Gary Joseph Contreras, 62 of Chandler, AZ, was born and raised in St. Paul, MN. On Jan 17, 2021, he passed away due to complications of Covid. Gary was proceeded in death by his mother Julia Schwegman. He is survived by his wife of nearly 40 years, Mary (Bielmaier) Contreras, his son, Callan Contreras and fiancé Jennifer Oman, his sister Anita Sellers (Mike), and a host of loving nieces and nephews.
Gary was known for his love of the Grand Canyon and hiking and backpacking the wilds of Arizona, another reason his nickname “GC” was so appropriate. He delighted in world travels with his wife, Mary, as they ventured all but two of the continents together.
Gary worked in the Prosthetic and Orthotic industry for over 35 years. He was inspired into this career by his dear friend Pierrot Apikelis after an industrial accident. In this field, he used his creativity to help others find mobility and ability. Gary’s creativity extended to his love of playing his classical guitar and gardening.
Gary was a genuinely kind soul and his spirit will live in the hearts of those who knew him. He was a wonderful husband, father, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, and friend, whose kindness was truly as vast as the Grand Canyons that he loved. As a Minnesota native, he loved his Vikings, the Twins, the St. Paul Saints, Gopher Hockey, the Minnesota Winter Carnival, and the Minnesota State Fair.
Catholic mass and interment will be announced at a later date to be held in St. Paul, Minnesota, and celebration in Wall, South Dakota, and Tempe, Arizona. A Private Service will be held at the Grand Canyon on October 15th & 16th.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to one of the following: Foundation for Living Medicine, 9400 E. Shea Blvd #210, Scottsdale, AZ 85260, Grand Canyon Conservancy, 4 Tonto St, Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023
Honorary Pallbearers: Mike Sellers, Christophe Prosnier, Craig Bielmaier, Kevin Bielmaier, Dr Aaron Scott, Scott Stewart, Dr Keith Thompson, Keith Koecher, Tom Haenfler, Kip Foye, Dave Mazzara, Tom Hayden, Jay Peterson, Dr Konard Hauffe, David Persighel