What do you use for a title on the day that your father passes away?


My dad, Deane Gunderson, passed away today.

He was (still is, in my mind…you know…the present tense) 91 years old — almost 92. He fell a second time on this year’s Father’s Day, after an initial fall two months ago. He had been hospitalized since June 20th until yesterday when he was transferred to a hospice house.

Wow, what a G-R-E-A-T guy. Always a loving (even when strict) “teacher,” always looking for the best in people and always trying to make the most of life (his own and others’).

I feel so incredibly lucky that I’ve been able to spend so much time with him these past several years (my whole life, actually), especially recently. He exemplified the “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade” philosophy.

I wanted to post maybe a couple of pictures that captured some of his unique traits. Just starting to look, I came up with 40 photos…and I knew I had even more. I want to post them ALL!

I’m pooped. So, for now I’ll post just two of my favorite “a picture tells a thousand words” images that tell about my full-of-life dad. Yes, I know…almost every dad is “great.” So, thank you for indulging me in the past, today, and in the future by letting me express my joy in relation to my dad.

From the Iowa State vs Missouri football program, Homecoming, October 17, 1981. (Click photo twice to read text.)


Daddy (Deane Gunderson) dancing with Peggy at Katie's and Joe's wedding two years ago, July 2008. At age 89 he was the life of the party. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

* * * * * * * *

Click here for another post about my dad’s statue of Cy. It includes a photo of him with Cy in 1975 and another photo of him with Cy from 2007. Cy will be in Rolfe on the Karras RAGBRAI loop on Monday, July 26th.

My dad’s memorial service will be in Rolfe, Iowa, sometime on Saturday, July 31st. By next week I’ll post more details.

(Click here to go to Louise Shimon’s blog’s home page.)


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7 Responses to “What do you use for a title on the day that your father passes away?”

  1. Marsha Swanson Says:

    We are so sorry to learn about your dad’s passing and we will be sure to let my parents know. They too will be saddened. He’s left his legacy to many and in many locations.

  2. Sue Reigelsberger Says:

    I remember seeing that picture of Peggy and Deane at his 90th birthday party. What pure joy on his face to be dancing with his daughter, at his granddaughter’s wedding. I would love to see the expression on Peggy’s face also. I am sure it was a mirror image. He left you all with a lifetime of memories to cherish.

  3. Margaret Says:

    First of all Louise, I am saddened to read that your father has passed on from this life. Always difficult to have a parent die.
    Remembering the good times we had at “Fitness Fantasia”. Have been going to Curves the past 12 years. Easier than trying to get to an arobic class. Plus not a young as I was then!
    Sincerely, Fred & Margaret McKim

  4. Margaret Says:

    Oops! Guess the word is “aerobic”.
    My sympathy to the rest of your family also.
    Will keep watching the Ft. Dodge paper for more information about Deane’s celebration of life.

  5. Marti (Martha Gunderson) Carlson Says:

    Louise, what a wonderful tribute. Of course, I’m biased, having been blessed to be one of Daddy’s daughters.

    Marsha and Fred and Margaret, thanks so much for your post.

  6. Bob & Suzie Liston Says:

    So sorry to learn of your Dad’s passing. He was a man I admired and respected. He told my Dad, after he hired me at the school in 1967, that my shoes were nicely polished. I remember your Dad taking me out to the shed on the farm to show me the giant metal ‘CY’ he was building. I am thankful to have known Deane.

  7. Louise Gunderson Shimon Says:

    Marsha, Sue, Margaret and Fred, and Bob and Suzie, thank you so much for your kind words. You all have known Daddy for many, many years and know of so many aspects of him. That makes it so special to hear from you because you really “knew” Daddy.

    Margaret and Fred (or any others of you who might be interested), Daddy’s celebration of life will be at the Shared Ministry in Rolfe at 11:00 AM on Saturday, July 31st. His obituary (oooooh, I’m not excited about that word) will be in the Sunday, July 25, edition of the Fort Dodge Messenger, Ames Tribune, and Des Moines Register. I don’t know if you are thinking you might be at the service or not, but if you are, it would be so FUN to see you!

    Bob and Suzie, what fun to hear from you, even under these circumstances. What a thing for my dad to notice…polished shoes! He probably put that together with being organized, being prepared, and being a good role model for kids…..which you were.

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