Donald J. Gunnufson

Donald Joel Gunnufson, age 81, of Gary, MN, passed away Tuesday, January 15, 2019, at Sanford Health Systems in Fargo, ND.

Don was born January 3, 1938, the son of Arnold and Palma (Thronson) Gunnufson. He was born and raised near Gary with his three siblings. He attended Gary Public School and graduated with the class of 1956. Don was quite athletic and loved playing basketball and football. He held scoring records in basketball for several years. After graduation, he moved to California where he worked as a surveyor and at the Ford Plant. In 1961, Don entered the United States Army and worked as a heavy equipment operator. During his time in the service he fought a forest fire in Missouri. He was a diligent and committed soldier and was honorably discharged in 1963 as an E5 Buck Sergeant. Following his discharge, he moved back to Minnesota and began working and eventually running his family's construction company.

On May 1, 1965, Don was united in marriage to Lenore Ahmann at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Mahnomen. The newlywed couple made their home in Gary where they raised their family. Don’s career in construction eventually changed and he began working on the pipeline. The pipeline industry took him all over Minnesota and North Dakota, this was his favorite part of his working career. He was a proud union member of the Local 49’ers and retired at the age of 72.

In his retirement years, Don liked tinkering on projects. He loved visiting and being around people, especially his children and grandchildren. He also enjoyed the occasional trip to the casino. Don was a member of the Gary American Legion and faithfully helped with Friday night Bingo until his health began to decline and he was unable to commit.

Don leaves behind his wife of 53 years, Lenore of Gary; one daughter, Dawn (Darin) Mogck of Fargo, ND; one son, Dan (Valerie) of Cloquet, MN; three grandchildren: Lucas (Serina) Gunnufson, Jacob Mogck and Madison Gunnufson; one brother, Roger (Janice) of Morris, MN, and one sister, Gayle (Rodney) Sundet of Bedford, MA; and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Arnie.

Blessed be the memory of Donald Gunnufson.

A Memorial Service will be held at the Anderson Family Funeral Home in Mahnomen at 3:00 pm tomorrow, January 19, 2019. A time of gathering for family and friends will begin at 1:00 pm and continue until the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be given in his honor to the Gary American Legion or the Moorhead American Legion Restoration Fund.

Arrangements entrusted to Anderson Family Funeral Home of Mahnomen. Online