Rev. Gary P. Landsness, 63, of Le Mars, Iowa passed away unexpectedly at his home on Friday, January 17, 2020. Funeral services will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 23, 2020 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Le Mars. Rev. Chris Meier will officiate. Visitation will begin at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 at the Mauer – Johnson Funeral Home in Le Mars. The family will be present to greet friends from 5-7 p.m. with a prayer service scheduled at 7:00 p.m. There will also be one hour of visitation at the church prior to the funeral service on Thursday.
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Gary Peter Landsness entered this world on October 26, 1956 in Madison, Wisconsin, the son of Gerhard and Violet (Amacher) Landsness. He graduated from Monana Grove High School in 1974. He continued his education at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota with the intent to major in pre-medicine with an eye on pediatrics. In 1975, he transferred to Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin and changed his major to religion and philosophy.
Following graduation from Carthage College, he attended Luther Northwestern Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. He completed his internship at dual sites, First Lutheran Church in South Sioux City, Nebraska and St. Luke’s Hospital in Sioux City, Iowa. It was at St. Luke’s that he met a nurse named Rosezanna Ray. They were united in marriage on November 7, 1981.
Gary graduated with a master’s degree in 1982. His first parish was St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Pender, Nebraska. He was ordained at St. Peter’s on January 23, 1983. He was later installed at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Le Mars, Iowa. Pastor Gary served the St. John’s flock until 2013 when his health placed him into early retirement.
Inspired by Martin Luther, Pastor Gary read his works daily along with the scriptures. He also followed Luther’s direction: “Know the scripture backwards and forward, know your congregation and know when to shut up and let the spirit of God take over.” Pastor Gary has traveled to Germany and stood in the pulpit of Martin Luther. Along with serving God and his congregations, Pastor Gary was an avid train enthusiast and traveled to many locations to witness their powerful beauty. He was also a homebrewer and a certified beer judge. His crowning glory was winning “Best of Show” at the Iowa State Fair amongst hundreds of entries.
Grateful to have shared his life is his wife of 38 years, Rosezanna Landsness of Le Mars, IA; three children, Daniel Landsness and his wife Heidi and their children, Shelby Axe and Dylan Rasmussen of Le Mars, IA; daughters, Sarah Landsness of Le Mars, IA and Rachel Landsness of Omaha, NE; two sisters, Carol Anderson and her husband, Dan of Madison, WI and Cheryl Kritch and her husband, Denny of Davenport, IA; a sister-in-law, Claryce Welch and her husband, Mike of Sioux City, IA; and a brother-in-law, Daniel Ray and his wife, Penny of Waukee, IA; 4 nieces, 6 nephews, 5 grandnieces and 10 grand nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Gerhard and Violet.