John Gunvalson, 95

Funeral services for John “Curtie” Gunvalson will be held on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Cyrus.  Reverend Chris Richards will be officiating.  A visitation will be one hour prior to the services at the church.  Burial will be at Scandia East Cemetery, rural Cyrus.  

John Curtis Gunvalson, ‘Curtis’ was born on September 28, 1927, in Cyrus to Sverre and Anna (Mickelson) Gunvalson. He was baptized and confirmed at Cyrus Lutheran Church and graduated from Cyrus High School in 1945.  On August 28, 1947, he married Genevieve Skogstad.  They lived in Hibbing, MN for a short time, moved back to Cyrus, and celebrated 66 years together.  In his early years, he worked at several Cyrus businesses.

Curtis began his 23-year career at the Cyrus Farmer’s Creamery as a buttermaker.  Later, he leased and managed the creamery and remained there until it was the last independently owned creamery in Minnesota.  After the creamery closed, Curtis went to work as an operating engineer at the University of Minnesota, Morris heating plant.  He worked there until he was in his early 80’s.

Curtis was very active in his community, especially volunteering. Throughout the years, his volunteer efforts were as a school volunteer helping to convert the ag shop into a daycare center; helping with ‘cookie bakes,’ and boiler operation, a firearm’s safety instructor and a first responder in Cyrus. Additionally, Curtis was active in Boy Scouts as a Cub Master and enjoyed several trips to Camp Wilderness.  When the town restaurant closed, he worked with others to keep it open and also served on the Minnewaska Hospital Board.  

Curtis was a lifelong member of Trinity Lutheran Church and served as the treasurer for 43 years.  He served on the council, sang in the choir, and was involved in the “Godly Women” presentations.  He spent countless hours preparing for and working at the church bazaars. Curtis enjoyed the outdoors – trapping, hunting and fishing.  He also loved sports, particularly the MN Twins. Curtis enjoyed celebrating special events with family. He attended games, concerts and programs of his great-grandchildren.

When Curtis moved to Woodbury to be close to family, he volunteered at his senior residence and helped organize a choir.  He was known as “John” and everyone loved his wonderful krumkake, his positive outlook, friendliness, smile and humor.  He enjoyed the senior Bible study at Resurrection Lutheran, he made many friends, and truly lived out his faith.  

John died peacefully on Saturday, April 29, 2023, surrounded by his family, at Artis Assisted Living in Woodbury.  He was 95 years old.  

He is survived by his son, James (Janet) of Woodbury; daughter, Beverly (Thomas) Alsleben of Woodbury; grandchildren: Kristen (Ryan) Butler of Woodbury, Scott (Ellen Palmer) Alsleben of Minneapolis, Ryan (Jeanne) Gunvalson of Woodbury, Leah Nelson of Colorado; great-grandchildren:  Declan, Claire and Braeden Butler, Walter Alsleben and Lillian Palmer, Noelle, Bennett and Nora Gunvalson and Reece, Lincoln and Emery Nelson;   and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Genevieve; brothers: Joe, Ernie, Vic, Harris, Vernon ‘Toby’, Ervin (during WWII); and his sister, Doris Burns. 

In Lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the  Trinity Cemetery Fund.  
Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris is in care of arrangements for Curtie, to send condolences to the family, on-line, visit