Archive for the ‘Deane Gunderson’ Category

A Beautiful Birthday in Heaven

September 16, 2010

L to R — Front row: Mary Deane (cousin of D.C.G.), Clara (daughter #1), Charles (son), Michael, Tim, Addison, Marti (daughter #3), Daddy, Peg (daughter #4), Jon, me (Louise, daughter #5), Abby and Katie. Back row: Jack (married to Mary Deane), Hal, Gloria, Nicole, Jeff, Claire, Jackson, Bill and Joe. Absent: Helen (daughter #2) and grandchildren Christina, Josh and Kevin. (Click on photo once or twice to enlarge.)


Many happy returns of the day of thy birth,

May sunshine and gladness be given,

And may the dear Father prepare you on earth

For a beautiful birthday in heaven.*


Ninety-two years ago today on September 16, 1918, my dad, Deane Charles Gunderson, was born on a farmstead at the southwest corner of section 24 of Roosevelt township, between Rolfe and Pocahontas, Iowa.

This family photo was taken two years ago immediately before Daddy’s 90th birthday celebration at Dan and Roger Allen’s Bud Barn in Rolfe. That same barn was originally at the location where my dad was born. Roger and Dan had the barn moved into Rolfe in 1982.

In this photo Daddy was definitely having fun; in everyday life, the twinkles in his eyes were even more evident, indicating the imminent telling of one of his many chuckles-worthy “stories.”

In an effort to help with understanding who is who** in the photo but to also allow somewhat for privacy, I indicated the first name for each person in the photo. If you are curious about any of the familial relationships of those mentioned, feel free to ask me in an email.

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*Mother (Marion Gunderson) included this verse in her collection of favorite quotes/readings. As I was growing up, and as recently as Daddy’s 91st birthday, when we were seated around the round oak table at Gunderland with cake in the middle of the table and celebrating a family member’s birthday, we would recite this verse just before the blowing out of birthday candles.

**Is “who is who” correct? This web site says it is, and we KNOW that everything on the web is correct!!! I remember at dinner at that same round oak table, Daddy would oftentimes correct my grammar. I could use one of his grammar lessons now!

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


September 6, 2010

Please click once (or even twice) on this photo to magnify the detail and "be there."

This photo was taken this past spring on April 17. On that day, (L to R) Joe (Katie’s husband), Katie (Bill’s and my younger daughter) and Bill set out the dock at West Lake Okoboji for the summer season.

The dock was designed and made by my dad (Deane Gunderson) in the mid-1970s. It’s a unique creation. If you’ve already seen it, you know exactly what I mean. If you haven’t seen it…well… sometime I’ll post “the rest of the story.”

If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll click on the photo to enlarge it and to enjoy the balance it portrays…in more ways than one.

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Splooshing and Rejoicing

August 2, 2010

Today I was home alone after having a tear-filled and fun-filled weekend with family and friends. We buried my dad’s (Deane Gunderson) ashes at a family service on Friday. On Saturday morning we had a community memorial service followed by unwinding with family and friends at Roger and Dan Allen’s Bud Barn* in Rolfe, Iowa. (Roger and Dan are such salt-of-the-earth very, very special friends of my dad; they were instrumental in helping make it possible for my dad to live on the farm until his first fall in May.)

In-between the two services, on Friday was the unveiling of a 3′ x 3′ granite plaque honoring my dad. (Roger and Dan had the idea of the plaque several months ago. The original plan, before my dad passed away, was that Rog and Dan and my family would surprise my dad with the plaque earlier this month.)**

Also, on Friday evening we had a “tour” of Gunderland (the farmstead where my dad lived) with Bill periodically being tapped as a tour guide. Later that night a bunch of us played the won’t-let-you-be-inhibited-game of Quelf.

So, today being at home by myself was the first opportunity for reality to start setting in. My emotions splooshed all over the place with me missing my dad yet knowing that I’ve always been so fortunate, including, well…just getting to comfortably be with him so much and learn from him. I know the bottom line is…..”This is the day which the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Here is my dad's 11 1/2-foot-tall statue of Cy located in Rolfe, Iowa. In the foreground are my dad's seven grandchildren. To the left is the 3' x 3' granite plaque that was unveiled this past Friday. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

On my t-shirt is an image of my dad's Cy statue...the same as the statue on the plaque. (Click on photo to enlarge plaque text.)

I’ll get on the ball and post the remainder of my conversation with Sharon (Wickre) Rickard. Over time I’ll certainly have more photos and information about my dad’s and mom’s lives, as well. (Obviously, I’ll post much more about my mom’s watercolors.) For now, here are a couple of photos from Friday’s plaque unveiling. (Oh, and…if you want a fun game, for sure, Quelf is it!)

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In case you missed my dad’s obituary, including links to various articles about him, click here.

