Cover photo for Gary Erlandson's Obituary
Gary Erlandson Profile Photo

Gary Erlandson

d. April 27, 2020

For being a man of such few words, he always answered the call. As the apple of their eye, Gary Erlandson was born December 28, 1942 in Highmore, SD, to joy-filled parents Hazel and Jim Erlandson. He would go on to be the eldest of their three children, brother to Jackie and Greg. It was here that Gary learned early the value of hard work and commitment. While working early jobs, Gary found himself enjoying simple times and investing in his love for sports. He went on to become a four-sport accomplished athlete. Erl was proud to be part of it and even stated, “it was a great life”. Determined Student…he answered the call. Gary attended Southern State in South Dakota. He not only attained his Bachelor’s degree in English and Physical Education, but also met the love of his life (yes, his words), Carol Borszich. It was during their courtship that Gary was also studying to join the Catholic church. He took this very seriously and this would become the foundation of his marriage, family, workspace, and life. They shared dear friends, fun times and were soon to begin life’s grand adventure. Precious Partner…he answered the call. Gary and Carol were married June 11, 1966. Carol was living and teaching in Lyle, MN. That same fall, Gary began his lifetime career of teaching and together they birthed their dedication and commitment to Pacelli High School. Though it could be listed as a job, Gary never went to work, he went to Pacelli and considered it an honor. His work was his teaching and his teaching had an impact far beyond the classroom. Dedicated Dad…he answered the call. Like any good novel, characters are woven into the storyline and main characters are developed. This love story follows suit; Gary and Carol soon began their own family. Gary would support Carol and his children through many chapters, most of which were right there with him at Pacelli. Gary found great joy in watching Tara, Brett and Angie each become completely immersed in the Pacelli experience. He felt proud and fortunate to assist them all the way through as a teacher, coach and adviser. And so it was, with 44 years of devotion, Gary’s steadfast efforts would earn him the titles of Beloved Teacher, Wonderful Counselor, Championship Coach, Loyal Peer, Patient Listener, Man of Integrity, Trustworthy Friend, Humble Worker and Kind Gentleman. To coin a phrase, Gary was known as a “green-collar” worker. His passion for providing was driven by his selflessness. He was a long-standing member of the Pacelli Booster Club and Knights of Columbus. It was quite commonplace for him to spend extra time in the weight room with a struggling athlete, bonus office hours to striving students and so much more. He could be found peddling brownies at Bingo, grilling hot dogs at Golf Day, and developing a yearbook, writers, and photographers. He grew and challenged athletes throughout the years at Pacelli, Lyle, Austin High School and Riverland College. Humble Human…he answered the call. Whether it was his children’s accomplishments, or that of a championship basketball team, he always reflected and redirected the credit back to others. Cherished Grampa…he answered the call. Gary’s legacy lives on, far past the halls of Pacelli and the walls of his home where he is lovingly known as Grampa or Poppie to grandson Anthony and granddaughters DelRae, Alexis, Makena, Ashley and Camille. He truly always found immense joy in attending their countless athletic events, concerts, dances and parties. He loved sharing time and space, simple grins, belly laughs and sweet secrets with them. They could count on him for helping make auction items, enjoying treats and the gift of always being completely present. All road trips were fair game and any event, for any length of time, was a trip to be made. To say they were loved is an understatement. His impact spanned generations through teaching, coaching and nurturing his growing family. Gary was most recently promoted to Great Grandpa to Charlotte and Jaxson. Faithful Servant…he answered the call. On Monday, April 27, 2020, Gary answered his final earthly call and entered his eternal home. Gary is said to have had such an impact on so many. He is best known for being a man of quiet wisdom. He was fair and just and saw the good in both situations and people. He was passionate about purpose and seeing things through until the end. For almost half of his life, he had medical challenges, but never once complained. We celebrate the triumph of this man winning the game and lottery of life. We honor his legacy; his presence will be felt, and he will be greatly missed. Left to cherish his memory: wife Carol; children Tara Lee (Steve Szymanski), Brett (Kristin) Erlandson, Angie (Chris) Swanson; sister Jackie (Roy Neal) Byrd; aunts Sara Erlandson and Joyce Erlandson; grandchildren Anthony (Jen) Erlandson, DelRae Felten, Alexis Felten (Matt Zillmer), Makena Felten (Anthoni Jacobs); great grandchildren Charlotte Zillmer and Jaxson Erlandson; sisters and brothers-in-law Mary Schenkel, Bob and Donna Borszich, Jan and Joe Fejfar, Dave Vlasak, Jean and Bill Lapour and Donna Marie; many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews and countless friends. Preceded in death by: parents Jim and Hazel Erlandson; brother and sister-in-law Greg and Sandy Erlandson; uncles and aunts Bud Erlandson, Gene Erlandson, Bonnie and Harry Cass, Helen Bouzek and Anna Bouzek; father and mother-in-law Gabriel and Evelyn Borszich; brother-in-law Harold Schenkel; sister-in-law Rose Vlasak; and nephew Tim Murphy. A celebration of Gary’s life will be held at the Pacelli High School Gym on Saturday September 26, 2020 at 2:00 PM. All Current COVID rules will be observed. The Erlandson Family requests that you please RSVP via email to by Sept 5, 2020. Memorials will be dedicated to Pacelli High School may be sent to Sterling State Bank (Austin, MN) in care of Carol Erlandson. Condolences may be left online at

Service Information

Celebration of Life

Saturday, September 26 2020
2:00 PM

Austin Pacelli High School Gym
311 4th St NW
Austin MN 55912

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