Gary Paulsen

gary paulsen
Gary Howard Paulsen, 73, of Fargo, North Dakota, passed away unexpectedly in Essentia Health on Monday, May 15, 2017 in Fargo. Gary was born August 6, 1943, the third son of William and Mabel Henrietta (Backer) Paulsen in Northwood, ND. He grew up in rural Finley and attended grade school in Sherbrooke, ND graduating from Finley High School in 1961. He graduated from Mayville State Teachers College with a bachelor’s degree in Education. He taught Mathematics and Computer Science in High Schools around Fargo and the surrounding area, retiring from Grandin, ND. Gary married his high school sweetheart, Janice Lee Seim, May 31, 1966 in Sheyenne Valley Lutheran Church, rural Finley. They were married for 38 years, until Janice passed away March 2005. They made their home in Finley, moving to Fargo in 1967. Gary is best known as a woodcarver and has won many awards for his wood carvings. Gary specialized in Norwegian Folk Art, and was awarded ‘Best in Show’ at various Woodcarving shows and many other awards. He annually taught wood carving classes over the years. Wood carving became his full time passion after his retirement. He received several grants and subsidies to further his carving work and this year was the selected artist to sell his carvings at the Museum Store at the ND Heritage Center in Bismarck. Gary is survived by his brothers: William (Carolyn), Finley, Robert (Christine), Finley, and sister: Deloris (Mike) Ryan, Apple Valley, MN; an uncle, Elgar Paulsen, Hannaford; several nieces and nephews and many cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Janice.

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  1. Though I know that this is a difficult time for you, my hope is that you will be comforted from God’s inspired word the Bible. John 5:28,29 and Revelation 21: 3,4 gives hope of a future resurrection and the complete elimination of death, pain and mourning. Under Jesus’ kingdom rule we have this and much more to look forward to. Please accept my deepest condolences.

  2. So very sorry to hear of Gary’s death. He has been our ” backyard neighbor ” for many years. We enjoyed chatting with him about his flowers and his woodcarvings, which were sometimes displayed at the Sons of Norway in fargo. Our condolences to your family.

  3. I am sad of Mr. Paulsen’s passing but I know the heavens are rejoicing as he is welcomed. He was such a calm and kind teacher. He had the cutest little smirk smile when he thought you were funny, but didn’t want to let you know you were funny. Rest in peace Mr. Paulsen.

  4. Paulsen Family. So sorry to hear about your brother Gary. He was a talented man. God bless his memory.

  5. I am very sorry to hear about Mr. Paulsen’s passing. He was my math teacher as I was attending Grandin High School. I recall him being a quiet man who knew his subject well. And although math wasn’t my most favorite subject, Mr. Paulsen always showed a lot of patience and helped us to succeed. I was unaware of his talents in woodcarving, especially in Norwegian Folk Art. My condolences to his family.

  6. Our deepest sympathy to Gary’s family and friends. We have known Gary for many years through the woodcarving family. Gary’s big warm smile and warm greeting will be sadly missed by many from both sides of the border.

    Rick and Cathie Brereton
    Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba Canada

  7. I was one of his students at Grandin. I found him to be a most gracious and patient man who would sit, and try to explain the finer points of geometry and algebra that came so hard for me. I ran into him much later when I became an” older than average student”, and told him that I wish that he would be closer as I was kind of afraid to take college math courses-he told me that I just needed to remember to take one step at a time and not get discouraged. I made it through and appreciate my old teacher who encouraged me…20 years after I had graduated from high school.
    I am so sorry for the loss of this gentle, kind soul. RIP Mr. Paulsen

  8. Sorry to hear about Gary’s passing. During this difficult time may you feel God’s loving arms around you and His love in your heart. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  9. Dear Unk Gary, Thank you for being the soft-spoken, wise person that you were. I will never forget how you taught Brent and I how to carve wood figures by first starting with a bar of soap. The giant gnome at the bottom of your staircase scared the living daylights out of me on more than one occasion. Your passion for computers in the early ’80’s quickly spread to my family through my dad. I can still picture our Apple IIe and hear the percussion of the dot-matrix printer. You and I share a love of cats and you taught me how to be a cat whisperer even to the most demanding of felines (including “No-no kitty” Sasha). You were a talented man and a proud Norwegian. Thank you for your patience and guidance. May you Rest In Peace, your niece, Dawn

  10. my sincere condolences to Gary’s family from a fellow carver .I will miss his smile and kindness , his gentle way of teaching. We both had a fondness for dragons . May he rest in peace

  11. Gary will be missed so much from the woodcarving community. He was soft spoken and a great instructor. I am so blessed to have known him his memory will always be kept alive he left way to soon.

  12. Gary Paulsen was my math teacher through all of my high school years, starting in Grandin HS and then at Cass Valley North HS after the consolidation of Argusville, Gardner and Grandin school districts.
    He was my favorite teacher during these years and contributed to my career path of becoming a Computer Programmer.
    My condolences to Gary’s family and friends.

  13. Gary was my carving instructor at Doane (Crete, NE) in 2001. As a new carver, I wasn’t sure I was ready to attend the week-long class at Doane. However, Gary’s teaching skills were such that I completed the carving project (a troll) and it really looked great! That positive experience has left me with fond memories of Gary and the class ever since. I am so sorry to hear of his passing, he was such a great carver. My condolences to the family.

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