Relic Home and Blacksmith Shop

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

John Gunderson ~ Mayor of the Month ~ November 2011


 John Olaf Gunderson


John Olaf Gunderson was born August 20, 1875 in Mount Pleasant (Sanpete County), Utah to Erick and Carolina Cecilia Johnson Gunderson.  He was the tenth child born to them, out of eleven.  Both his mother and father were born in Risor, Norway, where his father was a carpenter and shipbuilder.  Caroline, his mother, crossed the plains to settle in Utah.  She was Erick’s second wife and they were married on October 12, 1857 about five weeks after she’d arrived in Utah.

His siblings included:
Elizabeth, born September 6, 1858.  She died in December of 1861. 
Mary, born February 17, 1860.  She died in April of 1861. 
Erick was born February 18, 1861,
Johann Henry, born April 15, 1863
Gunder Anthon, born October 15, 1865
Caroline, born December 5, 1867.  She died in October of 1868
Andreas Lauritz, born November 4, 1869
Jens (James), born September 26, 1871
Carlos, born July 5, 1873
Nephi, born November 1878

John Olaf married Marie (Rhea) Brotherson on September 18, 1898 in Mt. Pleasant, Utah.  They were the parents of six sons and one daughter: John Douglas, Shirley Hans, Glen B., Reed, Shila Rhea, Ivan Anthon, and Keith Henry.

Grandpa Gunderson was quite a prominent man and rated a full-page mention in Volume 3 of UTAH SINCE STATEHOOD.  Based on information in this write-up, we know that this book was published sometime between 1917 and 1920.  In it is included quite a bit of his genealogy:

“John Gunderson, residing in Mount Pleasant, is interested in farming, in the sheep industry and in stock raising and he has wisely and carefully conducted his affairs, so that he has won a substantial measure of success.  He was born in Mount Pleasant August 20, 1875, a son of Erick and Caroline (Olsen) Gunderson, both of who were natives of Norway, the father having been born on the 27th of August 1830, while the mother’s birth occurred June 3, 1837.  Each crossed the Atlantic in early life and came to Utah in different immigration companies.  In 1855 Erick Gunderson crossed the plains in the Canute Peterson wagon company. After Orson Hyde was released, Kanute Peterson, became the president of the Sanpete Stake. Erick first settled in Salt Lake but soon moved  to Spanish Fork to join his family and in 1859 was called upon to assist in settling Mount Pleasant.  He was therefore one of the pioneers, his name being engraved on the monument which was erected in 1909 in honor of the first settlers.  He also participated in the Indian wars, aiding in defending the white people against the attacks of the red men (sic).  He was a carpenter by trade and was in charge of the erection of the Mormon church buildings in Mount Pleasant, together with public buildings, and as a finisher did special work on all of the four early Utah temples, However, he worked mostly on the Salt Lake, Manti and St. George Temples.  It was in 1857 that Mrs. Caroline Gunderson came to Utah.  She was then a girl of twenty three years and she, crossed the plains in the 7th  handcart company which was led by Christian Christiansen.  She pulled a handcart and her mother, who was blind, aided by pushing the cart.  The trip was a very trying one and she, as well as her husband, experienced all of the hardships and privations of pioneer life.  She was married in Salt Lake City in 1857 by President Young and by her marriage she became mother of the following named: Lurine, who was born September 6, 1858, and died December 28, 1861, at Spanish Fork; Marie Elizabeth, who was born February 17, 1861, and died April 21, 1862; Erick, who was born September 18, 1862, and married Cecilia Francen, by whom he has five children; Henry Olaf, who was born April 25, 1863, and died in Aspen, Colorado, November 23, 1885; Gunner Antone, who was born October 15, 1865, and wedded Amanda Beckstrom, by whom he had four children, two of who are deceased; Caroline Cecelia, who was born November 5, 1867, and died October 12, 1868; Andreas Lars, who was born November 4, 1869, and married Sadie Nelson, their children being seven in number; J. E., who was born September 26, 1871, and married Clara Gee, who died leaving five children; Carlos, who was born July 15, 1873, and married Capitola Groesbeck, by whom he had eight children, of whom one is deceased; John, of this review; and Nephi, who was born November 23, 1888, and married Marie Hanson.  They are parents of six children who are living and have also lost one child.