*At the Bud Barn site’s home page you’ll hear song lyrics written in 1984 explaining a little about the Bud Barn. The Bud Barn was originally at the farmstead where my dad was born in 1918. The barn was moved into Rolfe in 1982.

**The plaque is there for all to see…up close and “personal.” If you have a chance, I hope you’ll stop by to see it. Even if you are a Hawk fan I think you’ll appreciate my dad’s art of design and welding.

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

Deane C. Gunderson (Obituary, 1964 Fort Dodge Messenger Article, and Links to Additional Articles)

July 21, 2010

Daddy at the age of 88 in 2007. He looked just like this (including the sparkle in his eyes) until within days before he passed away on July 1st, 2010. The only difference from this photo and seeing him in “real life” was he typically had his shirt collar buttoned and was a true blue Iowa Stater wearing his self-handcrafted ISU bolo tie! (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Deane C. Gunderson, age 91, died on Thursday, July 1, 2010, at the Israel Family Hospice House in Ames.

Deane Charles Gunderson, son of John Christian Gunderson and DeElda (Lighter) Gunderson, was born on September 16, 1918, in Roosevelt Township, Pocahontas County, Iowa.  He graduated from Rolfe High School in 1935 and received B.S. degrees in Agricultural Engineering (1939) and Mechanical Engineering (1940) from Iowa State College.

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

Deane was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, president his senior year and president of the House Corporation for 24 years.  He was active in the Republican Party, Community Chest and Lions Club, and a Life Master in the American Contract Bridge League.

Deane was a member of the Shared Ministry of Rolfe.  He served on the Board of Directors of the Rolfe State Bank.  He was involved in public education for 25 years, having served on the Rolfe Community School District Board of Directors from 1966 to 1981, and as a Director and Treasurer of the Iowa Association of School Boards from 1971-1991.  He also served on the Board of Governors of the Iowa State University Foundation.

In 1980, Iowa State University awarded Alumni Recognition Medals to Deane and Marion.  He was an avid Cyclone fan and in 1975 created an 11½-foot, welded sculpture of Cy that stood at the north end of the ISU football stadium for many years.  In 1981 Iowa State named Deane as Cy’s Favorite Alum.

During 1975-1977, Deane wrote a weekly column, “Bubbles in the Wine,” for The Rolfe Arrow.

His interests included farming, education, mathematics, welding, land surveying and farm drainage systems.  He specialized in creating larger combinations of farm machinery* for increased production per farm worker.  He seemed to have friends wherever he went and enjoyed engaging them with his stories.  He was proud of his children and delighted in his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  He was a generous person, encouraged others in their endeavors and was noted for pointing out life’s wonders, including Sputnik, the Pythagorean theorem, bean seeds germinating, a fox den in a creek bank, and the West Bend Grotto.

Deane was preceded in death by his wife, Marion, his parents, and one son, Christian Gunderson.  He is survived by his 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 Gunderson, Timothy Gunderson, Kevin Carlson, Joshua Moore, Jonathan Moore, Abigail Shimon and Kathryn (Shimon) Moon; three great-grandchildren: Michael Williams, Addison Valletta and Jackson Johnstone; and several cousins.

A memorial service will be held at the Shared Ministry of Rolfe at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 31.

In lieu of flowers, Deane requested contributions be made to the Rolfe Lions Club (P.O. Box 101, Rolfe, Iowa 50581).

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*If you have time, I hope you will click TWICE on this photo to read this 1964 Fort Dodge Messenger article about one aspect of my dad’s engineering. (With clicking on the photo just once, the text will likely be too small to read. This is posted with permission granted by The Messenger.)

Daddy’s obituary will be in today’s (July 21st) edition of the Pocahontas Record-Democrat. It will also be in this Sunday’s (July 25th) edition of the Fort Dodge Messenger, the Ames Tribune and the Des Moines Register. Sometime later I’ll post a bunch of photos of Daddy; in the same post as his obituary somehow just didn’t seem to work for me.

If you are able to attend Daddy’s service and luncheon afterward, please be sure to let me know you are there. (I felt so bad that I missed some people who were at Mother’s service.) Also, if you can’t attend the service but think you will be in Rolfe later in the day on the 31st or sometime that weekend, it would be nice if you’d email ( or call me to let me know; maybe we could work out a way to have our paths cross.

(Cy’s Favorite Alum)

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

Help the Lions Help Others

July 7, 2010

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Daddy is on the left with (I think) auctioneer Jay Arnold during a Lions Club auction when it used to be held at Rolfe's Post Office parking lot. The view is looking northerly. Daddy was in charge of the Lions Club auction for several years. I remember he'd contact area residents, including all of the business owners in town, for donations. (Click photo to enlarge.)

