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The Rev. Gary C. ‘Sungi’ Cavender Dec. 23, 1939 – April 17, 2009

GRANITE FALLS — The Rev. Gary Clyde “Sungi’’ Cavender, 69, of Granite Falls died Friday at home.


The service will be 1 p.m. today at the Upper Sioux Multi-Purpose Building, rural Granite Falls. Burial will be Doncaster Cemetery.


An all-night wake continues until the time of service today. Wing-Bain Funeral Home of Granite Falls is handling arrangements.


Sungi (Red Fox) Gary Clyde Cavender was born Dec., 23, 1939.


The son of Verna Cavender-Ross, he was raised by William and Eliza Cavender of Granite Falls. He entered the Navy in 1961 and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1965 as a crypto-radio operator, serving three tours of duty in Vietnam where he operated near the China border with long range reconnaissance patrols. He left the military due to injuries.


He lived in Minneapolis where he met his wife, Irene. They were foster parents to several Indian children. He attended the University of Minnesota where he received a degree in geriatric psychology and where he taught for several years. He attended United Theological Seminary and earned a degree in comparative spiritualities and religion. He served as an Episcopal priest in Minneapolis, Prairie Island, Morton, Shakopee and Omaha, Neb. They returned to Granite Falls three years ago.


He is survived by his wife; children: Robin (and Ward) Emery of Minneapolis, Chris (and Amy) Oak Grove of Granite Falls, Isaac Cavender of Granite Falls, and Steve Smith of Minneapolis; grandchildren; great-grandchildren; and siblings: Carolynn Schommer, Tom (and Maureen) Ross, Richard (and Stephanie) Ross, Elroy (and Jill) Ross, James (and Nikkie) Ross, Joe Sam (and Kristi) Ross, Diana Cavender, Marlys (and James) Fluto, Candy (and Chuck) Hamilton, Carol Blackhawk and Geri Standing Bear.

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