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Official Obituary of

D. Gary McNinch

December 25, 1941 ~ February 10, 2024 (age 82) 82 Years Old
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D. Gary McNinch Obituary

     D. Gary McNinch, 82, of Fish Creek, WI passed away Saturday night, February 10, 2024 at the Unity Hospice Jack and Engrid Meng Residence in the Town of Ledgeview, WI.

     Gary McNinch was born on Christmas 1941 in Sterling, IL, the son of James Newton McNinch and Florence Leola (Maynard) McNinch. He attended Sterling High School in Illinois and played coronet in the band. Gary also excelled at tennis. Upon his graduation from Sterling High School in 1959, he went on to study Engineering at the University of Illinois, where he also continued to play tennis.

     Gary was employed as a mechanical engineer with Kimberly-Clark for 36 years. After graduating Suma Cum Laude he moved to Neenah, WI then to Fullerton, CA. After 12 years in CA, he was transferred by Kimberly-Clark to Appleton, WI, then to New Milford, CT, and then finally back to Wisconsin, where he would live out his life.

     Gary married Patricia Lynn Book on August 4, 1963, in Sterling, IL. They were blessed with three children: Suzanne, Kirsten, and Andrew and shared over 20 years of marriage.

     He enjoyed the outdoors and spent time camping and hiking with his children in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Gary's appreciation for music throughout his life also led to him teaching himself how to play the guitar. As a young father, he entertained his children with songs from the '60s and '70s. "Back in the day", Gary was also "The King of Disco Dancing" and loved to teach anyone who asked him how to "do the shuffle". He was a skilled woodworker and made many beautiful items over the years including gifts for family and bookshelves to support his love of reading (specifically mystery novels). One year, Gary even made wooden toys for the many children in his California neighborhood.

     He enjoyed racing sailboats on Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin. It was there that Gary met Colleen Kay Riley. They were united in marriage on Leap Day, February 29, 1984, in Appleton, WI. Although Gary and Colleen shared over 36 years of marriage together, they often joked that their anniversary only came around once every four years.

     He spent his time in retirement between Appleton and Fish Creek. Gary spent many happy years with his wife, Colleen, in their dream home that they built in Fish Creek in 1988. He owned multiple sailboats throughout the course of his life with the most recent being the Colleen K. a large, maroon Pacific Seacraft Crealock 34 (his pride and joy), which was kept in the Fish Creek Harbor for many years. Gary enjoyed sailing, with Colleen by his side, off Door County and other exotic locations including the Caribbean with St. Barts and St. Martin islands being two of his favorites. He also liked taking his grandchildren sailing when they visited (even after the boys turned the bilge pump off). Gary loved taking ski trips with Colleen to Colorado; Aspen and Vail were two of their favorite resorts. He was an animal lover with a fondness for Siberian Huskies; Gary and Colleen had four over the course of their lifetimes.

     Gary served on a couple of governmental advisory committees for both the Town of Gibraltar and Door County.

     He enjoyed cooking, especially for the family during the holidays. Gary's famous sautéed mushrooms will be greatly missed by all at Christmas time. He enjoyed cheering on the Packers with a bowl of popcorn. Gary was an avid card player up until his death. He looked forward to getting together with his mother-in-law, Dorthy, and niece, Casey, every Wednesday for a good game of Sheepshead; his dog niece, Cricket, would join in too, but only for treats (she didn't play cards).

     Gary will be missed by his children, Suzanne (Pat) DeGroot of Shiocton, WI, Kirsten Killinger of Neenah, WI, and Andrew (Jennie) McNinch of Appleton, WI; his first wife, Patricia McNinch of Neenah, WI; grandchildren, Jessica Temple and Jacob (Tara) Temple, Alex (Kelsey) Mishun and Layla (Hayden) Lessor, and Cullen McNinch and Camden McNinch; grandson-in-law, Mateo Colchado; great-grandchildren, Abigail, Evelyn, and Mattalynn, Lucy and Beckett, and Diana, Oliver, and Noah; mother-in-law, Dorthy Riley of Fish Creek, WI; siblings-in-law, Gary (Rita) Riley of Fish Creek, WI, Paula Riley of Oshkosh, WI, and Sue Marlene McNinch of East Moline, IL; and nephews and nieces.

     He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Colleen; granddaughter, Ariel Colchado-Arter (2023); siblings, Neil McNinch, William (Marilyn) McNinch, and Marian "Betty" (Harold) Stone; fathers-in-law, Donald Riley and Ken Biebow; siblings-in-law, Sandra Riley, David Riley, and Timothy Riley.

     No public services are scheduled to be held at this time. Gary will be laid to rest beside his wife, Colleen, at Blossomberg Cemetery in Peninsula State Park in Fish Creek.

     Memorials may be given in his name for Unity Hospice (2366 Oak Ridge Circle, De Pere, WI 54115;; the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Wisconsin Chapter (P.O. Box 88540, Carol Stream, IL 60188;; or the Gibraltar Historical Association (P.O. Box 323, Fish Creek, WI 54212;

     "Our family would like to express our heartfelt thanks to the staff of Unity Hospice for the wonderful, compassionate care you provided."

     Arrangements have been made with Huehns Funeral Home, Inc. & Door County Crematory LLC in Sturgeon Bay. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Gary may be shared with his family through his tribute page at




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Unity (Hospice and Palliative Care)
2366 Oak Ridge Circle, De Pere WI 54115
Tel: 1-800-990-9249

National Multiple Sclerosis Society Wisconsin Chapter
MAIL TO: P.O. Box 88540, Carol Stream IL 60188
Tel: 1-800-344-4867

Gibraltar Historical Society
P.O. Box 23, Fish Creek WI 54212
Tel: 1-920-868-2091


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