Feb. 7, 1923-Oct. 3, 2008
Gerald A. Courneya, 85, of Frazee, died Friday, October 3, 2008 at the Frazee Care Center.
Gerald Alfred Courneya was born to Louis and Marie (Cummings) Courneya on Feb. 7, 1923 in Detroit Lakes, the oldest of seven children. In 1933, his parents bought the farm on Lake Five which is presently the Kaldahl Resort. He attended elementary school in Detroit Lakes and high school in Frazee, graduating in 1941. Following high school graduation, he attended North Dakota State University on a football scholarship.
In 1943, Gerald married Margaret Bjorge and they settled in Frazee. In 1944, Gerald was inducted into the Navy. His naval training included being assigned to a Bainbridge Md., Naval Specialist A, where he was trained in combatitives, judo, water warfare and swimming.
From there he was sent to Charleston, S.C., to instruct Navy Amphids, now known as the Navy Seals. He concluded his active military duty at Key West, where he taught boxing and swimming to the Naval enlisted personnel and officers.
Following his discharge from the U.S. Navy, he returned home and farmed with his dad for two years before taking a job as a heavy equipment operator with John Dieseth for five years, and then McCarty Construction for 13 years. In 1950, he bought the Courneya farm and continued to farm until 1991.
In addition to farming and developing the Lake 7 property, Gerald also served as a rural mail carrier with the Frazee Post Office for 23 years, until his retirement in 1985.
Gerald was very active in community service. He served on the Frazee School Board for 10 years where he served as clerk and chairman. Additionally, he was president of the District 23 School Board Association for two years. He also was elected to the Hobart Town Board for nine years, and served as Town Board Chairman. Besides spending time with his family, Gerald enjoyed hunting, fishing and sports of all kinds. He was an avid Frazee sports fan.
Gerald's survivors include his wife Margaret, who resides at their home on Rose Lake; his six children, Judy (David) Zak of Hopkins, Minn., Steve (Carole Lee) Courneya of Frazee, Cathy (John) Scott of San Diego, Calif., Dennis Courneya of Frazee, Tim (Faye) Courneya of Frazee and Julie (Bryce) Zieman of Alexandria; 19 grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren; his brothers Terry Courneya of Florida and Cal Courneya of Alexandria; and sister Pat Teiken of Detroit Lakes.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Louis and Marie; two brothers, Cliff and Dean Courneya; and one sister, Joyce Olson.
Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5 at the Furey Funeral Home in Frazee, with a 6 p.m. prayer service; and will continue for one hour prior to the service at the Event Center on Monday.
Funeral services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 6, at the Frazee Event Center, with the Rev. William Aufdenkamp officiating. Burial will follow the service at Lakeside Cemetery in Frazee.
Arrangements were entrusted to the Furey Funeral Home in Frazee.