Carl P. Gustafson, 87

Gustafson, Carl 1929-2016.jpg

Carl P. Gustafson, 87
    Aberdeen, SD
– Carl Gustafson passed away Monday, March 13, 2017 at the age of 87 at Golden Living Center, Redfield, SD.
    Memorial service  was held Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at First Baptist Church, Pastors Gary Compton, Rev. Richard Carroll, and Dr. Harold Salem officiating.  Military honors were performed by Sidney L. Smith American Legion Post 24.  
    In lieu of flowers the family prefers memorials to First Baptist Church, Christian Worship Hour, Gideon’s and Alzheimer’s Association.
    We celebrate the special life of Carl Peter Gustafson born August 22, 1929 to Christian and Myrtle (Wikstrom) Gustafson in Stephen.  Carl graduated from Stephen High School where he was a starter on the Tigers basketball team, member of cheer team and played tuba in the band.
    In 1948 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy proudly serving his country as a Sonar man on the destroyer USS Ozbourn during the Korean War.  After boot camp in San Diego, California, he completed Sonar School.  Carl served two tours of duty in the Korean waters earning the Korean Service Medal, China Service Medal, Occupation Service Medal, Asia Clasp, UN 5 Star Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal and the Korean War Medal.  Carl was adored by his five adopted Korean grandchildren who credit Grandpa Gus for saving their lives.  He will forever be his family’s hero.
    On December 21, 1949, Carl married the love of his life, Donna Elgin, beginning their sixty-seven year love story.  Together they were blessed with two beloved daughters; Launda (Rich) Carroll and LoAnn (Rod) Melinsky, seventeen grandchildren, twenty-seven great-grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren.  Grandpa Gus always said, “if I’d have known how much fun having grandkids would be, I’d have had them first”.
    As District Sales Manager of P&L Paint, the family made many moves throughout the years calling Minnesota, North and South Dakota, California, Oregon and Arizona home.
    His life was devoted to serving his Lord and Saviour first, and he loved his family without end.  He was a devoted husband, dad, and Grandpa Gus who was never to tired, too broke, or too busy…for God or his family.  He loved to laugh, and enjoyed making others happy with his wonderful sense of humor.  Although his jokes weren’t always funny, his laughter and smile were contagious.  
    As a member of First Baptist Church he served on the Deacon Board, Sunday School Superintendent, Sunday School Teacher, Finance Committee, Choir, and various other positions.  As a lay Minister, Carl preached in many churches throughout the area and as a Gideon, placed Bibles in hospitals, hotels and schools.  He lived his faith every day, and his life was a testimony.  He was a dedicated man of prayer.
    Carl was very proud of his Swedish Heritage.  You would often see him wearing his “Made In America with Swedish Parts” T-shirt!  It was a dream come true when he had the opportunity to visit Sweden with his family spending time with relatives, and sharing his love of being a “Swede”.
    Carl had a beautiful voice, and was a blessing to many through song.  He was a member of Ambassadors for Christ Quartet, Jubilee Couples Chorus, Valle Del Oro and Fountain of the Sun Choirs.  He also belonged to Gideon’s International, the American Legion, DAV, PVA, VFW, and Kiwanis Club.  Forever he’ll be rejoicing, and praising God in the Heavenly Choir.
    Though dementia caused his memory to fade, he continued to love his Bible, and sing praises.  He enjoyed Christian music, and one day in the nursing home listening to Great Is Thy Faithfulness, sat up and said, “God has us exactly where he wants us to be”!
    Carl was an avid collector of lighthouses because his love for the Lord was the light in his life.  He was a beacon of faith, laughter, and love for his family.  His legacy of guiding light will continue to shine.  
    Truly blessed for sharing his life are his devoted wife, loving daughters, sons-in-law, grateful grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren; as well as beloved brothers, Allan (Jackie) Gustafson, Larry (Patti) Gustafson, aunt, Verna Peterson, many special nieces, nephews, cousins, and forever friends.
    Joining him in Heaven are his parents, Christy and Myrtle Gustafson; stepmother, Hilda Gustafson, grandson, Andrew Carroll; sister, Ethel Gustafson; sister-in-law, Pat Gustafson.
    He will be lovingly remembered and greatly missed by his family…until the Lighthouse leads us home.
    Arrangements were with Spitzer-Miller Funeral Home, Aberdeen, SD.