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Gary B. Kroshus

July 25, 1947 - January 27, 2023

Gary B Kroshus born July 25 1947 at Spring Grove MN, son of Byron and Gertrud Hancock Kroshus, passed away January 27, 2023 after a long battle with cancer from Agent Orange exposure from time served in Vietnam. Gary was baptized and confirmed at Highland Lutheran Church, he attended Kjome, Grindeland, and Highlandville country schools till the 8th grade then on to graduate high school at Spring Grove in 1965.

He worked several construction jobs until getting drafted into the Army in October of 1966. Gary did his basic training in Ft Lewis WA then on to Ft Polk (Tiger Land) LA for his AIT and Advanced Leadership training, from there it was Vietnam. He was first assigned to the 9th Infantry Division then on to the 5th Special Forces for Long Range Reconnaissance training where he was a team member on recon missions. He returned to the 9th and was promoted to Sergeant and at the age of 20 was the youngest team leader in their Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP)company leading his team to monitor enemy movement for up to 7 days at a time. Gary had 35 recon missions and was proud of the fact he never lost a man, wounded but all survived to fight another day. Against his company commanders concerns Gary walked point on all missions and commented that’s what kept us safe, cause nobody could read a map like this country boy from Iowa. For his time in Vietnam, he received two Bronze Stars, one for Meritorious Service for completing 25 recon missions and the other with the V for Valor, also a letter of Commendation from his Company Commander. Returning to the states he was assigned to the 5th Army Division at Ft Carson CO where was chosen 1 of 3 from the Division to teach Long Range Recon to a new company going to Vietnam.

Returning from the Army Gary worked construction jobs and was the equipment operator in the construction of the new Winneshiek Hospital, then on to work for Holland Brothers, and Myer Brothers Road Contractors and helped on the family farm. Gary was married to his wife Barbara Roffman Kroshus on April 16th of 1977. They farmed until 1983 then started an aerial photo business taking farm photos in IA, MO, KS, and NE taking a total of 36,000 shots from a plane. Gary started working for the US Postal Service in 1987 In Kennesaw NE and worked at the Hastings and Grand Island NE offices also. Gary transferred back to the LaCrosse WI Post Office in 1993 where he worked in their mail processing plant as a supervisor and had details as acting manager at the Rochester MN mail processing plant.  In 2008 he transferred to the Decorah Post Office as a Supervisor and often said were the best 2 years of his Postal career working with employees that cared about their job.

Gary enjoyed spending time with family and watching his nephews and nieces playing sports. Upon his retirement worked for Arnie and Adam Weiss spring and fall, great guys to work for.  Gary enjoyed target shooting especially long-range handgun competition, but he most enjoyed riding with his wife in their UTV in the Black Hills of SD or anywhere there were trails. Knowing the trails in SD quite well Barb and he would welcome groups from IA to be their guide for the short time they were there.

Gary was a member of the Spring Grove Legion Post 249 since 1968 and would like us to remember to thank a Vet, it means more than you think and remember not all casualties happen on the battle field.

Gary is survived by his wife, Barb of Decorah; his mother, Gertrud Kroshus Solem of Mabel; two sisters Beverly (Dale) Cochran of Napa, California, and Julie (Jack) Kolka of Decorah; an uncle James Gruber; and several nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, and cousins.  He was preceded in death by his father Byron, step-father Milford Solem, parents-in-law, Leonard and Kate Roffman.

Burial with military honors will be 2 PM, Friday, May 26, 2023 in the Minnesota State Veteran’s Cemetery in Preston, Minnesota. A Celebration of Life will follow the ceremony at the cemetery at the Spring Grove American Legion starting at 3 PM.  Memorials can be sent to the family towards the Winneshiek County Veterans Memorial or directly to WCVM.



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