“Reared under the parental roof, John Gunderson pursued his education in the public schools of Mount Pleasant and after his textbooks were put aside took up the occupation of farming, which he followed for several years.  He then extended the scope of his activities to include sheep raising and stock raising and has remained active along those lines to the present time.  He is today one of the successful agriculturists and sheep and stock raisers of this section of the state.  He specializes in sheep and he has several ranges, affording valuable pasturage for his flocks.  He is also the owner of several good farms and he has made investment in stock in the Peoples Sugar Company of Moroni, Utah and various other safe investments.  He is a man of sound business judgment and enterprise and his success is the direct result of well-defined labor, intelligently directed.

“On the 18th of October, 1898, in Mount Pleasant, Mr. Gunderson was married to Rhea Brotherson, a daughter of Hans and Rakie (Jensen) Brotherson, who were natives of Denmark and at an early age came to Utah, crossing the plains with ox teams.  The father followed farming and stock raising until his death, which occurred in Mount Pleasant in 1900.  The mother is still living.  They had fourteen children who survive and one who died at the age of forty-three years.  Twelve of the fourteen children are married.  To Mr. and Mrs. John Gunderson of this review have been born six children, namely: John Douglas, who was born January 18, 1899; Shirley Hans, born May 8, 1901; Glen B., March 21, 1903; Reed, February 18, 1908; Shila B, April 12, 1910; and Ivan A., January 27, 1912.  The children are all natives of Mount Pleasant.

“Mr. Gunderson and his family are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  In politics he is a republican, interested in the success of the party and doing all in his power to promote its growth and secure the adoption of its principles.  In the fall of 1916 he was elected a member of the city council and entered upon the duties of his office January 1, 1917, for a four years’ term.  He is a very progressive man, but modest and unassuming, his well spent life, however finding expression in his valuable property and good investments.”

Grandpa was not too active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but in November 1937, he was asked to be on the building committee and he supervised the entire construction of the beautiful edifice, the Mount Pleasant South Ward Chapel.

Dave tells the story of working construction in Ogden when he was still in school.  He was working with an older guy, who asked him where he came from.  He told him he was from Ogden.  The guy asked, “Where’s your family from?”  Dave said his Dad’s family was from Mount Pleasant.  The guy said, “Are you related to that S.O.B. John Gunderson?  He was just incorrigible!”  He went on to tell the story of going into the local pool hall in Mount Pleasant on a hot day to play pool and have a beer or two.  Grandpa Gunderson would come in and ask, “Any of you guys got jobs?”  Of course, they didn’t, so he would commandeer them into working on the new church building.  He recalled putting insulation in the attic for three days.  Grandpa came around and supervised.  “You’d think he was paying you!”  When Dave questioned him about how he felt about doing the work and if he was sorry about doing it, and asked if he wasn’t just  a little proud of his work?  He responded, “You’re just like him.”

Even though it was the custom in those days to irrigate the lawns, Grandpa felt they ought to have a sprinkling system at the church, but there was no money for it.  So he got the men who were working in the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) to dig the trenches for the sprinkling system pipes.  When they finished digging, he said, “Didn’t you bring the pipe?”  So they went back to the CCC camp and got pipe and installed it.  They may have even provided the sprinklers.

Grandpa brought a new level of awareness in the community.  He built a youth room in the chapel where kids could go to hang out, rather than hang out at the pool hall.  Grandpa didn’t like sitting on pews when he attended church, so he arranged for the chapel to be fitted with theater-style, cushioned seats.  Bishop LeGrande Richards (later an Apostle) of Salt Lake City told Grandpa, “We don’t build churches like that in Salt Lake City.”  Grandpa said, “Neither do we; we build them in Mount Pleasant.”

He did the groundwork for the building of the swimming pool near North Sanpete High School.  He was instrumental in securing the new hospital for Mount Pleasant and North Sanpete.  He was active in civic affairs, serving as a City Councilman, County Commissioner, and District Republican Chairman.  He was mayor of Mount Pleasant for three consecutive terms. 

