Cover photo for Gary Sylvester's Obituary
1963 Gary 2022

Gary Sylvester

June 1, 1963 — June 25, 2022

Gary Todd Sylvester, 59 of Crookston, MN, passed away peacefully at his home Saturday, June 25, 2022.

Gary was born in Crookston on June 1, 1963 to loving parents Charles and Audrey Sylvester. He grew up on the family farm near Eldred, MN and was baptized at First English Lutheran Church in Eldred. Gary was later confirmed at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Crookston. He attended kindergarten through high school at Fisher, MN and during his senior year enrolled at the Brown Institute in Minneapolis, where he studied radio broadcasting. During high school he worked at KDWZ FM 97 radio station in Crookston. After graduation Gary worked was employed at radio stations in Scottsbluff, NE and Boulder, CO.

Gary loved music even before he could walk, and his passion continued into adulthood. In 1992, at the age of 29, Gary founded Malibu, CA based Cortical Foundation and it’s record label, Organ of Corti. Primarily dedicated to the preservation of sound archives and publication of recordings, his studio placed particular emphasis on artists that emerged during the 1960’s. Many of these recordings represented new directions in music and re-defined musical development of the 20th century. Gary made a huge investment of his time and resources as he oversaw the transfer of materials from analog to digital for the Los Angeles Free Music Society among others.

In September 2001, while living in Malibu, Gary fell and suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury. Many friends visited and encouraged him during his initial recovery. In particular, Michael Intriere and Elaine Baker were devoted to Gary and determined to see him regain his health and participate in social outings. Elaine visited him every week bringing him fresh flowers from her garden.

Gary moved back to Crookston in 2007 where he attended the DAC two days a week and made many new friends. Gary’s family is grateful to the community for their kindness to Gary when he attended concerts and special events. He especially enjoyed the Artist Series Concerts where he sat in the front row and applauded and cheered on the entertainment. We want to thank the many nurses and doctors at Riverview who have attended Gary since he returned to Crookston. They always cared for him with the utmost love and respect. We also thank the loving and supportive staff at REM where Gary resided for the last several years.

Gary loved attending church in Eldred on Sunday mornings with his Dad and going to RBJ’s for waffles and whipped cream with strawberries. He was even known to walk to the restaurant himself and order pie and coffee.  Gary enjoyed several trips to Big Sky with his family and skiing with the Eagle Mount organization. He also was able to travel with family to Lake of the Woods and enjoy the family cabin. He loved riding in the boat. He also enjoyed rides in the car especially if he could sit in the front seat and blast the music on the radio while singing along to the Beatles or Johnny Cash.  Gary’s nieces and nephews included him in the birthday parties and any celebration where Gary could enjoy food and drinks. He loved to play cards and visit with everyone. He had a wonderful sense of humor and liked to tease. Gary was always a gentleman and would kiss the ladies’ hands with a smile. Two dear friends, John Reitmeier and Bob Floodeen, helped him out throughout his years in California, giving him work and encouraging him through hard times.

Gary was preceded in death by his mother, Audrey Delight Sylvester; grandparents, Willis and Norma Burke, and Clarence and Bertha Sylvester; and grand-nieces, Brooklyn Rae Sylvester and Isabella Mae Conneran.

Gary is survived by his father, Charles Dale Sylvester; siblings, Terry (Armin) Pipho, Barbara (Jim) Ross, David (Deb) Sylvester, and Bruce Sylvester; and nieces and nephews: Sara Armstrong, Matthew, Joshua, and Nathan Conneran, Angela St. Michel, Tara Copp, and Nick Sylvester. He was loved by all who were fortunate to know him. May God bless the memory of Gary Todd Sylvester.

Gary’s funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, July 6, 2022, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Crookston with The Rev. Steve Bohler, officiating. Visitation will be for one hour prior to the service.  Following lunch at Our Savior’s a 1:30 p.m. graveside service will take place at the First English Cemetery in Eldred. Both services will be livestreamed by going to Gary’s obituary page at and clicking on the prompt to view. In lieu of flowers please consider a memorial in Gary’s name to the First English Cemetery or the Crookston Civic Music League.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gary Sylvester, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, July 6, 2022

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Our Savior's Lutheran Church

217 S Broadway, Crookston, MN 56716

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Funeral Service

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Our Saviors Lutheran Church (Crookston)


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Graveside Service

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Starts at 1:30 pm (Central time)

First English Lutheran Cemetery

339th Ave SW, MN 56523

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