A funeral service for Robert Allen Gunderson, 86, of Lake Park, was held on Tuesday, Nov. 21, at Lake Park Methodist Church.
Bob Gunderson died on Nov. 13, at Aspire of Lake Park Care Center, surrounded by his family.
Robert Allen Gunderson was born on April 3, 1937, the first of three children born to Paul and Verna (Olson) Gunderson, of rural Montgomery. Bob attended school in Lake Park and participated in a variety of activities, including football, basketball, baseball, band, FFA, and drama. He graduated in 1955 and matriculated to Morningside College in Sioux City, where he majored in education.
Following his graduation from Morningside in 1961, Bob enlisted in the Iowa Army National Guard and served as a U.S. Army medic throughout his six-year commitment.
He married his high school sweetheart, Jeanine Arnold, on June 25, 1961, and the couple made their home in Reinbeck, where Jeanine taught vocal music while Bob worked at a fertilizer plant and finished his student-teaching requirements at the old Northern Iowa University High School in Cedar Falls.
The couple moved to Lake Park in 1963, as Bob began farming. In 1964, with assistance from the Lake Park Development Corporation, he started his lengthy career as a bowling proprietor at Silver Lanes, named for Lake Park’s Silver Lake.
Bob owned and operated Silver Lanes for 43 years, enjoying his role in hosting and participating in dozens of bowling leagues and hundreds of tournaments. He was in his element while building a business and simultaneously developing lifelong friendships with his bowlers, customers, and community members.
Bob competed in the American Bowling Congress national tournament in cities across the U.S. for nearly 40 years. A board member of the Iowa Bowling Proprietors’ Association, Bob helped establish the Lakes Conference Bowling Tournament and enjoyed his first 300 game in 2002, at age 64.
Bob retired at age 70 but remained a daily fixture at Silver Lanes and Gunderson’s Restaurant, which is now owned and operated by his son, Grant.
Community involvement was part of Bob’s DNA and it showed through his participation as Lion’s Club President, and an active member of the Harris-Lake Park Board of Education, Lake Park Chamber of Commerce, Silver Lake Country Club, Lake Park United Methodist Church, and the Dickinson County Endowment Fund, among others. Bob was instrumental in founding the Lake Park Little League Association and would go on to coach his children in baseball, football, and softball.
In 2003, he and Jeanine proudly played a role in the growth of their community, working with the late Augie Scheppmann to develop a portion of their farm into West Bay Estates on the south side of beautiful Silver Lake.
A family man at his core, Bob cherished the opportunities he and Jeanine enjoyed in supporting their children and grandchildren in a host of activities that ranged from football and basketball to choir and marching band, and so much more, in a geographic area that stretched across Iowa, the Big XII Conference, and into the Twin Cities and Indiana. It was likely his life’s greatest joy, with Jeanine at his side, counting their blessings in the gymnasiums and auditoriums, and on the diamonds and fields for decades. It is impossible to fathom how many hours they spent on the road together in this shared pursuit. Dairy Queen and volunteers staffing several hundred concession stands across the Midwest thank them.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Verna Gunderson, his in-laws, Clayton and Florence Arnold, brothers-in-law Donald Krebs and Stanley Heikens, and sisters-in-law, June Krebs and Peggy Gunderson.
Surviving family members include his wife of 62 years, Jeanine Gunderson. Their children include Lane and Ginny Gunderson, of Lake Park; Gregg and Mindy Gunderson, of Lake Park; Jill and Tim Gallagher, of Storm Lake; Grant and Tonia Gunderson, of Lake Park; Drs. Todd and Kim Gunderson of Jasper, Ind.; and Tara Seifert, of Chaska, Minn.
Grandchildren include Trevor Gunderson, Tyce Gunderson, Connor Gunderson, Macy (Drew) Planteen, Grady (Paige) Gallagher, Paul (Hannah) Gallagher, Ellen Gallagher, Anthony Gallagher, Sally Gallagher, Ryan Mann, Blake Gunderson, Lucas Gunderson, Tessa Gunderson, Quinn Gunderson, Cole Gunderson, Graham Gunderson, Jack Seifert and Owen Seifert.
Also left to cherish his memory are Bob’s great-grandchildren Annie Gallagher, Wells Gallagher, Tate Planteen and Colton Gallagher; as well as his brother, Jon Gunderson, sister Deanne (Ed) McCollom, in-laws Jane Heikens and Steve and Jennifer Krummen, and many nieces and nephews.
Memorial gifts may be directed to the Lake Park Methodist Church, the Alzheimer’s Association, St. Croix Hospice, or a charity of one’s choice in Bob’s name.
Bob’s family wishes to give special thanks to Pastor Sedar Shako, of Lake Park Methodist Church, St. Croix Hospice, Dr. Andrew Mueting, and Aspire of Lake Park Care Center, and all those who assisted and cared for Bob the past several years. Your devotion and faithful prayers continue to make a difference for Bob and his family.
Turner Jenness Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.