BAXTER - Catherine "Kay" Gustafson, age 94, died peacefully on Saturday, April 11, 2009, at the Diamond Willow assisted living in Baxter.
Kay was born in Grand Forks, N.D., on Aug. 21, 1914, to Michael and Lillian Neville and was the youngest of four girls. She graduated from Grand Forks High School in 1931 and attended the University of North Dakota. She then moved to Brainerd to help care for her ill grandmother. While in Brainerd, she met Joe Gustafson and the two were married on Feb. 17, 1938. Brainerd was home to Joe and Kay where they raised their three daughters. Kay was a stay-at-home mom while Joe ventured into the business world. She was always supportive of him and instrumental in his dreams becoming a reality. Joe and Kay enjoyed traveling and went on many wonderful trips. Because of their involvement with Super Valu stores, many of these trips were with their Super Valu family.
Kay was a member of First Lutheran Church and various organizations including Chapter C.J. PEO and Service League. She was also involved in the 50 Twosomes Dance Club, the Eastern Star and her college sorority, Delta-Zeta. Kay enjoyed spending time with her bridge group and was grateful for their genuine friendship.
Kay is survived by her daughters, Greta (Paul) Graff, of Osterville, Mass., Joni (Michael) Alvarez, of Baxter, Minn., Lisa Lake (Arne) Moores, of Brainerd, Minn.; six grandchildren, Jon (Holly) Graff, Lynn Graff, Timothy (Melanie) Turcotte, Tiffany (Thomas) Werner, Melissa (Chad) Schwendeman, Thomas "TJ" (Melissa) Lake; 13 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Joe; sisters, Gertrude, Margaret and Francis; and son-in-laws, Thomas Turcotte and James Lake.
Kay was a sweet and generous woman who always wore a smile. Her gentle nature and selfless giving will be missed by her family and friends. She was always thinking of others and touched all who entered her life. Kay was very appreciative of all the kindness shown toward her and never complained about the changes in her life. To her family, Kay was the epitome of class and an ideal role model.
Kay and her family wish to thank the wonderful and caring staff at Diamond Willow assisted living for their compassion and kindness.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, April 17, at 10 a.m. at First Lutheran Church in Brainerd, Minn., and burial will be at Evergreen Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, April 16, at Nelson-Doran Funeral Home.
The family appreciates memorials to First Lutheran Church or the Alzheimer's Association, Minnesota-North Dakota Chapter.
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