Gary Lee Sidbeck

NEENAH, Wis. – Gary Lee Sidbeck, 76, of Neenah, Wis., formerly of Escanaba, Mich., passed away Monday, Nov. 7, 2016, surrounded by family and friends at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center in Neenah, Wis.

Gary was born July 11, 1940, in Escanaba, Mich., the son of Arvid Sidbeck and Waltrudis Fish. He was raised and grew up in Escanaba. Growing up he loved playing for the Escanaba Hawks Semi Pro Hockey team. He was proud to be a part of Bob Iverson’s pit crew, loved dirt sprint cars, and truly was drawn to any sort of racing. Gary worked many years as an auto body mechanic at Coyne’s Chevrolet. He was an avid NASCAR and Chicago Blackhawks fan. In 1998, he relocated to Neenah, Wis., with his long time significant other, Darlene Walitalo, of 34 years. In Neenah, Gary worked for five years as a maintenance man for Community First Credit Union.

In addition to his significant other Darlene, Gary is survived by: two sons, Steve Sidbeck of Schaumburg, Ill., and Michael Sidbeck of Menasha, Wis.; two daughters, Cindy Tackett of Escanaba, Mich., and Wendy Burnette of Chicago, Ill.; one stepdaughter, Heidi Deiter of Ford River, Mich.; seven grandchildren, one great-grandchild.

Gary was preceded in death by his parents and stepson, Todd Walitalo.

Gary’s family will receive friends on Saturday, Nov. 12, from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. at the Skradski Funeral Home in Escanaba.

Funeral services for Gary will begin at 12 p.m. at the Skradski Funeral Home in Escanaba with Rev. Fr. Rick Courier officiating. Gary will be laid to rest at Gardens of Rest Cemetery in Wells, Mich. Messages of condolence may be left at