HOFFMAN — Harvey Klifton Gunderson was born in Piapot, Saskatchewan, Canada, on Aug. 4, 1920, the son of John and Lizzie (Foslien) Gunderson. Shortly after, the family moved to a farm near Brandon and eventually to the Gunderson farm near Kensington when Harvey was nine years old.
Harvey attended and graduated from the Kensington High School, class of 1939. He then attended Morris Agricultural School before returning to the Kensington area to farm. He met his future wife, Donna Stahl, at a Rural Youth event. They were married on Oct. 30, 1948, at the Spruce Hill Lutheran Church.
After a three-month honeymoon, the couple settled on the family farm where Harvey worked with his brother, Byron, for over 30 years. Harvey also worked at Land O’ Lakes as a milk dryer operator. The couple moved from the farm into Alexandria in 1977 and Harvey retired in 1987. Following retirement he coordinated and drove cars for Lee Motors.
Harvey was a quiet leader in the Kensington area and his leadership was evident by his roles as chairman of the Solem Lutheran Church, original board member of the Runestone Telephone Association, president and board member of the Douglas County Farmers’ Union and Cenex. He was an active member and leader of the Runestone 4-H Club. He also organized the Community Chest for Solem Township and was instrumental in forming scholarships for farm youth at the University of Minnesota-Morris. Harvey was very proud of his Norwegian heritage and was a charter member of the Alexandria Chapter of the Sons of Norway.
Harvey will be remembered as a patient, giving, gentle, sincere man with a very positive attitude and had many friends. Relationships were important to him as well as visiting with family and friends over coffee. His love of sports was known by all. His family will tell you he was a great husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
Harvey died on March 1, 2011, at the Good Samaritan Home in Hoffman, Minn., at the age of 90. He is survived by his wife, Donna Gunderson, of Alexandria; daughters, Cheryl (Don) Plouffe, of Brainerd, Dianne (Gary) Johnson, of Hoffman, and Judy (Mike) Bialka, of Baxter; grandchildren, Erin Darling, Colin McLain, Chris Johnson, Jeremy Johnson, Heather Johnson, Derrick Johnson and Troy Bialka; 14 great-grandchildren; brothers, Byron (Ruth) Gunderson, of Glenwood, and Marvin (Bergetta) Gunderson, of Winona; nephews, Jon Gunderson and Mark Gunderson; and niece, Christine Jambois. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister-in-law, Marilyn Gunderson; and niece, Mary Beth Gunderson.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, March 5, 2011, at 11 a.m. at Solem Lutheran Church, Kensington, Minn., with the Rev. Elaine Leone officiating. Interment will be in the Church Cemetery. Visitation will be Friday, March 4, from 4-7 p.m. at the Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria, Minn. A prayer service will be held at 7 p.m. at the funeral home.
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