Gerald Getchell, age 93, of rural Aitkin passed away Thursday, February 16, 2017 at Essentia St. Joseph's in Brainerd. Gerald's memorial service will be Tuesday, February 21, at 2 PM, at Lakewood Evangelical Free Church in Baxter. Visitation will be at the church, during the hour prior to services. Interment will be at Minnesota State Veteran's Cemetery, in the spring.
Gerald Joseph Getchell was born June 3, 1923 in Minneapolis, to Lewis and Lena Getchell. He grew up in Osseo, graduating from Osseo High School in 1941. He served his country in the US Navy from 1942-1945, serving in combat in the South Pacific, as a Higgins Landing Craft operator with the USS George Clymer troop carrier. Gerald was united in marriage to Leona Tonn on June 4, 1945, in Osseo. The couple made their home in Osseo, where Gerald farmed and drove Skelly bulk truck. He went to work for the Osseo Police Department in 1954, and served as Department Chief for 25 years. He also served with the Osseo Volunteer Fire Department during this time, and was active with the Lions Club. He was widowed when Leona passed away in January of 1969. On July 24, 1970, Gerald was married to Darlene Skalsky, in Aitkin. They lived in Osseo until Gerald's retirement from the police department at the end of 1979, when they moved to their home on Round Lake in Aitkin County, near Garrison. Gerald enjoyed attending auctions, and he loved old cars, going to car shows in Branson and Phoenix, and owned a 1929 Whippet Roadster. Gerald and Darlene loved living on the lake, and every Fourth of July Gerald went skiing around the lake, proudly waving an American flag. Gerald is survived by Darlene, his wife of 46 years; six children, Linda (Ray) Augustson, of Aitkin, Jerry (Vikki) Getchell, of Marine on St. Croix, Ronald (Barbara) Skalsky, of Ham Lake, Larry Getchell, of Aitkin, Cheryl (John) Flatt, of Detroit Lakes, and Joe (Kara Kristofferson) Getchell, of Baxter; thirteen grandchildren; and thirteen great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Lewis and Lena Getchell; his first wife, Leona; two children, James Getchell and Todd Skalsky; and a brother, Stanley Getchell. Services entrusted to Brenny Funeral Chapel.