Grandpa resigned as Mayor in April of 1947, due to some disagreements with others in the community regarding obtaining a hospital for Mount. Pleasant.  As there was some discussion as to his service as Mayor, he wrote an open letter to the community that appeared in the local paper on April 18, 1947 outlining some of his accomplishments.  He explained that upon his election he had the satisfaction of bringing the City’s financial difficulties out of an extremely bad situation.  He secured money to pay the debt on the Armory. 

During that period he completed the purchase from the U. S. Forest Service of a mountain lodge formerly used as a recreation center for a CCC camp.  He made arrangements to lease surrounding area from the forest service to be used for city recreational purposes and Boy Scout activities.  This lodge was located eight miles east of Fairview on the Cottonwood Canyon road near the Beaver dams and Gooseberry reservoir.  He said, “Among other things I had pleasure in doing was to get the Boy Scout Cabin in Gooseberry for a song, and I sang it myself.  Then I gave it to the City of Mount Pleasant.”

In his open letter, he outlined the number of places the City had rented at very low rates, and how he had raised those rents to more realistic rates so that there was good revenue coming to the City for those offices.  He managed to get roadwork completed at very low prices.

When Mount Pleasant was flooded, he was able to obtain assistance immediately to dig the town out.  The cost of the cleanup work amounted to $62,000, and he was able to obtain that work without cost to Mount Pleasant City.  He then entered into an agreement with both federal and state governments to protect Mount Pleasant from future disasters of this kind, which included a flood dam as well as a change in control of grazing for future protection.

He felt that one of his fondest hopes, the securing of a hospital for Mount Pleasant, had been accomplished.  He concluded the letter by saying, “I am pleased to have done so much for Mount Pleasant in spite of the efforts of my enemies to hinder me.”

The granddaughter of one of Grandpa’s brothers (Gunder Anthon Gunderson) wrote a story about him in 1947.  Her name is Lois Gunderson Porter.  Her view of Grandpa is quite interesting.  Here is her story on The Mayor of the Town” – John Gunderson:

“The mayor of the small town in which we lived, is a congenial, stout, jolly fellow who has made a hit with almost everyone.  His hobby is being Mayor, and he devotes all his time to doing a good job of it.  He will especially be remembered by the crowd of kids who are my age because one of the first community projects he completed after taking office as mayor was building a beautiful swimming pool.  The east windows of our high school building looked out over the recreation grounds where the pool was being built.  Each day the students watched its progress, from the time the digging began until the last day of school, when it was nearly completed.  The dedication was a day of celebration, and from then until the pool closed in the fall some of the youngsters did not miss a day in the cool water.

“The Mayor’s business connections and many friends, together with his own initiative and persistence, have made it possible for him to accomplish many of his aims for the benefit of the citizens.  Through his efforts a beautiful county hospital is to be built in the town, where people from surrounding communities may use its services.  The Mayor’s father and six brothers were all carpenters; consequently he takes great pride in supervising all building work.  He is also my father’s uncle – so we called him ‘Uncle John.’

“Several years ago when the South Ward chapel was destroyed by fire, this energetic man who was later appointed Mayor, was chosen to take charge of building a new church.  It took a great deal of work selling ‘Sunday eggs’ and much sacrifice by the whole community to build the beautiful building they now have, but it is one of the most attractive in the state.  He insisted on soft movie-theater type seats because he wanted everyone to be comfortable as well as himself.  This was something that was very new.

“The Mayor is especially enthusiastic about the out-of-doors and takes a great pride in his own yard and garden spot.  In the flower boxes of the church and city hall he plants beautiful double flowering petunias, which bloom all summer and until the frost takes them in the fall.  His family lot in the cemetery shows that it has special care, and on Decoration Day it is always a mass of blooming perennials.  He is also interested in animals and birds.  Last summer he told us he had a nest of woodpeckers in a tree outside his kitchen window and he wanted my sister and me to come up and see them.  We found a pair of woodpeckers flying here and there gathering food for their young, but were in no mood to receive guests.  The nest was a hole in a tree with the entrance about two and one-half inches wide.  The Mayor’s wife said they had watched the birds every morning making their next and preparing for the young.

