, Aug. 10, 2008, at Hutchinson Area Health Care in Hutchinson.

He was born Nov. 13, 1947, in Mora, the son of Maynard and Helen (Brandt) Wigen. The family moved to rural Litchfield, where they lived and farmed, together with Gaylyn’s grandfather, Elmer Wigen, and uncle, Marlow Wigen.

After the death of Gaylyn’s father, Maynard, Helen and her three young children moved into Litchfield, to run a neighborhood grocery store where Gaylyn always helped out.

Gaylyn attended a little country school near Litchfield through eighth grade, and graduated from Litchfield High School in 1965.

Most of Gaylyn’s adult life was spent residing in rural Dassel, with Jacque Wigen, and most recently in Hutchinson, with his life partner, Rhonda Burge.

Gaylyn was employed shortly with the Hutchinson Leader and most recently with Heartland Community Action Agency in Hutchinson, as a housing inspector, where he was able to meet many wonderful people covering several counties.

Gaylyn will always be remembered for his kind, loving manner. He was loved by many, always smiling, and he made many calls to wish a happy birthday. His family always came first. He had a wonderful sense of humor, and always had a joke or story to share or a “trick” to plan.

His most joyous time was spent playing music with friends; he played many different instruments and also sang. Gaylyn loved to tell the story of the start of his music interest, when his mother took him several places as a youngster to perform by singing and/or playing his accordion.

He enjoyed many years of playing tournament horseshoes, bowling, golfing, and especially loved playing pool and cards with friends and family.

Gaylyn was a special uncle to all his nieces and his nephew, Rhonda’s grandson, and a joy to all the kids he played with.

He was able to spend his last day having a joyous time at a family wedding enjoying his family, music, and dancing, all his favorite things. Gaylyn is now “Home” in the arms of his welcoming dad and singing with the angels.

He will be sadly missed by his surviving partner, Rhonda Burge of Hutchinson; parents, Harold and Helen Mattson of Dassel; sisters Calla Beal of Minnetonka, and her children, Lindsey and Christopher; and Darla Nass and husband, Loren of Dassel, and their children, Alissa and Taylor; stepbrothers Del Mattson and wife, Suzanne of Union, Mo., and their son Erick; and Gordy Mattson and wife, Corrine of Minneapolis, and their children, Steffanie and Scott; and stepsister Sharon Asplin and husband, Todd of Dassel and their children, Ryan and Katie;

He is further survived by extended family, Rhonda’s sons, Brent Burge and friend, David Aman and grandson Nate, and Ryan Burge and wife, Bryn and baby; Rhonda’s brothers, Ron Ranzau and wife, Carol, and Roger Ranzau and wife, Pat; Rhonda’s sister, Roz Powers and husband, Fred; former father-in-law Morris Iverson and his family; former brother-in-law, Troy Iverson (Gaylyn’s “brother”); and lifetime friend and “brother” Wendell Mathews.

In addition to his father, Maynard, Gaylyn was preceded in death by his grandparents, John and Lena Brandt, and Elmer and Lil Wigen.

A “Celebration of Life” took place Friday, Aug. 15 at noon at Lake Jennie Covenant Church in rural Dassel, with interment in Ripley Cemetery in Litchfield. Lifetime friend and “brother” Pastor Gary Finken and special friend, Pastor Lee Shelton officiatied Music was provided by Prairie Fiddlers, Troy Iverson, Marv and Marge Stewart, Nancy Barrick, and Heather Wrucke,

Honorary bearers were Christopher Beal, Marlow Wigen, Loren Nass, Fred Powers, Nate Burge, and Keegan Iverson

Arrangements were by the Dobratz-Hantge Chapel in Hutchinson. Online condolences may be directed to www.hantge.com. Please click on Online Condolences.