A previous post includes information about my dad’s (Deane Gunderson) “Bubbles in the Wine” weekly column that he wrote in the ’70s for The Rolfe Arrow. Below is another of his “Bubbles” columns, this time having to do with the Rolfe (Iowa) Lions Club annual auction.

This Saturday, July 10th at 11:00 AM, during Greater Rolfe Days will once again be the Lions’ annual auction. It will be held at the gazebo on Main Street. (I’ll be in the library across the street selling prints of Mother’s watercolors. The prints profits will go toward digitizing 101 years of Rolfe newspapers so they will eventually be accessible at no charge on the web.)

Before my dad passed away last week, he requested that in lieu of flowers, any memorial contributions be made to the Rolfe Lions Club (P.O. Box 101, Rolfe, Iowa 50581). He’d be just as glad if you stopped by the gazebo this coming Saturday and bought something for way more than it was worth in an effort to “Help the Lions Help Others.”

Also, at 10:00 AM on Saturday, just before the auction, will be the Greater Rolfe Days parade…with the Rolfe Lions as Grand Marshals. How fitting!


In the March 6, 1975, issue of The Rolfe Arrow

by Deane Gunderson

Elsewhere in this issue is an ad about the annual Lions Club sale which this year will be held March 8 at 1:30 p.m. The proceeds “Help The Lions Help Others.”

The Lions, officially known as Lions International, has over a million Lions club members in 147 countries. The purpose stated in the constitution is to serve others. Our club has [?] members. Roger Witt is our president; Pat Wood is our secretary and has been a Zone chairman.

The main projects of the national organization are related to serving the blind. They are:

(1) Operation of an eye bank — a storage of eyes in medical centers for the replacement of faulty eyes.

(2) Sponsoring a school for leader dogs.

(3) Collecting discarded eyeglasses which are checked and redistributed through a national center. (We’ll take yours.)

Our neighboring towns of Palmer, Gilmore City, Laurens, and West Bend have Lions Clubs. Some towns have clubs that are more for fun and the pulling of practical jokes on each other at the meetings. Our Rolfe club is a serious club and is very intent on the service angle. Proof of this is this list of local activities:

(1) Easter sunrise services.

(2) Easter Egg hunt.

(3) Scholastic banquet for honor roll students.

(4) College educational fund for two handicapped children, one now in college.

(5) Summer Little League program.

(6) Eye glasses for the needy students in Rolfe School. The students remain anonymous as far as the Lions are concerned.

(7) Christmas baskets for the elderly and/or needy.

(8) Ushering for basketball games.

(9) Installation of house numbers, street signs and sidewalk benches.

The Lions are grateful to the merchants and other people of Rolfe for their generous support of our projects. Almost every merchant will be donating some new merchandise for the sale, and other people will be donating worthwhile used items — some real goodies. Homemade baked goods will be donated. The auctioneering and clerking are donated.

We have some fun too. Several years ago we sold one bushel of competing seed corns (buyer’s choice). The price got up to $70. Les Allen and Art Sellers were bidding against each other, but Les had the advantage because he charged half to his landlord*.

So, Saturday, March 8, be in Rolfe, bring your money, take home some bargains, and “Help The Lions Help Others.”

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*Hmmm…..The inside joke is that I think that landlord just happened to be someone with the initials of D. G.! That Les was certainly a prankster.

Most likely next week I’ll include information about the Rolfe Lions Club’s current projects. My intent is to later this week post the second audio segment of my conversation with Sharon (Wickre) Rickard. I’ll wait until July 21st to post my dad’s official obituary. His memorial service will be at 11:00 AM on Saturday, July 31st at the Shared Ministry in Rolfe.

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

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

July 1, 2010

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.)

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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.)

Gifts: Crawler Tractor, Bonding, Walking

May 7, 2010

Jackson and Great-Grandpa Deane with the John Deere 40 crawler tractor. (Click photo to enlarge.)

Monday of this week was Jackson’s fourth birthday. Jackson and I had a fabulous day with Great-Grandpa Deane (my father). Grandpa Deane’s wrapped gift to Jackson was a John Deere 40 crawler tractor — $27.00. The gift of the rest of the day — priceless.

Great-Grandpa Deane and Jackson outside of Farm & Home in Pocahontas, Iowa. (Click here to enlarge.)

Jackson and I went back to Rolfe Monday evening. Late in the day on Tuesday, Grandpa Deane took a spill. Fortunately he has no broken bones, and was back to walking (albeit very gingerly) and joking yesterday. He does have a very sore rump and is receiving lots of TLC.

On Wednesday I dashed up to Rolfe to be with my dad and other family members; I arrived home today. I’ll go back next week. Needless to say, I’m a little pooped but also want to keep current with blog posts. If I don’t post often and/or thoroughly for a while, you’ll know why.

Within the next month or two I hope to post about Bill’s and my refinishing our basement using wood from the home place barn that was built in 1904.

