Gary Everett Stoos was born on May 12, 1939 in Faribault, Minnesota. He died in St. Paul, Minnesota on October 24, 2019. Gary was predeceased by his parents Everett Stoos and Luella (McGovern) Stoos and by his spouse of thirty years, Pam McAlister, who died on October 6, 2019. He is survived by his sisters Nancy McGonagle (Don Corbett) and Nita (Michael) Fronk and their families, his children Michael (Cheryl) Stoos, Jennifer Stoos (Dan Tysver), and Brian (Sharon) Hallstoos, and his stepchildren Christopher (Val) McAlister and Meghan McAlister. Gary and Pam are also survived by grandchildren Cassandra Winter, Savannah and Sawyer Stoos, Ben and Sam Stoos-Tysver, Tatum, Elise, and Joplin Hallstoos, and Lexus, Sydney, Kelsey, and Connor McAlister.
Gary’s lifelong pursuit of purpose and meaning prompted his traveling the world as a pilot, guiding congregants’ spiritual journeys as a pastor, nurturing financial giving to educational institutions as a development officer, and building community as a devoted friend.
Gary was born and raised in Faribault, Minnesota. As a young man he majored in mathematics at the University of Colorado-Boulder, leaving that institution for the University of Minnesota after the death of his father. After graduation he served in the United States Navy for five years as a pilot, flying the Hercules C-130 in and out of Tehran, the Congo, South Vietnam, and beyond. Subsequently he briefly flew for Northwest Orient Airlines.
After earning his M.Div. from United Theological Seminary (UTS) and Doctorate of Ministry from Vanderbilt University, he pastored Congregational/UCC churches in Montevideo and Appleton Minnesota, and later in Amery, Wisconsin. He began working in development for UTS in 1985, and later did the development work at St. John’s University (Collegeville), St. Catherine's University, and The Saint Paul Foundation.
In “retirement” he made regular visits with homebound friends through Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly, helped lead meditation among inmates at Stillwater prison, actively participated in several discussion and prayer groups, and traveled broadly with Pam.
Gary found joy in flying small aircraft (especially gliders), viewing and collecting art, reading books on spirituality and metaphysics, taking long, fast walks, engaging in philosophical conversations, and learning about his grandchildren.
Unable to speak and with most of his children gathered round his hospital bed in his final days, he spelled out the following: “I believe the most important thing is that we're not here to accomplish a mission, but rather to find our goal or goals. Our work at this continues right up until we die."
Many thanks to the staff at Providence Hospital in Anchorage, Alaska, Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul, and The Pillars Hospice in Oakdale for their care of Gary in his final eight weeks as he struggled with the effects of a massive stroke.
Services for Gary and Pam will be held together at St. John's Episcopal Church, 4201 Sheridan Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55410, on Monday, November 11th, 2019 at 11 a.m. Please join us at 10 a.m. to mingle and see pictures, and plan to stay for the luncheon following the service. Memorials may be given to Saint Paul Foundation, Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly, or to any place that shared Gary’s values of service, friendship, and the search for life’s goals.
To send flowers to Gary's family, please visit our floral section.