Harry Toppings - obituary

Harry was born in the late 1930s near Mille Lacs Lake and died peacefully in his sleep in March 2020. He will be remembered by his family and friends as a fierce and loving father, a loyal friend, and a thorn in The Man’s side (whenever possible). He lived with great spirit, faced life head-on, and hosted many people in his hometown at his famous gumbo parties. He was generous, irascible, entertaining, extremely charming, sarcastic, and sometimes not the easiest person in the world, but he was loved and appreciated and will be missed greatly. Anyone who knew Harry knew that he valued his friends and family above all else – they were the only important thing – and money and possessions were just stuff and you could always get more.

Harry’s children Saundra, Pilar, Clayton, and Patricia and their respective spouses will have a memorial service when the time is right and the world has taken a collective pause in the face of the current pandemic. His grandchildren Matthew, Tony, Steve, Kate, Ozzy, Beverly, Zoe, Andy, Quinn, Harry, and Geoff (and their children) have grown up with the love of their GrandGrumpy/GrandPappy/GrandHappy and will continue to know him through the stories we share. The children of his late wife Bonnie (Shawn and Abel) and their kids (and Matt’s) have many funny and warm memories of Harry.

Harry was sanguine about his long life and he said that being old had the very wonderful advantage of being able to remember history just as you wanted to, because there wasn’t anyone else around to contradict you. There was nobody quite like Harry Toppings. The people who knew and liked him will always remember his infectious, distinctive laugh and how he grabbed life by the horns. His spirit will go out into the universe to join his brothers, sister, parents, wives, and friends but he will live on in our memories and hearts.

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