Logan Gartin may have been her baby brother, but Cailie Derifield said he sure had a quirky old soul.
As a kid, Gartin loved Johnny Cash tunes and salad.
At age 8, at his parents forested property in Coon Rapids, Gartin trapped animals with his dad, Rocky, caught fish with his sister and started his own business catching moles at a family friend’s farm. He earned $5 for each furry carcass.
A taxidermy of a 40-pound raccoon he caught is still in his old bedroom at his parents’ home.
Gartin, 22, who lived in Blaine, died on Sept. 26 after accidentally mixing alcohol and medication.
The sudden loss has Derifield, who was nine years older, and Gartin’s other family and friends laughing and crying at many memories.
Derifield said her brother collected 30 pairs of “bright-colored ugly shoes,” watches and lots of friends. His dad called him “Sonny Boy.” His mom called him “Little Man.” Friends and family alike called him loyal, generous, spontaneous and hilarious.
A drink at a bar one night in June led to Gartin and his best friend and roommate Anyeth Deng spontaneously heading to the four-day Electric Forest Festival in Michigan.
“We made plans in 10 minutes and were there for four days. We stopped by a Walmart, bought a tent, food and water and hit the road,” Deng said. “With Logan, you never knew what you were doing.”
Derifield said her brother was the life of the party, always surrounded by friends.
“He went to prom with 25 couples and he is in the center of all the pictures,” she said.
He carried a case of water in his car trunk to give to homeless people and would buy them a meal instead of just giving them a buck or two.
“He was always ahead of his time,” Derifield said. “He was kind and giving and always there for everyone.”
Deng said Gartin bought him a plane ticket to hike in Colorado for his 21st birthday. He was “a good person to everyone, even people you didn’t know. We all know [he was] the most generous person we’ve come across.”
Gartin worked at a gas station, for a local plumber and at Shortstop Restaurant in Coon Rapids. But he also was a “creative” entrepreneur — both while he attended Coon Rapids High School and after he graduated in 2015. He snatched up free cabinets, couches and other furniture from sources such as Craigslist, fixed them up and sold them. He and friend Keith McCullum bought beanie hats, bamboo cutting boards and other cheap goods from suppliers in China and resold them online.
“To myself, I thought, ‘Is someone really going to be interested in all this stuff?’ But he was very optimistic,” Deng said. “And I supported him. I thought, ‘You do you.’ ”
Gartin eventually followed his mom, Kim, into the real estate business and earned his real estate license. His first official sale was the house he sold to his sister and her husband, Shaun Derifield, in Princeton.
His entrepreneurial efforts allowed him to travel to the Apostle Islands with beloved girlfriend of three years Kaylee Ligeros and the mountains of Colorado with Deng, and to Cancun and the Dominican Republic.
“He traveled all over the place,” said Deng.
He also had favorite eating spots like the Hajime sushi spot near his apartment in Blaine and Boston’s Restaurant in Coon Rapids.
Gartin is survived by his parents Kim and Rocky Gartin, Derifield, grandparents and scores of friends. Services have been held.