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Craig Gontarek '79 April 22, 2020 11:38 AM updated: April 24, 2020 8:34 AM

In Loving Memory
Craig Gontarek
06 March 1957-09 March 2020

Craig Gontarek, 63, of Lakeville, Minnesota passed away peacefully surrounded by family March 9, 2020, after battling Early Onset Alzheimer's Dementia.

Craig grew up in Houston and Dallas, Texas, graduating in 1979 from Texas A & M on scholarship with the United States Air Force ROTC. He majored in Electrical Engineering. Craig went on to UPT at Reese AFB and became a C-130 pilot. He flew with the USAF until 1986, when he was offered a position at Northwest Airlines. He continued flying through the merger with Delta until 2013. He completed his Master's in Electrical Engineering at the University of Minnesota in 1996.

Craig met his wife Cheryl in the fall of 2012, on a blind date, where he impressed her with his knowledge of Star Trek, his dry sense of humor, obvious extreme brain power, and his feats of strength, lifting her bike into her pickup truck at the end of the evening. They were happily married at Flathead Lake, Montana, July 22, 2017.

His hobbies included skiing of ALL types, hiking, sailing, kayaking, biking, reading and walking his doggo Gulliver. Craig was very involved in water conservation, a clean environment, and the great outdoors, and was a member of the MN Rovers Outdoors club. He also was a very big Alfa Romeo fan!

He will be greatly missed by family and friends, and all who knew him.

Craig is preceded in death by his parents, Marvin Gontarek and Kathryn (Klamsky) Gontarek, and his doggos Bill, Jake, and his beloved Gulliver.

Craig is survived by his loving wife Cheryl (née Fenstermaker); his sister Lynn Gontarek-Garberson (John), brother Jerry Gontarek (Kay), brother Brian Gontarek (Gwyn), sister Karen Sewell (Doug), and baby sister Lisa Monaghan (John); nephew Brett (Amanda) and sons Tristan and Max, nephew Paul (Julie) and daughter Carrie and son Andrew, niece Katie and nephew Cameron; daughter Sarah Pratt, son Reed Gontarek.

Funeral services will be private and at the convenience of the family.

Memorials may be made in his honor to MN Hospice or The Brain Donor Project

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