ISHPEMING MI. – Lawrence Irving Gunderson, age 92, loving father and devoted husband, passed away peacefully at Marquette General Hospital on Friday, March 7, 2014. Larry was born on July 28, 1921 in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin to George and Mabel (Goeche) Gunderson.
Larry is survived by his wife of 63 years, Rosemary (Mueller) Gunderson, 5 children: Mary (Ty) Weber of Clinton Twp, MI, Steve Gunderson of St. Ignace, MI, Greg (Jan) Gunderson of Warren, MI, Monica (Robert) Regis of Marquette and Charles (Annette) Gunderson of Capac, MI, a sister Elizabeth LeMarcher of Phoenix, AZ, 10 grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren along with numerous nieces and nephews.
Larry was preceded in death by his parents and 2 sisters.
Larry graduated from Oconomowoc High School where he excelled at speed skating. After high school, he attended college for 3 1/2 years studying aeronautical design before being drafted into the Army. He proudly served our country in Japan with the 93rd Air Service Squadron during WWII. His talent as an engineer and draftsman allowed him to serve as a radio and radar repairman. He earned several medals and qualification as Sharpshooter. The skills he gained proved to guide his career after being Honorably Discharged in 1946, while working for Sears-Roebuck, later Honeywell, and then Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company where he was an Instrument repairman and electrician at the Republic Mine from 1962 until his retirement in 1985.
His devotion to civic responsibility and honor continued throughout his life. He was particularly dedicated to the Ishpeming Martin J. Lassila VFW Post 4573. He served as Post Commander 3 times, was a life-member of the VFW, served as Treasurer and Secretary for many years, managed Bingo and rip-off ticket sales and many other daily activities. He also was a proud member of the Democratic National Party, and actively participated in many events. He also was a devoted Steelworkers Local #5440 Union representative, and travelled to many district and state meetings to enthusiastically represent the steelworkers of the Marquette Iron Range.
Larry was a devout Catholic and dedicated countless hours to St. Joseph’s Church in Ishpeming. Most notably, he was a Eucharistic Minister, and served as custodian in his retirement. He rarely missed mass.
Larry’s passion for avionics in his early years carried on throughout his life. He was a member of the Experimental Aeronautics Association, and thoroughly enjoyed volunteering at the annual EAA Fly-in in Oshkosh. He could be found in the information tent, tirelessly assisting thousands of attendees, with his son, Steve.
Larry also had a passion for automobile racing. He and Rosemary attended the Indianapolis 500 race for many years in a row. He also attended many stock car races throughout the Midwest and watched at home when he couldn’t attend. Larry also loved to hunt and fish. He had a love of fine food and never missed an opportunity to partake in fine dining while travelling with his wife, Rosemary. His joy for life, quick wit, and dry sense of humor will be dearly missed.
Larry’s family greeted relatives and friends from 9:30-11:00am on Monday, March 10, 2014 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Ishpeming where a Memorial Mass was celebrated at 11:00am with Fr. Dan Moll officiating. Inurnment will take place at Northland Chapel Gardens.
Military honors will be accorded by the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 380.
Larry’s obituary may be viewed at bjorkandzhulkie .com where relatives and friends may leave a note of remembrance.