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Gary Ackley Brainerd

April 23, 1948 ~ September 18, 2020 (age 72)


Harbor Springs has lost one of its native sons, Gary Ackley Brainerd age 72, passed away of heart failure surrounded by loved ones on Friday, September 18th.

Gary was born on April 23, 1948 to Gerald Ackley Brainerd and Eleanor Emma Brainerd.

Gary graduated from Harbor Springs High School in 1966, married his high school sweetheart Donna Wilson in 1968 and went on to Lake Superior State University where he earned a bachelor's degree in biology.

After college, Gary returned home and started Brainerd Lawn Care, which he ran until he passed away.

Gary was the President of the Harbor Springs Snowmobile Club for many years.  He loved being with his friends and making the soup for the Bean Pot for the annual Moose Jaw Safari. He helped develop the snowmobile trails that we all use today. He was a long time member of the Petoskey Hunting Club “PHC” with many of his life long friends.

He loved snowmobiling, boating, puzzles, and watching his grandchildren participate in their many sports.

Gary is survived by his wife Donna Brainerd; his sisters Sandy (Tom) Pifer, Betty (Arlie) Shepperley; his brother Chuck Brainerd; his sons Chad (Nancy) and Gunnar (Ashley) Brainerd; his grandchildren Chaz, Keeler and Allison; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents Jerry and Eleanor and his Father and Mother-in-law Jack and Fran Wilson.

Gary lived a life worth celebrating. So please come celebrate Gary’s life:

Time: 2:00pm Saturday, September 26th

Location: Gunnar and Ashley Brainerd’s

4864 Welsheimer Rd, Harbor Springs.

The event will be outside to abide by social distancing recommendations. We will have a shuttle for anyone that has a hard time walking.

Instead of flowers we recommend donating in Gary’s name to the Harbor Springs Snowmobile Club, the American Legion post 281, or to the charity of your choice.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gary Ackley Brainerd, please visit our floral store.


You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or by planting a memorial tree in the memory of Gary Ackley Brainerd


Harbor Springs Snowmobile Club
PO Box 512, Harbor Springs MI 49740
Tel: 1-231-622-5223
Email: TeamHSSC@Gmail.Com

American Legion Post 281
101 East 3rd Street, Harbor Springs MI 49740
Tel: 1-231-526-2551

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