Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Lois E. Johnson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Introducing 2019's Ma & Pa Kettle


August 8, 2019

Lois Johnson

Gary and Judy Marsyla are Ma and Pa Kettle this year.

Gary and Judy Marsyla have been named Ma and Pa Kettle for the Ma and Pa Kettle Days parade this year.

A sub-committee chooses the grand marshal and Ma and Pa Kettle each year. Their son, Dean, who is president of the Ma and Pa Kettle Days committee, was shocked when his parents were named, explained Morgan Yeats, one of the organizers.

Gary grew up on a farm northeast of Kettle River. Judy grew up in Fosston, Minnesota.

"My dad got a job in Cloquet when I was a junior in high school," said Judy. "And then I got rheumatic fever late in the year."

Judy went to be cared for by her mother, who was a teacher at the Blackhoof Valley School, she said.

"I went to school in Barnum," she added. "Gary's sister and I were in the same grade."

Gary enlisted in the Army in 1958.

"We met at his going-away party," said Judy, with a chuckle. "I was there with his cousin."

Gary explained that he was inducted into the U.S. Army at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where he spent a year. He spent his second year at Fort Lewis, Washington, serving in the artillery as a cannoneer.

"I am considered a Korean War era veteran," he said. "But I never served in Korea."

The couple married on September 2, 1961 and raised a family of five children. They now have eight grandchildren and one great-granddaughter, said Judy.

Gary was a cement mason, doing commercial jobs in the Twin Cities in his working career. Judy said that she has worked in customer service and in childcare.

The couple moved to Sturgeon Lake, where they rented a house, after Gary retired. They moved to Kettle River in 2008, Judy explained.

Judy volunteers at the Augustana Care Center.

"I set up bingo and lead the Rosary for the Catholic residents," she said. "I am also a minister of communion at Holy Angels Catholic Church. I am the money counter and treasurer of St. Ann's Guild."

Judy said that she also works in the ticket booth for Ma and Pa Kettle Days.

The couple was surprised that they were chosen as Ma and Pa Kettle.

"We were very surprised and honored," said Judy.

See Gary and Judy Marsyla in the Ma and Pa Kettle Days parade at 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 10.


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