Sept. 30, 1918-Jan. 23, 2009
Former Lake Park area resident Gordy Gunderson, 82, of Casselton, N.D., passed away on Friday, January 23, 2009 at Bethany Homes in Fargo.
Gordy was born the son of Oscar and Emma (Larson) Gunderson on Jan. 31, 1926 in Cooperstown, N.D. He grew up by Aneta, N.D., and attended school in Romness Township.
Gordy married Constance "Connie" Hanson on Jan. 9, 1949 at Sundahl Lutheran Church in Aneta. They farmed in Romness Township (Griggs County), near Cooperstown until 1966, when they moved to Lake Park, MN to operate a farm. In 1968, they moved to Casselton and began leasing a DX gas station, which they later purchased.
The Casselton gas station has been called "Gordy's" for over 40 years. Gordy and Connie ran the business from 1968 to 1988, and then their sons took over the business operation. In honor of their dad, the business was formally incorporated in 1988 and called "Gordy's, Inc." Gordy continued to help with the family business until 1996, when he entered a nursing home. The business that Gordy and Connie started in 1968 to this day is still widely known as "Gordy's" and it continues to be a reference/gathering point in the community.
In addition to operating Gordy's, Gordy in the late 1960s and early '70s worked for North Dakota State University, doing milk testing for a number of dairy farms.
Gordy was a member of Martin Lutheran Church in Casselton, the Sons of Norway, Eagles, and Toastmasters International Club. Gordy was also involved in politics for a number of years. He enjoyed visiting and helping people.
At Gordy's gas station, Gordy made sure there was a chair available for the local residents or the traveling public to relax and visit with him. Gordy had a good sense of humor and always made time to put a smile on the face of "everyone" he encountered.
Over the years, Gordy and Connie put the customer first and helped many travelers on Interstate 94 that broke down or were stranded during a snowstorm. They often housed and fed people during snowstorms, and in a number of cases (especially during the holidays) they gave travelers with major car troubles a ride to their destination. Gordy would take people as far as the Twin Cities so they could be with family.
Gordy operated his business seven days a week and was always available to help those in need of service. In 1987, Casselton created a Community Service Award to recognize local residents that provided outstanding service and support to the community. Gordy and Connie were recognized and honored that year as the first recipients of the award.
Gordy also enjoyed traveling, visiting Norway and Hawaii and taking several bus tours.
Surviving Gordy are his wife of 60 years, Connie; seven children, Cleary (Colleen) Gunderson of Groveport, Ohio, Ruby (Carson) Longtine of Lake Park, Elwood (Mary Lou) Gunderson of Casselton, Opal (Tracy) Moen of Detroit Lakes, Roger (Denise) Gunderson of Fargo, Lowell (Laura) Gunderson of Inver Grove Heights, Minn., and Gary (Audrey) Gunderson of Casselton; 13 grandchildren; one great grandson; and a sister, Miranda Pittenger of Cooperstown.
Preceding him in death were his parents and a brother, Johnnie.
Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 26 at the West Funeral Home in Casselton, with a 7 p.m. prayer service; and continues for one hour prior to the start of services Tuesday at the church.
Funeral services are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 27 at Martin's Lutheran Church, Casselton, with burial in the Casselton Cemetery.
West Funeral Home is providing arrangements. Condolences can be sent online via the web site, westfuneralhome.com.