Allen Gunderson, 76, Adams

Published 6:55 am Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Rev. Allen L. Gunderson, 76, of Adams, died Thursday, March 22, 2012, after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He died peacefully at home surrounded by his family.

Allen Lee Gunderson was born in Albert Lea on July 7, 1935, the son of Truman and Gladys (Rasmussen) Gunderson.

Allen Gunderson

Upon graduating from Albert Lea High School, Allen farmed with Truman for five years. He married Arvis Lukens on July 7, 1953, in Garner, Iowa. In 1957, the farm was sold, and Allen attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. He graduated with honors, in 1961.

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From 1961 to 1965, Allen attended Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul. He worked at KSTP-TV in the evenings while attending classes during the day. He graduated from seminary in May of 1965, and was ordained into the Lutheran ministry on June 20, 1965, at Grace Lutheran Church in Albert Lea. He later went on to preach at North LaMoure and Spring Creek parishes in Hastings, North Dakota. In 1967, he and Arvis moved to LaMoure, N.D., where he served at Zoar and St. Ansgar Lutheran churches. In 1977, Allen began his ministry at Little Cedar and Marshall Lutheran churches in Adams. He served these parishes for 23 years until his retirement on Jan. 1, 2000.

Allen loved camping with Arvis and their many friends. He looked forward to spending each winter in Mesa, Ariz. He was a wonderful photographer, focusing on everything in nature. He loved hunting, watching sports and especially spending time on the family farm south of Albert Lea. More than anything, he loved spending time with his family. Allen was blessed with 13 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Allen is survived by his wife, Arvis, and their six children: Lee (Julie) Gunderson, and family of Algona, Iowa, Vicki (John) Kiefer and family of Adams, Tim (Tristine) Gunderson and family of Owatonna, Janey Gunderson Murphy and family of Houston, Texas, Pamela (Steve) Bamrick and family of Adams, Kristopher Gunderson of Adams; brothers and sisters: Irving (Kyoko) Gunderson of Olympia, Wash., Wayne (Shirley) Gunderson of Albert Lea, Julie Wrolson of Albert Lea, Paul (Joanne) Gunderson of Elk River, Sandy and Craig Stevens of Albert Lea.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. at Little Cedar Lutheran Church in Adams on Tuesday with the Rev. Marggi Pleis-Sippola officiating. Interment will be at Hillcrest Cemetery in Albert Lea. Visitation will be at the Adams Funeral Home on Monday from 4 to 8 p.m. and at the church for one hour before the service on Tuesday.