“Occasionally Uncle John came to see us and usually accepted our invitation to stay for dinner.  We like to joke with him about his telling us there was nothing he could not eat, but we soon found out he ate everything he liked, but there were a lot of things he did not like.   I will never forget the philosophy he often used, ‘Eat the best first and you will always have the best left.’  This bit of humor has stayed with me and I have found it to be true.”

He was chairman of the Second World War Bond Drive—being the first one to buy a bond.  He won national and state recognition for Mount Pleasant being the first city to reach its goal in the nation.  He won a trip to Washington, DC and received a certificate from the United States Treasury Department which read:  “For patriotic cooperation rendered on behalf of the War Finance Program this citation is awarded to John Gunderson.  Given under my hand and seal on June 30, 1945.”  It was signed by Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Secretary of the Treasury, and Chas. L. Smith, State Chairman.

He was active in the Municipal League for many years and served as Vice President. He was also a member of the Sons of the Utah Pioneers and accompanied them on their centennial trek from Nauvoo to Salt Lake City when he was 71 years of age.  He wrote this about his trip:

“I have been grateful and thankful for every minute I spent on the recent trek to Nauvoo and intermediate points.  As we journeyed across the great plains my mind went back to my parents who crossed those wide stretches in that early day.  It renewed my faith to visit all the old landmarks of Mormonism, so I am thankful that I have lived to have that experience.

“My mind also turned to the pioneers and my feelings are expressed in the following:

            “Since first the pioneers began
            To make and build the West for man,
We count the years, one hundred o’er,
And ask where folks have given more,
Where standards have been higher set,
Where truth more earnest welcome met.
Where we find we men and mates who wrought
For grander prizes than they sought?
Let’s doff our hats and bow the head
To those who still life’s pathways tread,
And bless the souls who paved the way
For what is ours this happy day,
And keep in memory fore’er
The meaning of their coming here.”

John Olaf was engaged in the sheep business and served as the State Sheep Inspector.  He ran the sheep on the deserts of Western Utah and Eastern Nevada in the winters and on the public domain in the mountains by Scofield and Price in the summers.

There are a lot of stories about old Jeff – a one-man mule that Grandpa had.  He was sure-footed and loyal to Grandpa.  At night the herders would put hobbles on the horses and mules, and bells so they could hear them.   Grandpa was afraid that a mountain lion might come during the night and get a hobbled horse, although Jeff could run with the hobbles on.  The drovers would hear the bells and get up to protect them.

Then Jeff would go up into the trees and hide from the drovers; he knew the bell sound would lead them to him, so he would stand perfectly still.  The drovers would come back and tell Grandpa that they couldn’t find Jeff.

Grandpa would go out and holler, “Jeff, time to come in now.”  Jeff would come for Grandpa, but not the drovers.

Grandpa Gunderson used to tell his kids about Indians coming to kidnap the white kids and they all had quite a fear of being kidnapped by the local Indians.  In order to get the kids up in the morning, he would come running up the stairs, shouting, "The Indians are coming, the Indians are coming."  They’re at Charlie’s house now.”  Naturally, the kids were up and out of bed in a hurry.

One memory of Grandpa Gunderson was that, among other much more lovable traits, he was a vain man – although he didn’t seem like that when we were children.  We suppose it’s the stories that we’ve heard over the years that make us realize how he was. He always wore shoes that were the latest style, but he always complained about his feet hurting.  When he went to get a new pair of shoes at the store that our Uncle Shy worked at, he insisted on a size 7.  Uncle Shy realized, of course, that the reason Grandpa’s feet hurt so much was that he was wearing the wrong size shoe.  He didn’t tell Grandpa, but he sold him a larger size.  For days Grandpa went on about how great these shoes were and how his feet didn’t hurt.  When Uncle Shy admitted that the shoes were the right size, instead of the size 7’s Grandpa thought they were, Grandpa had a fit and refused to wear them.  “I wear a size 7!”

Because of that story, it is even funnier to hear this one.  Doug told us that once he needed some new shoes, but the size they had were not his size.  Grandpa let him get the shoes, knowing that Doug’s feet would hurt, but also that Shy could wear the shoes.  Doug wore them until he could hardly walk because his feet hurt so badly.  Grandpa said, “Fit your feet, even if you have to wait for the right fit.”  What a hoot!

