Earle Gustafson, 85, of Granite Falls, died Wednesday December 4th in Guymon, Oklahoma. Memorial services will be held on Saturday, December 14th at 11am at Yellow Medicine Lutheran Church in Hanley Falls. Visitation will be held Friday evening from 6 to 8 pm at the Wing-Bain Funeral Home in Granite Falls and continue one hour prior to services at the church on Saturday.
Earle was born on June 16, 1934, to Esther (Parr) and Elmer Gustafson in Granite Falls, and grew up on the family farm near Hanley Falls. He was baptized and confirmed at Yellow Medicine Lutheran Church, where he was a life-time member. He graduated from Hanley Falls High School in 1952; served in the U.S. Army stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado; returning to the family farm where he spent his entire life until retiring. On November 6, 1960, he married Bonnie Lindborg at Augustana Lutheran Church in Hobart, Indiana. They were blessed with four wonderful children, instilling in them Christian values, good work ethics and the joy of music. He loved farming the land and caring for his cattle. Earle enjoyed playing pinochle, card games and jig-saw puzzles with the children and his friends. He loved listening to his girls play piano, just like his mother did. Earle served on the Hanley Falls and Granite Falls school boards for 25 years, and was instrumental in obtaining the Hanley Falls school as a county museum. He served on the first Minnesota Machinery Museum’s Board of Directors, and one of his many historic Case tractors has been displayed there since opening in 1980. He was a charter member of Pioneer Power, and loved running his 1916 Case steam engine with his sawmill at the annual Threshing Show. Earle was active in many things, as a 58 year member of the Masonic Lodge, a charter member of the Kilowatt Community Center, enjoying the Golden Grands group, and camping with the Charter Chapter Good Sam Camping Club. He and Bonnie were faithful 4-H Leaders for the 4-Leaf Clovers and his love for nature and the outdoors was evident as all family vacations were camping excursions to State and National Parks. He was part of the Hanley Falls Snowmobile Group and his travels including Hawaii and Alaska, as well as hiking the Grand Canyon and riding the mules twice. Earle and Bonnie enjoyed spending winters in Arizona for many years, where he served as President of their Apache Villa Home Owners Association for four years. After fracturing his back, it was impossible to return to his Granite Falls home, so he and Bonnie started another chapter in their life by moving into Granite Ridge. He enjoyed the friendship and fellowship of the residents.
Earle dearly loved his family and is survived by wife of 59 years Bonnie; children Kristie (Terry) Bulthuis, Gayle (Dave) Rettner, Bruce (Karen) Gustafson, and Denise (Dave) Kazmierczak; grandchildren Lindsey (Clint) Larson, Brittany (Dustin) Hagen, Bryan and Emma Rettner, Teagan (fiancé Newt Bruley), Gannon (Faith) and Brevin Gustafson, and Kyle, Allison and Susan Kazmierczak; great-grandchildren Jayden Larson, and Kenzley and Huxton Hagen; and brother Stanton.
Preceded in death by his parents, brother Lowell, sister-in-law Mavis, and special cousin Merlin Gustafson. Blessed Be His Memory
Memorials preferred to Yellow Medicine Lutheran Church or Shriners Hospitals for Children – Twin Cities.
Arrangements are with the Wing-Bain Funeral Home of Granite Falls for Earle Gustafson