Paul Gams, of Mora, passed away on Monday, December 29, 2014 at his home. He was 51 years old.
FUNERAL SERVICE will be held at 11:00 am on Friday, January 2, 2015 at the Grace Lutheran Church in Mora.
VISITATION will be held 2 hour prior to the service from 9:00 -11:00 am at the church.
INURNMENT will be held at a later date at the St. Mary’s Russian Orthodox Cemetery in Saint Anthony, Minnesota.
In lieu of flowers, memorial are preferred to the Gams Family Benefit Fund at the Neighborhood Bank in Mora.
The family requests a dress code of jeans, flannel shirts, and suspenders for Paul’s funeral.
Paul Michael Gams of Mora, MN, passed away on December 29, 2014, at the age of 51. Paul fought a courageous battle against Glioblastoma brain cancer and was at home surrounded by family and friends when he went home to Jesus.
Paul was born December 1, 1963, in Oshkosh, WI, to Frank and Lorraine Gams. At a very young age, Paul’s family moved to Fridley, MN, where he enjoyed an adventurous childhood with his three siblings: Tom, Jennifer and Chris. He attended Totino Grace High School and graduated in 1982. After high school he started a 12-year career with McDonald’s as a National Champion Hamburger Flipper and quickly moved himself up the ranks and through the rigor of Hamburger University to become a store manager. During Paul’s McDonald’s years, he enlisted in the Army and served one term as an Army Medic followed by service in the Army Reserves. While working for McDonald’s, Paul met life-long friends, Pat and Dave. But the highlight of this time, was when he met his true love, Kelly, married her and was welcomed with open arms into the very large and very loud Wakaruk family.
Paul and Kelly were married on May 26, 1990, at St. Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral in Minneapolis. During their 24 and a half year marriage, they were blessed with two beautiful children, Seth Paul born in 1993 and Julia Marie “Paul” born in 1997. Eventually, Paul left McDonald’s in 1989 to pursue a career as a cabinetmaker. He attended Hennepin Technical College where he learned to master his craft. Paul worked for many cabinet shops in the Twin Cities before moving his young family to Mora in 2001 where he eventually opened his own cabinet shop. He was a brilliantly gifted cabinet maker and Kelly dreamed of the day when their own kitchen would be as beautiful as so many other kitchens Paul had created. As luck would have it, when there was money there was no time and when there was time there was no money and Kelly’s kitchen has not yet been blessed with Paul’s talents. However, Paul was often found building something in the shop for Kelly to use in their home or in Kelly’s porch or in Kelly’s classroom and even for Kelly’s friends.
Life in Mora was busy for Paul, Kelly, Seth and Julia. At Paul’s lead, they enjoyed gardening, hunting, fishing, as well as numerous Saturday morning adventures, or as Paul would prefer to call them – capers. Paul spent many years coaching MAYRA baseball and softball, being an honorary Girl Scout and chaperoning school field trips. He loved planning and hosting birthday parties for Seth and Julia, making Halloween costumes, carving pumpkins and working on school projects with his kids.
In addition to working in his own cabinet shop, Paul loved his work at the Mora Senior Dining Center as Food Coordinator aka Kitchen Sergeant. His old soul felt at home among his co-workers and many senior friends. Paul was actively involved in the Mora Soup for the Soul Outreach and loved serving the community and sharing God’s love through this program.
In Paul’s “spare” time, he enjoyed attending Trio Community Church, participating in the Trio Men’s Bible Study Group, hosting backyard BBQs and bonfires, hanging out with his dogs, Zeke, Finn and Jane, helping family and friends with anything that needed to be done, volunteering for the Mora Vasaloppet with his good friend Brian, and “foisting treasures” onto anyone willing, or sometimes unwilling, to accept his generosity. But Paul’s favorite spare-time activity was spending time with and loving his Dolly, Kelly.
Paul is survived by his wife, Kelly; son, Seth (fiancé Karlie); daughter, Julia; parents, Frank “Skip” and Lorraine; brothers, Tom and Chris (Karen); sister, Jennifer (Don); in-laws, Lola “Bunny,” Kim (Rick), Blaine, Shaun (Kathy), Kay, Kevin and Butch; 14 nieces and nephews; and many, many friends. Paul was preceded in death by father-in-law, Tony. Paul loved the Lord and wasn’t afraid to go home to Jesus knowing that so many people loved him and will continue to love and care for his family.
May his memory be eternal.