We remember another time when some of the Gunderson relatives were at Doug’s home for Thanksgiving dinner; Grandpa was taking a nap on the couch.  His snoring was the subject of much snickering among the children.  Our Aunt Peggy, who was very talented musically, was playing the piano and made up a song about Grandpa’s snoring.  He was furious when he found out we’d been laughing about his snoring; and insisted that he did not snore.

Another time when Grandpa was visiting Doug’s family, they lost John, who was probably about two.  Everyone was hunting for him, sick with worry.  He was asleep with Grandpa out in Doug’s car in the carport.  Grandpa just radiated that sense of comfort and security that goes with being a grandpa.

Dave tells us this story that his father, Reed, told about Grandpa Gunderson.  He went to the hardware store and got some good flooring boards, pointed the ends, put them in a steam bath and turned up the ends.  They would bind these "skis" to their shoes and ski down the hill to the other side of town.  Grandpa would tie a rope on the car and pull them up to the high part of town, and off they would go.  An early ski lift!

Grandpa was baptized into the LDS Church August 20, 1883, and at the time of his death held the office of a Priest.  His wife preceded him in death on November 24, 1926, at the age of 48. 

After Grandma Gunderson died, Grandpa Gunderson married again.  His second wife, Effie R. Larsen, had three daughters Vannetta, Beth and Thelma. They later divorced, and Grandpa moved to Salt Lake City to live.

John Olaf died May 31, 1949 in Salt Lake City at the age of 74. His funeral was in the Mount Pleasant South Chapel on Friday, June 3, conducted by Bishop Leo Larsen.  He was buried in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery.

A very sweet note was received by the family following his death:

 (L to R) John K. Madsen (who provided the organ), John Gunderson (Mayor of Mt. Pleasant), Pres. J. Ruban Clark (of the First Presidency of the L. D. S. Church) and Bishop Lionel Peterson of the South Ward
(Picture taken by Lois G. Porter at the dedication of the new South Ward  L.D.S. Church)

Letter from The Presiding Bishop of the LDS Church, LeGrand Richards:

In the letter which was read at the funeral of John Gunderson, Bishop Richards stated that, “In the death of Bro. Gunderson I have lost a good friend, but Mt. Pleasant has lost its ambassador of ‘Good Will’ “.  “Bro. Gunderson has ceaselessly sought to make good things happen for Mt. Pleasant and its citizens.”  “We will all miss him, but the good people of Mt. Pleasant will miss him the most because he served them the most”.
“The Mayor is especially enthusiastic about the out-of-doors and takes a great pride in his own yard and garden spot.  In the flower boxes of the church and city hall he plants beautiful double flowering petunias, which bloom all summer and until the frost takes them in the fall.  His family lot in the cemetery shows that it has special care, and on Decoration Day it is always a mass of blooming perennials.  He is also interested in animals and birds.  Last summer he told us he had a nest of woodpeckers in a tree outside his kitchen window and he wanted my sister and me to come up and see them.  We found a pair of woodpeckers flying here and there gathering food for their young, but were in no mood to receive guests.  The nest was a hole in a tree with the entrance about two and one-half inches wide.  The Mayor’s wife said they had watched the birds every morning making their next and preparing for the young.

“Occasionally Uncle John came to see us and usually accepted our invitation to stay for dinner.  We like to joke with him about his telling us there was nothing he could not eat, but we soon found out he ate everything he liked, but there were a lot of things he did not like.   I will never forget the philosophy he often used, ‘Eat the best first and you will always have the best left.’  This bit of humor has stayed with me and I have found it to be true.”

He was chairman of the Second World War Bond Drive—being the first one to buy a bond.  He won national and state recognition for Mount Pleasant being the first city to reach its goal in the nation.  He won a trip to Washington, DC and received a certificate from the United States Treasury Department which read:  “For patriotic cooperation rendered on behalf of the War Finance Program this citation is awarded to John Gunderson.  Given under my hand and seal on June 30, 1945.”  It was signed by Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Secretary of the Treasury, and Chas. L. Smith, State Chairman.

