Gordon “Gordy” Schwoch


Gordon “Gordy” Charles Schwoch, 84, Barnum, died on December 24th, 2020 while working on the farm in Blackhoof Township where he was born and spent nearly his entire life. Gordy was born at home on April 2nd, 1936 to Otto Carl and Hazel Irene (Collins) Schwoch.

Gordy graduated from Barnum High School in 1954 and a week later, began his career at Wood Conversion Company in Cloquet, which later became Conwed and USG Interiors. He worked there for 44 years, retiring in 1998. He served in the National Guard from 1953 – 1962. In 1959, with help from classmates, he and Lila Helen Kaski noticed each other at their 5 year class reunion. They married on July 9th, 1960 and spent their first few years together in a variety of apartments before building a house on Gordy’s home place in a location he had found while rabbit hunting at the age of twelve. There, they raised four children. Gordy worked nights at the mill and spent his days farming (when did he ever find time to sleep?) He served for a long time on the Barnum Riverside Cemetery Board and a short time on the Barnum Community Education Committee. Gordy’s hobbies evolved over the years from hunting, fishing, and trapping when he was young to farming and logging and in later years, reading westerns, history books, newspapers, and magazines cover to cover. He especially loved working in the woods clearing trails, cutting firewood, and saw logs. He planned to get out a woodpile yet this winter. He believed in working hard, treating people fairly, and quietly doing the right thing without fanfare. Gordy and Lila loved each other deeply for more than 60 years.

He was preceded in death by his parents; step-father, Fred Hecker; sister-in-law, Catherin Kaski; brothers-in-law, Kaino Kaski and Milton Wolters; infant daughter, Amy Kathryn Schwoch; brother, Gerald Edward Schwoch; and daughter-in-law, Susan Lee Schwoch.

Gordy is survived by his wife of 60 years, Lila; sister, Jeanette Wolters of Rome, NY; daughter, Dana Basnar of Vienna, Austria; sons, Dave (Jacqueline) Schwoch of Vineyard Haven, MA, Paul Schwoch of Carlton, MN, and John (Sandy) Schwoch or Moose Lake, MN; 12 grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

A public visitation will be held on Friday, January 1st, 2021 from 12pm to 1pm in Hamlin-Hansen-Kosloski Funeral Home, Moose Lake. Please wear a face covering and practice social distancing while attending the indoor visitation. A private family funeral will follow, officiated by Gordy’s nephew, Greg Wolters of Bradford, PA. Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery, Barnum in the spring of 2021.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Elim Lutheran Church of Blackhoof: 2077 County Road 6, Barnum, MN, 55707.

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