G. Howard Lund was born on August 7, 1912 in Gary, Minnesota. His parents were the late Peter and Alice (Turner) Lund. The Lund family moved to Hawley, Minnesota when Howard was two years old. His father, who died when Howard was nine years old, worked as a railroad depot agent in Twin Valley, Minnesota. Following the death of his father, Howard, with the rest of his family returned to New York Mills, Minnesota, where his mother and grandmother built and operated the Lund and Dennison Variety Store. Howard graduated from the New York Mills High School with the class of 1930. He helped at the family store for a time, before attending the University of Minnesota and later Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis where he learned mechanical drafting and fabrication.
On July 19, 1937 Howard was united in marriage with Elfie Holmquist in Decorah, Iowa. Their marriage was blessed with four children: Judy, Karen, Lindy and Gordy. After graduating from Dunwoody, Howard was employed with Ettel and Frantz, a sheet metal fabricating and roofing company in Albert Lea, Minnesota. The next stage of Howard’s career was the six years he spent working for the United States Navy, at Mare Island Navy Yard in Vallejo, California from 1940 to 1946. This was an excellent opportunity for him to work on ships and submarines that came into the harbor. In the summer of 1946 the Lund family returned to New York Mills where Howard first went into business operating a sawmill and doing some roofing work.
Howard had an enthusiasm for hunting and fishing which led to the eventual development of boat manufacturing. He had a difficult time finding a decent duck boat to go hunting in, so in 1947 he built himself an aluminum duck boat. This was the beginning of the Lund Boat Company that began in 1949. His boat building career got off the ground when a salesman from Inland Marine Corporation of Minneapolis saw one of his boats while passing through the area and gave Howard an order for 60 boats.
In 1961 Howard re-incorporated his company as Lund Metalcraft, Inc., and in 1968 expanded in the fiberglass market with the acquisition of the Shell Lake Boat Company. Four years later, in October of 1972 Howard expanded into the Canadian market, with the opening of a manufacturing facility in Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada. On January 13, 1978 Lund American became a subsidiary of Arctic Enterprises. Howard retired from the Lund Boat Company in January of 1981.
On February 27, 1985 Howard was united in marriage with Stella Gibbs in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Howard and Stella have resided in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota during the summer months and in Okeechobee, Florida during the winter months. Howard’s involvement with the city of New York Mills didn’t end with his boat company.
He served as mayor 10 years, was a charter and life member of the Lions Club, a volunteer fireman and was a member of the Flying Finns. On October 22, 2003 Howard passed away at his home in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota at 91 years of age. He will be dearly missed by his family and friends. Preceding Howard in death were his parents; wife, Elfie (Holmquist) Lund; a sister, Melissa; a brother, Russell; grandchildren: Debbie Matthews and Steve Karnis; great-grandchild, Rick Anderson;
Howard is survived by his wife, Stella Lund of Detroit Lakes; 3 daughters: Judy Albaugh of New York Mills; Karen (Rick) Dahl of Detroit Lakes; Lindy (Clint) Kilde of Moorhead; son, Gordy (Barb) Lund of Fergus Falls; 2 step-children: Victor (Marilyn) Lund of Arroyogrande, CA and Zack (Carol) Hadid of Boca Raton, FL; 14 grandchildren; 3 step-grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; 3 great-great-grandchildren; many other relatives and a host of friends.
Funeral services were held for Howard on Monday, October 27, 2003 at 11:00a.m. at St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in New York Mills, Minnesota with Pastor Steve Dahl officiating. The pallbearers were Alex Lund, Tyler Kilde, Victor Lund, Zack Hadid, Jerome Mauro and Mike Karnis. The honorary pallbearers were Joe Bauer, Bob Heig, Dale Poffenberger, Ed Buerkle, Alvin Amberg, Duane Koehler, Vern Muzik, Bob Morstad, and Jarod Knutson. The hymns were sung by the congregation and John Krueger, accompanied by Tim Johnson. Interment was in Greenwood Cemetery, New York Mills, Minnesota.
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