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Garry G. Opp

Garry G. Opp

Garry George Opp, 67, of Oakes, ND, died on Saturday, May 31, 2014 at the Oakes Community Hospital after battling pancreatic cancer.

He was born at Trinity Hospital, Jamestown, ND to Edward G. and Hulda (Deutscher) Opp on February 13, 1947. His early years were spent on a farm Southwest of Streeter and he completed first grade in Streeter. In 1954, his family moved to Gackle where he graduated from high school in 1965. He participated in baseball, football, basketball, and track. He was also a lifeguard and swimming instructor.

Garry and Janet Kay Entzminger were married on February 13, 1965. They moved to Ellendale where Garry continued his education at UND-Ellendale Branch, graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and Physical Education in 1969. While in college, he participated in football and baseball. He also continued to work as a lifeguard through the summers.

He taught in Oakes for the 1969-70 school year, then in Guelph from the fall of 1970 until the Guelph school was closed in 1985. He continued to teach in Oakes until his teaching retirement in 2001.

In 1970, while teaching in Guelph, Garry was asked to teach wrestling techniques to the 5th and 6th graders. He taught/learned wrestling there until becoming the assistant high school coach in 1977 and became the head coach in 1979. Garry was selected as the Regional Coach of the Year 7 times and North Dakota High School Wrestling Coach of the Year in 1992. The Oakes team won their first State Championship in 1993. He coached 7 state wrestling champions throughout his career. Garry retired from coaching in 1998 and was named to the North Dakota Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2004.

After retiring from teaching, Garry worked at KBC Bean Plant in Oakes from 2001-2006. He finished his working career at Starion Insurance where he sold multi-peril insurance to farmers in the Oakes area until December 2012.

Garry was also an avid outdoorsman and involved in many community service organizations including the Oakes Lions, Relay for Life, Team Makers and Trustee Board Member at the United Methodist Church. He was also the Oakes Mayor from 2006 -2010 and is a member of the Oakes United Methodist Church.

Garry is survived by his wife of 49 years, Kay of Oakes; three daughters, Stacie (Trent) Dawson, Fargo, ND, Stephanie (Tracy) Voightman, Oakes, ND, and Kisa Opp, Brookings, SD; his grandchildren, Tyler Voightman, Kendra Dawson, Andrew Dawson and Andrea Voightman; and one sister, Karla. He was preceded in death by his parents, son Shell Allen (1966) and one brother Charles (1978).

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, June 4, 2014 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. with a prayer service starting at 7:00 p.m. at the United Methodist Church, Oakes. His funeral will be held in the Oakes Public School North Gymnasium on Thursday, June 5, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. Interment will be at the Gackle City Cemetery at a later date. An online guestbook may be signed at