The (short version) Story of Marion Gunderson: Marion the Librarian and So Much More


Every time I include Mother’s (Marion Gunderson) name in a blog post, I want to hyperlink her name to the “story” of her life. So, here is her obituary that I will link to in the future. Once I add more links to make her obituary more interactive, I’ll repost it.

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Marion Loomis Abbott Gunderson 1919-2004. This photo was taken in July of 1991.

Marion Loomis Abbott, daughter of James Thompson Abbott and Helen Margaret (Loomis) Abbott, was born on September 27, 1919, in Ogden, Utah. She graduated from Ogden High School in 1937 and received a B.S. in Applied Art from Iowa State College in 1941.

On July 23, 1941, Marion Abbott and Deane Charles Gunderson were married in Ogden. They resided in Waterloo, Iowa, for nearly four years while Deane worked for the John Deere Tractor Company. In 1945, they moved to the farm southwest of Rolfe where they continued to live for six decades.

For many years Marion painted watercolors and exhibited in galleries across from the state. In 1963, Marion accepted a position as assistant librarian at the Rolfe Public Library and later became head librarian. She worked at the library until her retirement in 1998. Marion taught Vacation Bible School at the Rolfe Presbyterian Church, was a Cub Scout den mother, 4-H leader and kindergarten volunteer. She spearheaded several community projects including a flea market to raise money to build the Rolfe swimming pool, an oral history project consisting of interviews of 100 Rolfe citizens, and microfilming and indexing The Rolfe Arrow. She provided the impetus for the new Rolfe library/community center/city hall building.

Marion was an avid reader, a Life Master of the American Contract Bridge League, and an ardent genealogist. In 2000, The Iowa Genealogical Society honored Marion for her volunteer work. She was a member of the Shared Ministry of Rolfe, Sorosis, and Chapter FR, P.E.O. She served on the State Extension Advisory Committee and the Board of Directors of the Iowa State University Alumni Association. In 1980, Iowa State University awarded Alumni Recognition Medals to Marion and Deane.

Marion was preceded in death by her parents and one son,, Christian Abbott Gunderson. She is survived by her husband Deane; son Charles Gunderson and wife Gloria; daughters Clara Hoover and husband Harold, Helen Gunderson, Martha Carlson and husband Michael, Margaret Moore and husband Jeffrey, and Louise Shimon and husband William; seven grandchildren Christina Wehmeyer, Timothy Gunderson, Kevin Carlson, Joshua Moore, Jonathan Moore, Abigail Johnstone and Kathryn Shimon; and a cousin Kathryn Dye.

Through her paintings, community efforts and example as woman, wife, mother, grandmother and friend, the spirit of Marion the Librarian is very much alive.

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


One Response to “The (short version) Story of Marion Gunderson: Marion the Librarian and So Much More”

  1. Peg Says:

    ❤ ❤ ❤

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