Gary LaFave Gary's Journey

First post: May 9, 2018 Latest post: May 4, 2021
Welcome to Gary’s CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.

Gary LaFave had a hemorrhagic stroke on May 4th, 2018 in the middle of the night. His wife, Karla, and brother, Ron who was staying with him were able to get him to Sheboygan Hospital via ambulance very quickly. Upon discovering the hemorrhage, the doctors at Sheboygan immediately had him transferred via ambulance to St Luke’s Hospital in Milwaukee for specialized care with their stroke team.  All 7 of his children have been by his bedside encouraging and praying for him.

His doctors believe the stroke was a result of high blood pressure; however he has continued to have unexplained ischemic strokes that they have yet to determine the cause of. Tests and recovery are ongoing as his doctors work at determining the cause and implementing a treatment plan. He has been in a coma, but has been showing increasing signs of wakefulness and responsiveness. Your continued prayers are powerful and are extremely appreciated. 

In the meantime, medical costs are quickly accumulating. He has had multiple X-rays, CT’s, MRI’s, (among many other tests), blood pressure medication, feeding and breathing tubes, an ongoing hospital stay, and most likely has a lengthy, difficult, and expensive rehabilitation in his future. Gary would never ask for anything for himself other than prayer, but we as his children would like to help ease the burden as much as we can. If it is within your means, every little bit lightens their burden tremendously.   Click on "Ways to Help" to connect to his Go Fund Me site or go to

Gary is an active and important part of every community he finds himself a part of.  Born to the late William and Shirley LaFave, he is a natural leader as the eldest of their 10 children. 

Though always the entrepreneur, he and his wife, Karla have spent most of their time pouring themselves into multiple ministries. He and Karla ran “It’s Harvest Time Ministries” at their farm in rural WI for over a decade, opening their home and donating their time and energy to many groups, churches, and families for events and services. Many of you likely have memories of the horse back riding, swimming pool, dunk tank, trampoline, four wheeler rides, hayrides and catering services they shared with you at the farm. 

In 2003, Gary accepted the position of Executive Director at Freedom House Homeless Shelter in Green Bay, WI for families, which was on its last leg at the time. With no promise of an income, he and Karla worked day and night (quite literally) to save the homeless shelter, and in the end, trained up a team to run Freedom House Homeless shelter which now houses and rehabilitates over 100 families a year. 

Gary and Karla then founded Freedom Life Skills, the Wisconsin and Upper Michigan chapter of a national program, “Learning to Live, Learning to Love” created by Dr. Paul Hegstrom, which walks people through why we do what we do, and how to correct our thinking and our brain to strengthen our relationships and become a better self. 

Through these endeavors, as well as their own journey as husband and wife and parents, Gary and Karla realized they had a passion for seeing marriages and families restored and healthy. In 2017 they founded Emotional Wellness by Design. Together, they teach healthy living guidelines for marriage, pre-marriage, and parenting based on Biblical foundations and Christian values through counseling and seminars. 

Thank you for your prayer, support, and encouragement during this difficult time. Please continue to stand in faith with us for Gary as we expect God to do the miraculous!