He was active in the Municipal League for many years and served as Vice President. He was also a member of the Sons of the Utah Pioneers and accompanied them on their centennial trek from Nauvoo to Salt Lake City when he was 71 years of age.  He wrote this about his trip:

“I have been grateful and thankful for every minute I spent on the recent trek to Nauvoo and intermediate points.  As we journeyed across the great plains my mind went back to my parents who crossed those wide stretches in that early day.  It renewed my faith to visit all the old landmarks of Mormonism, so I am thankful that I have lived to have that experience.

“My mind also turned to the pioneers and my feelings are expressed in the following:

            “Since first the pioneers began
            To make and build the West for man,
We count the years, one hundred o’er,
And ask where folks have given more,
Where standards have been higher set,
Where truth more earnest welcome met.
Where we find we men and mates who wrought
For grander prizes than they sought?
Let’s doff our hats and bow the head
To those who still life’s pathways tread,
And bless the souls who paved the way
For what is ours this happy day,
And keep in memory fore’er
The meaning of their coming here.”

John Olaf was engaged in the sheep business and served as the State Sheep Inspector.  He ran the sheep on the deserts of Western Utah and Eastern Nevada in the winters and on the public domain in the mountains by Scofield and Price in the summers.

There are a lot of stories about old Jeff – a one-man mule that Grandpa had.  He was sure-footed and loyal to Grandpa.  At night the herders would put hobbles on the horses and mules, and bells so they could hear them.   Grandpa was afraid that a mountain lion might come during the night and get a hobbled horse, although Jeff could run with the hobbles on.  The drovers would hear the bells and get up to protect them.

Then Jeff would go up into the trees and hide from the drovers; he knew the bell sound would lead them to him, so he would stand perfectly still.  The drovers would come back and tell Grandpa that they couldn’t find Jeff.

Grandpa would go out and holler, “Jeff, time to come in now.”  Jeff would come for Grandpa, but not the drovers.

Grandpa Gunderson used to tell his kids about Indians coming to kidnap the white kids and they all had quite a fear of being kidnapped by the local Indians.  In order to get the kids up in the morning, he would come running up the stairs, shouting, "The Indians are coming, the Indians are coming."  They’re at Charlie’s house now.”  Naturally, the kids were up and out of bed in a hurry.

One memory of Grandpa Gunderson was that, among other much more lovable traits, he was a vain man – although he didn’t seem like that when we were children.  We suppose it’s the stories that we’ve heard over the years that make us realize how he was. He always wore shoes that were the latest style, but he always complained about his feet hurting.  When he went to get a new pair of shoes at the store that our Uncle Shy worked at, he insisted on a size 7.  Uncle Shy realized, of course, that the reason Grandpa’s feet hurt so much was that he was wearing the wrong size shoe.  He didn’t tell Grandpa, but he sold him a larger size.  For days Grandpa went on about how great these shoes were and how his feet didn’t hurt.  When Uncle Shy admitted that the shoes were the right size, instead of the size 7’s Grandpa thought they were, Grandpa had a fit and refused to wear them.  “I wear a size 7!”

Because of that story, it is even funnier to hear this one.  Doug told us that once he needed some new shoes, but the size they had were not his size.  Grandpa let him get the shoes, knowing that Doug’s feet would hurt, but also that Shy could wear the shoes.  Doug wore them until he could hardly walk because his feet hurt so badly.  Grandpa said, “Fit your feet, even if you have to wait for the right fit.”  What a hoot!

We remember another time when some of the Gunderson relatives were at Doug’s home for Thanksgiving dinner; Grandpa was taking a nap on the couch.  His snoring was the subject of much snickering among the children.  Our Aunt Peggy, who was very talented musically, was playing the piano and made up a song about Grandpa’s snoring.  He was furious when he found out we’d been laughing about his snoring; and insisted that he did not snore.

Another time when Grandpa was visiting Doug’s family, they lost John, who was probably about two.  Everyone was hunting for him, sick with worry.  He was asleep with Grandpa out in Doug’s car in the carport.  Grandpa just radiated that sense of comfort and security that goes with being a grandpa.

