We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at New York Mills
Donald “Don” Gustafson, 73, of Perham, Minnesota, passed away on Tuesday, November 23, 2021 at Perham Living Nursing Home.
Donald Leonard Gustafson was born on August 18, 1948, in Willmar, Minnesota to Leonard and Dorothy (Reich) Gustafson. Donald grew up in New London, Minnesota where he graduated with the class of 1967. Prior to graduation Donald enlisted in the United States Army and served a tour in the Vietnam War from 1968 to 1970. Upon discharge from the United States Army, he went right to work at the hatchery in New London where he would weave fishnet together.
On May 26, 1973, Donald was united in marriage to Julienne “Julie” Fredrick at Gausdal Lutheran Church in Georgeville, Minnesota. To this union they were blessed with two children. They made their home in Wadena, Minnesota where Donald was employed as a tool and dye maker at Homecrest Outdoor Living. They moved to West Leaf Lake in 1978 and lived there 28 years before moving to Deer Creek, MN for the last 18 years.
Don was very proud of his children, grandchildren, and great-granddaughter and all their accomplishments. Don enjoyed spending time with his family playing games such as Triominoes, Cribbage, Horseshoes and Sorry. He loved the lake and watching the sunsets, and going duck, deer, and elk hunting but, as he grew older Don realized that the cold weather was just not worth it. Don and Julie were on bowling leagues through the years in Henning. Don found much enjoyment in “Happy Hour” at the bar in Deer Creek and was there until the last drink was gone.
Deeply loved, Don’s passing will be mourned by his wife of 48 years, Julie; two children Clarinda (Paul Gardner) Gustafson and Dan “Boone” (Misty) Gustafson; three grandchildren Justice (Blake) Kunza, Zack Gustafson, and Andrew Gustafson; one great-granddaughter Abigail Kunza; one brother Dave (Crystal) Rath and a large extended family.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, stepfather Harry Rath, sister Carol Gerhardson, infant twin sons, and his in-laws Don and Lois Fredrick as well as other loved family members.