American Patriotic 10

Gary Scofield

December 19, 1944 ~ February 10, 2024 (age 79) 79 Years Old
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Gary Scofield Obituary

   Gary Lee Scofield, 79, residing in West Fargo, ND passed away on February 10,2024 at the VA Hospital. Gary was born on December 19, 1944, in Brookings, SD, to Alonzo and Mabel (Jensen) Scofield.

   Everybody knows Gary was born, lived, and died, however, not everybody knows what he truly accomplished in between those times.

   A boy growing up on a farm in Flandreau, SD, he loved to hunt, fish, and play baseball. His dream as a child was to become a pilot making an airplane out of boxes. As he grew, he was a student leader, a determined college student, and fraternity brother. His summers were spent working at Wall Drug where he gained a close relationship with Bill Hustead who was often a father figure as much as a boss. It was at this time that he realized he didn’t have money to return to college thus decided to enlist. He wanted to fly, and the Army was training pilots. In his words, he could be drafted or enlist and choose his path in the Army.

   In 1965 he enlisted with the US Army and was sent to basic training. After a battery of tests, he was chosen to attend flight school where he became a helicopter pilot. His dream of flying was coming to fruition. He was commissioned as a Medi-Vac pilot and was off to Vietnam. Gary became a Warrant Officer and during his time in country he flew Dust Off for the 498th. He was an exceptional soldier, a steely eyed helicopter pilot, logging 600 combat hours while evacuating 1,875 patients. Gary truly was a bonified war hero with a chest full of medals to include the National Defense Service Medal, Army Aviator Badge, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Army Commendation Medal, two Distinguished Flying Crosses with Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Medal with 15 Oak Leaf Clusters, Combat Medical Badge, Meritorious Unit Commendation. His missions were often dangerous, yet he was fierce and determined to complete each mission. Gary rose to the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 2 during his career. He was sent back to the states early due to the death of his mother and completed his Army career as a flight instructor in Texas. Gary took extraordinary pride in his service and shared his war stories with family, friends, and other veterans as he knew his time in Vietnam, his training of new pilots, was not in vain but saved many lives.

   Gary attended and graduated from South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD and began his banking career. He was a rare breed of banker, understanding both the business world and agricultural community. When he received his promotion to bank president, he was the youngest bank president in the First Bank system. He took his role seriously and knowing a bank was often the heart of a community, became a leader in the community and state. Even enjoying a lunch in the Rose Garden at the White House

   Above all, Gary was a kind and loving husband, marrying Kristin on a beautiful fall day in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. He was a proud father of five and a Papa to 15 grandchildren. His bright smile, kind blue eyes and easy going “Papa” ways will be remembered by all. “Want a kitten? I’ll get you a kitten”! That was the man, the myth the legend.

   Gary is enjoying the reunion with his daughter Sonja, his parents, brothers, and sister and many who passed before him. He is survived by his wife, Kristin, his children Mac (Charles) and Jessica, Thomas and Stephanie, Michael and Julie Blickensderfer, Elise and Brandon Smith. Grandchildren: Jack, Gabe, Finn, Sam, Elijiah, Declan, Grayson, Maverick, Myles, Ellis, Forrester, Gordon, Olivia, Anders, and Evelyn.

Celebration Of Life Get Together: Thursday March 7, 2024 beginning at 5:00 pm at the West Fargo Blarney Stone. All are welcome to attend.

Visitation: Friday, March 8, 2024 from 10:00 AM until 11:00 AM at West Funeral Home, West Fargo, ND.

Memorial Service: Friday, March 8, 2024 at 11:00 AM at West Funeral Home, West Fargo, ND.  Lunch will be served after the ceremony.

Military Rites: Friday, March 8, 2024 following the service at the West Funeral Home, West Fargo, ND.

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Services

Memorial Visitation
Friday
March 8, 2024

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
West Funeral Home & Life Tribute Center
321 Sheyenne Street
West Fargo, ND 58078

Memorial Service
Friday
March 8, 2024

11:00 AM
West Funeral Home & Life Tribute Center
321 Sheyenne Street
West Fargo, ND 58078

Military Honors
Friday
March 8, 2024

11:45 AM
West Funeral Home & Life Tribute Center
321 Sheyenne Street
West Fargo, ND 58078

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