Dave tells us this story that his father, Reed, told about Grandpa Gunderson.  He went to the hardware store and got some good flooring boards, pointed the ends, put them in a steam bath and turned up the ends.  They would bind these "skis" to their shoes and ski down the hill to the other side of town.  Grandpa would tie a rope on the car and pull them up to the high part of town, and off they would go.  An early ski lift!

Grandpa was baptized into the LDS Church August 20, 1883, and at the time of his death held the office of a Priest.  His wife preceded him in death on November 24, 1926, at the age of 48. 

After Grandma Gunderson died, Grandpa Gunderson married again.  His second wife, Effie R. Larsen, had three daughters Vannetta, Beth and Thelma. They later divorced, and Grandpa moved to Salt Lake City to live.

John Olaf died May 31, 1949 in Salt Lake City at the age of 74. His funeral was in the Mount Pleasant South Chapel on Friday, June 3, conducted by Bishop Leo Larsen.  He was buried in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery.

A very sweet note was received by the family following his death:

Progressive Opinion

. . . For Everything Progressive . . .
A PAPER WITH SPIRIT AND VISION

C. N. LUND, Editor
Keith Bldg. Salt Lake City, Utah

            TO THE FAMILY OF JOHN GUNDERSON:

                        John Gunderson was a friend to me and he never did me anything but
            good.  He was a frequent visitor to my place of business and I shall miss him.  Our
            relations were always most friendly and were I to put down every kindness and every
            good he extended to me it would make a long list indeed.

                        In his public career he made a record that will long stand to his credit.  His
            six sons and one daughter were his pride and the objects of his love and esteem.  It has
            been fine indeed to see their loyalty to him.  He will live in their memory as long as their
            lives shall last.  They will remember all his goodness and kindness to them.  He will
            anxiously wait on the other shore to greet each one of them as they shall cross to the
            life eternal.

                        I hereby extend my sincere sympathy to each and every one of his posterity
            and hope that the light of their father’s devotion will ever cheer them along the paths
            they shall follow.
                       

Death is not so sad, for when one dies
                        We know that the fine light within his eyes
                        Would shine out still if he could see us near
                        And he would comfort tenderly our tear.

                                                Yours and John’s friend, C. N. Lund


Letter from The Presiding Bishop of the LDS Church, LeGrand Richards:

In the letter which was read at the funeral of John Gunderson, Bishop Richards stated that, “In the death of Bro. Gunderson I have lost a good friend, but Mt. Pleasant has lost its ambassador of ‘Good Will’ “.  “Bro. Gunderson has ceaselessly sought to make good things happen for Mt. Pleasant and its citizens.”  “We will all miss him, but the good people of Mt. Pleasant will miss him the most because he served them the most”.

1942

  
  


  


        “Crossing the Bar”

Twilight and evening star,
     And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning
     of the bar,
 When I put out to sea.

For though from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.


               ---Tennyson






Funeral Services for

JOHN OLOF GUNDERSON

Born August 20, 1875  Died May 31, 1949
Mt. Pleasant South Ward Chapel
Friday, June 3, 1:00 P. M.

Prayer at the home        H. C. Jacobs
Song, Quartet .. "Though Deepening Trials"
    Opal Scovil,  Alta Jensen,  
    George Squires, A. L. Peterson
Opening Prayer.... A. H. Anderson
Speaker………….            Bishop A. L.  Peterson
Organ Solos, "0 My Father,"
Vocal Solo: "In The Garden"
        Florence  Bagnall
Speaker………… Presiding Bishop  J. L. Wirthlin
Remarks…………Bishop  Leo  Larsen
Song, Quartet      "Come  Unto Me"
Closing Prayer….. O. M. Aldrich
Prelude and Postlude Music          
        Ethel L.Erickson
Dedication of the grave.. J. Leo Seely
Pallbearers:
   Emil Rutishauser, Gibbs Monsen, Hyrum Merz,
   McKay Zabriskie, Billy Jones, Abe Burton

Burial in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery

Services under direction of Jacobs Mortuary



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"In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage - to know who we are and where we have come from."



~Alex Haley




L.D.S. Temple

L.D.S. Temple
Manti Temple