P. Gams webphotoPaul 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.

16 guestbook entries for PAUL MICHAEL GAMS

  1. Neal and Linda Stein December 30, 2014 at 3:20 pm #

    So sorry for your loss. Paul was a great man and special cousin. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. With love, Neal and Linda

  2. Cher Carlson December 30, 2014 at 3:36 pm #

    Peace be with you now Paul. You are truly one of God’s angels. My Love and Prayers to your family.

  3. Carol Kastenbauer December 30, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

    He was a Great man and my best friend, Rest in peace I will miss him so very much.

  4. Brad & Kerri Holt December 30, 2014 at 10:35 pm #

    Kelly, Seth & Julia,

    We are so very sorry to hear of Paul’s passing. He was such a wonderful friend and his family meant everything to him. May your memories bring you peace. Our deepest sympathies.

    Brad & Kerri Holt

  5. Steven Gams December 31, 2014 at 11:15 am #

    Paul….peace be with you in heaven…please make sure to say hello to Uncle Richard for me!!

    Your cousin,


  6. Kathy and John Sakschek December 31, 2014 at 12:23 pm #

    We are so very sorry for the loss of cousin Paul. We have so many beautiful memories from our family get togethers. Our deepest sympathies. God Bless you.
    Love to you all, Kathy, John, Miranda and Franki Sakschek

  7. Lori Riedesel and Mike Burns December 31, 2014 at 1:50 pm #

    “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.”
    Our thoughts and prayers encircle the entire Gams family as they morn the loss and celebrate the life of Paul…he was a great guy.

  8. Todd Jensen December 31, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

    Kelly, Seth & Julia

    Our deepest sympathy goes out you and your family. Paul was one of a kind. I had the great pleasure to working with him for about 5 years. Greatest sense of humor and as quick witted as they come. Quit Viet runs will never be the same! Paul was the best woodworker & woodworking teacher anybody could have asked for. Simply the best at what he did. God bless you Paul, and God bless your family.

    Todd,Bev,Kyle,Kayla Jensen

  9. Karen Pujals December 31, 2014 at 3:09 pm #

    Aunt Lorraine, Uncle Skip, Kelly, and all,

    Sometimes there are no words…
    Heartbreaking, unbelievable, unfair… these might be a place to start. So, so sorry for your loss. It may be of little consolation just now, but energy and love survives all. Nothing of this Earth can take that away. And Paul clearly had a ton to give you strength and peace at this impossible time. (But I still don’t get it…)

    Love and blessings to you all

    And peace be the journey, my lovely cousin!

  10. Vern & Sue Wohlk December 31, 2014 at 6:18 pm #

    We are so very sorry for your loss. Paul was a great person and a great friend. May he rest in peace either in a boat or a deer stand.

    Crabby Old Vern

  11. Wahkon Senior Dining January 1, 2015 at 4:50 pm #

    The diners at Wahkon Senior Dining wish to express our deepest sympathy to all of you. Paul prepared many
    meals for us. He will be greatly missed. Our prayers are with you.

  12. Lee Ann Moreau January 3, 2015 at 6:01 am #

    Our prayers are with Paul’s family now and we are happy knowing he is at peace with the Lord.Grief will last but a little time here on earth, but oh what a reunion we will all have someday in heaven. Your cousin, Lee Ann

  13. Tim (Old Man ) Hardy January 3, 2015 at 9:30 am #

    My prayers to your family..God Bless.

  14. Ryan walsh January 11, 2015 at 11:17 am #

    Pauly I will miss you. You always had time to help me even after I moved to Florida you are a great man . You always be my friend.

  15. Keith Hanstad January 14, 2015 at 7:51 am #

    I had Paul as a student at Hennepin Technical College, would like to express my sorrow and condolences for a very nice person and a wonderfully talented cabinetmaker. God bless, and a pleasant journey to Paul.

  16. Bob Engebretson January 31, 2015 at 9:29 am #

    The news of you passing is saddening. Paul was truely the reason I loved my days as a cabinetmaker. We had a great time working together every day. I did and always will concider Paul as one of my best friends and I will miss you my friend.

    Bob, Carol & Crystal

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