ARTHUR GALL

Posted Dec. 12, 2010, at 8:06 p.m.

SHREWSBURY, Mass. – Arthur Gall, 91, died peacefully Dec. 8, 2010, at home, after having surpassed his goal of living until he was 90. He was born April 3, 1919, in Burnstead, N.D., to Edward and Pauline Stockburger Gall. There were five boys in Art’s family, Edward, Arthur, Leo, Ervin and Noyal. Leo and Noyal survive him. Art was raised on the family farm in Burnstead, N.D., attended school in Burnstead, N.D., and graduated from Wishek High School in 1938. After graduation Art taught school in Burnstead, N.D., and helped on the family farm until he enlisted in the Navy in 1942. Art assumed many roles in the Navy, including fire-fighting instructor, supply manager and radio technician. When his superiors realized his skill in working with radios and his gift for fixing things, Art was assigned responsibility for maintaining the transmitter on Johnston Island, a primary mode of communication to the mainland. Art was proud to have served his country and told many stories of his life in the Navy, including one journey on the ship when, during a storm, a huge wave nearly washed him into the Pacific Ocean. He was stationed in Hawaii for most of his enlisted years. Upon returning to civilian life, Art took advantage of the GI Bill and attended North Dakota State University, where he met Mary Jane Shurr, who he married Nov. 26, 1947. At North Dakota State University, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural engineering in 1950. Art and Jane moved to Linton, N.D., where Art worked for Standard Oil. In 1954 he took a position as county agent in Oliver County and lived in Center, N.D., for the next eight years. He returned to North Dakota State University in 1962 to pursue a master’s degree in entomology. His research project involved studying the wheat stem saw fly, a pest affecting crops in North Dakota. In 1965 Art accepted a position at the University of Maine, Orono, as extension entomologist, where he served until he retired in 1985. In 2008 Art and Jane left their many friends in Orono to move to Shrewsbury, Mass. Outside of his professional life, Art was known for his skills in building and fixing things, and his creative ways of designing and creating solutions to everyday logistical challenges. Problems would be faced and Art would calmly say, “Well, I guess we’ll need to use the Gall finagle factor.” His handiwork and creative solutions exist throughout his former homes and within each of the homes in which his children live. An avid photographer, Art produced the family Christmas card for many years. He was a master gardener, producing abundant fruits and vegetables, which he generously shared with friends and family. Art and Jane enjoyed their work at the Leonard’s Mill Logging Museum, where Art would dialogue with visitors, showing them antique tools and encouraging them to guess how the tools were used. He was active in Kiwanis and was well known for ensuring that items in Trash and Treasures were functional, fixed and ready for the next new owner. The Kiwanis organization recognized his many contributions when they presented him with the George Hixson Fellow award in 2004. Art served in churches everywhere he lived and contributed his creative carpentry skills to enhance the churches’ buildings and worship spaces. Art was very interested in environmental issues long before recycling became trendy. He used discarded wood from pallets and crates to build sawhorses, and attained his goal of building 1,000 sawhorses in his lifetime. He also became well known for his toaster tongs, which he shared generously with friends and family. Art’s children loved the bobsled, playhouses and furniture that he built for them. His grandchildren loved the snow mountain that he dutifully built for them in winter and the strawberries, blueberries and raspberries that he provided in the summer, especially the squishy blackberries that the grandchildren were mentored to savor. Art is survived by his wife of 63 years, Jane. Art and Jane nurtured four children, all of whom are married, Brenda and Richard Angotti of Millinocket, Karol and Robert Wollenburg of New York City, Dean and Elaine Gall of Christiansburg, Va., and Fae and David Nason of Shrewsbury, Mass. Art will be lovingly remembered by his 11 grandchildren, who he adored, Giovanni Angotti, Melissa Angotti Barton, Mario Angotti, Damaris Wollenburg Maclean, Matthew Wollenburg, Stephan Wollenburg, Evan Gall, Tyler Gall, Joshua Nason, Benjamin Nason and Paul Nason. He is also survived by two great-grandchildren, Cailan and Owen Barton. Family and friends will gather to honor and remember Art’s life 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 18, at Orono United Methodist Church, 36 Oak St., Orono. Private interment with military honors will be at Maine Veterans Cemetery, Augusta. Honor Art’s memory with a contribution to Orono United Methodist Church or Disabled American Veterans, P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please visit www.healdchiampa.com.

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