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

Mouser and D.C.G.: A Match Made in . . .

February 6, 2010

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Mouser and D.C.G., fall 2009. (Please click photo to "see" the chemistry.)

I remember when Clara, my oldest sister, called me on the morning of November 30th, 2004, to tell me that Mother (Marion Gunderson) had just passed away. I immediately drove from Perry, Iowa, to Mother and Daddy’s rural Rolfe farm home that we so fondly refer to as “Gunderland.” Several family members and I were at Gunderland with Daddy for the next several days.

“Right now” I so wanted Daddy (Deane Gunderson) to have a pet. I thought a pet would help comfort him with Mother being gone…maybe even help increase Daddy’s longevity. On one of those mornings while still at the farm I was SO EXCITED because I looked out Daddy’s (and Mother’s) kitchen window and saw a dark-colored cat roaming near the garage. I was just sure this specific cat was sent by God to be a companion for Daddy.

Later that morning, I realized that God had awhile back really sent the roaming cat to the farm home of Mick and Sue Reigelsberger (neighbors 1/8 mile down the gravel road). It turned out the cat was temporarily visiting Gunderland and would soon meander back to its Reigelsberger home.

In the following year or two, every couple of months I’d make a half-joking-half-serious comment to Daddy about how fun it would be for him to have a cat. He made it known that under no uncertain terms should any of us give him a cat. It’s funny how, when I was little in the ’60s, it was ok for us to give to Grandma DeElda a parakeet, but two years ago it wasn’t ok for us to give Daddy a cat. (Although it wasn’t so funny when Grandma died and the parakeet then came to live with us at Gunderland! No one competed for the honor of cleaning Pretty, Pretty’s cage.)

However, within the last year, Mouser showed up at Gunderland. As Sue Reigelsberger indicated in her comment regarding a previous post, Mouser is a transplant from the Reigelsberger farm (although, I didn’t know that until awhile after Daddy claimed Mouser as being his cat). Any cats showing up at Gunderland had been shooed away by my dad…until the day Mouser showed up. On that day it was like love at first sight for my dad. I’m sure the feeling is mutual.

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

Reflective Thought about the Reflector

January 14, 2010

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My 91-year-old dad and his cat, Mouser. Fall, 2009. (Click photo to enlarge.)

This photo is an example of where I’m thinking using a reflector (mentioned in the previous post and also two posts ago) could have been helpful. Since I haven’t yet used the 5-in-1 reflector that my next-older-sister Peggy gave to me for Christmas, it could be that I’m way off base here.  But, I’m thinking that if the reflector would have been at my dad’s (Deane Gunderson) left side in this photo there wouldn’t be so much of his good friend, Mouser, shadowed.

I know that my dad’s face is shadowed some, as well. But, with my 22″ reflector, I’ll take one little step at a time.  Who knows if using a reflector for this photo would or wouldn’t have been advantageous.  I do know that the first time I saw this photo on my computer monitor, I just loved it.  I still do.

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(This blog contains also includes 11 archived posts about my dad.)

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

Cy’s Favorite Alum With His 11.5-foot-tall Cy Sculpture

October 12, 2009

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Deane Gunderson, Cy and Jackson in Rolfe, Iowa near the Bud Barn.  (Click photo to enlarge.)

Deane Gunderson, Cy (the statue made by Deane) and Jackson in Rolfe, Iowa, near the Bud Barn. The “rest-of-the-story” about Cy is below. (Click photo to enlarge.)

Today Jackson (my grandson) and I went to just outside of Rolfe, Iowa, where my 91-year-old father, Deane Gunderson lives. Dan and Rog Allen, loyal friends of my father, saw to it that my dad took Jackson and me for a drive in one of their tractors (John Deere, of course).

Jackson, my dad and I also went into Rolfe to see the Cy that my dad built in 1975. Cy now resides near Rog’s and Dan’s Bud Barn in Rolfe, where there is also their “World’s Largest Clydesdale Hobby Horse.” Lastly, the three of us visited the Rolfe Public Library with which Mother was so deeply involved for thirty-five years.

In the photo above, if you were looking down from an airplane, you’d see that the boulders design (created single-handedly by Dan) is in the shape of a cyclone.  You’d also see that there are steps on the far side, behind Cy.  Also, on the right side of the point boulder, nature has created its own red cyclone-shaped image.  In case you didn’t already notice it, this natural image is more easily visible if you enlarge the above photo.

Immediately below is one story about Cy.  This article was prepared for RAGBRAI’s 2007 ride through Rolfe.  It is a sweetheart of a story. Clicking on the photo will provide “large print” sized text.

Microsoft Word - D.C.G. RAGBRAI Cy doc for FedEx Kinkos[1].doc

(Click photo to enlarge.)

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My dad passed away in 2010, approximately eight months after this post was published. His obituary is here.

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