Eugene“Gene” Alvin Gaustad, was born to Edwin and Selma “Sally” Gaustad on April 18, 1933 in Folden Township, Minnesota. Gene attended District 100 and 140 Country Schools, Vining Elementary School and Henning High School. He joined the Air Force in 1951 where he served four years. In 1956, Gene joined the Navy from which he retired as a Chief Aviation Jet Mechanic (ADJC) in 1971. Upon his retirement, Gene worked down his career bucket list: he was a dairy farmer, mail carrier, carpenter, boiler operator, school custodian, and a security officer at the Yuma Proving Ground in Yuma, AZ, before returning to farming in Vining, MN in 1984. Gene retired again in 1993 as a school bus driver for the Fergus Falls School District.
Gene married the love of his life, Phyllis Andersen July 19, 1958 at Vining Lutheran Church. They were married 60 years and blessed with five children. Gene belonged to the American Legion, the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Fleet Reserve Association, VFW, Sons of Norway, and Vining Lutheran Church.
Gene’s varied hobbies included painting, drawing cartoons, playing cards, watching westerns, camping, traveling, wood working, gardening and dancing but he particularly enjoyed hunting and fishing with his children and later, grandchildren. Gene spent the majority of his retirement with Phyllis in Vining, MN.
Gene passed peacefully June 15, 2019 in Alexandria, MN. He is preceded in death by his parents and brother Delvern. Gene is loved by many and will be dearly missed by family, friends and his community.
Survived by wife Phyllis Andersen; five children: Scott (Debra), Eugene Jr. “Butch” (Helen), Peter, Patrick “Eric”, and Katherine; 4 grandchildren: Kari (Clay) McAnally, Garrett, Heather, and Grastjon “Tyler”; step-granddaughter, Kirsten Martin; great-grandchildren: Henry McAnally, Parker Eugene McAnally, and Elizabeth; brother: James; sister: Sandra Brill; many other relatives and friends.