Ernest Gustafson

Obituary of Ernest Gustafson

Ernest Russell Gustafson, age 96, of West St. Paul, passed away peacefully on March 10, 2022. Russ was preceded in death by his wife Shirley; his parents, Oscar and Lillian; brothers Bud (Joan) and Merrill (Ruth). Survived by his children Mark (Wendi) of Seguin, TX, Craig (Debra) of Cottage Grove, MN, Jody (Daniel Trampf) of Sun Prairie, WI; grandchildren Kiersten, Benjamin, Andrew, Natalie, and Theodore; brother Delbert (Arlene); and many nieces and nephews. Russ grew up on the family farm near Northfield and graduated from Randolph High School. He attended St. Olaf College for two years, and after serving in the military, completed his studies at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where he received a B.S. in Agricultural Economics in 1953. Russ served as a U.S. Army drill sergeant at Fort Rucker in Alabama during the Korean War. He began his career as a farm manager in Chillicothe, Missouri. He returned to Minnesota to work as a real estate appraiser and the manager of the valuation section for the Minnesota Department of Transportation. After 32 years of service to MnDOT, he started his own business: Gustafson Appraisal Service. A highlight of his career was when he traveled to Russia following the collapse of the Soviet Union to train government officials on how to transition to a market-based land system. He also hosted a delegation of Ukrainian officials in Minnesota. Russ and Shirley met through the University of Life program at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church and were married for 56 years. He enjoyed spending time with Shirley, their kids and grandkids, spending winters on the Gulf Coast of Texas, biking, RVing in national and state parks, attending events at Koinonia Retreat Center, reading presidential biographies, and traveling to Europe. His kindness, gentle nature, and positive spirit will be greatly missed by family and friends. The family thanks the staff and residents at Lilydale Senior Center for making his final years a special time. A private service will be held on Saturday, March 19, 2022, at Stanton Cemetery. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 6, 2022 at 11:00AM at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church. Memorials are preferred to the Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church - Youth and Young Adult Ministries. A private service will be held on Saturday, March 19, 2022, at Stanton Cemetery. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 6, 2022 at 11:00AM at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church. Memorials are preferred to the Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church - Youth and Young Adult Ministries.
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