Thief River Falls - Gena Gunderson, 96, died on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013 at Thief River Care Center in Thief River Falls.
Funeral services were held Friday, Jan. 25 at the Evangelical Free Church in Newfolden, with Pastor Gary Barrett officiating. Casket bearers included Shannon Gunderson, Shane Zutz, Bob Dahl, Kelly Dahl, James Dahl and Randy Dahl. Interment was held at Oak Grove Cemetery in Newfolden.
Gena Andrea Svanajord was born on Feb. 15, 1916 in Erie, the daughter of Aslak and Anne (Haugestoril) Svanajord. She lived in the Goodridge area most of her youth. For two years, the family moved to Canada during the depression, when the land dried up. For a short time during those years, Gena and her mother worked for others just for room and board.
In 1942, Gena went to Seattle, Wash. There, she worked at Lilly Seed Co., the Boeing Airplane factory, and Exeter Apt. Hotel during World War II. She also was an air-raid warden in Seattle.
In 1947, Gena came back to visit family and met George Gunderson. They were married in her parent’s home by Reverend Thorvald Myhrer on December 28th, 1947. They made their home in Newfolden on the Gunderson farmstead.
Gena was a member of the Newfolden Evangelical Free Church. There, she taught Sunday School and served in many different offices. She belonged to the Garden Club, Homemakers, and WCTU. She cooked at the Newfolden School, H & E Café, and worked many years at the Land O’ Lakes Turkey Plant.
George passed away June 15, 1979. She loved gardening and quilting and was especially proud of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In 1985, Gena moved to Thief River Falls.
Gena is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Vernon and Peggy Gunderson of Newfolden; grandchildren, Tim (Beth) Leader, Shannon Gunderson, and Mya (Shane) Zutz; great-grandchildren, Cassie, Jaylon, and Emilia Gunderson and Tayton, Gunner, and Gannon Zutz, and Dakota and Levi Leader; two sisters, Thelma Dahl and Gladys Heinz; nephews, Bob (Carol) Dahl, Wayne (Nancy) Dahl, and James (Bonnie) Dahl; niece, Sandra (Bert) Gjovik and several great-nieces and great-nephews.
Gena was preceded in death by her husband; parents; granddaughter, Kari Lynn Gunderson in June, 1985; brother, Bennie Svanajord; sister, Anna Wagner, and Niece, Murriell Jean.
Condolences may be made at www.johnsonfuneralservice.com.