George Gundersen of Madison was called peacefully to God on January 18, 2020, at the age of 83. Beloved husband for 55 years to Diane (nee Dryer). Loving father to Craig (Lisa) of Champaign, IL, Jeff (Julie) of Wauwatosa, WI, Colette (Tim) Gramins of Vernon Hills, IL, Bethney (Perry) Pickhardt of Madison, and Courtney (Jim) Marschalek of Hartland, WI. Loving Grandpa to Diego, Kaitlin, Andrew, Faith, Matthew, Van, John, Kelsey, Silas, Caroline, Henry, Piyamon, George, and Pahkin. Dear brother to Carol Grotz of Cedarburg, WI. Preceded in death by his parents, Carl and Marion Gundersen. Also survived by five nieces and nephews.
George was born in New York, NY on May 29th, 1936. He grew up in Maywood, IL and attended Proviso East High School. He graduated from the University of Illinois in Civil Engineering and holds a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He enjoyed a rewarding career in civil service as an engineer and Director of the Bureau of System Planning for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. He retired in 1997.
He met his future wife Diane in Glen Ellyn, IL and they were married in 1964. Five children, fourteen grandchildren and dozens of pets followed. George always put family first. Every year, he and Diane enjoyed taking the children on long motor home trips across the country, visiting many National Parks and also frequently Disney World. He found joy in all things, whether watching countless junior tennis matches or building play forts for all of his grandchildren. He happily biked to and from work for forty years, cherishing the days when one of his children would meet him to bike the last leg home with him. His grandchildren brought him such abundant energy and love. He, in turn, showered them with his unlimited love, patience, and humor when playing with them, and of course, bestowed on them his endless knowledge of all things geographical.
He basked in the glow of family even in his later years when it was harder for him to be as active as before. After retirement, George did his best to visit every mile of the US highway system, even traveling in the motor home with Diane to Alaska. No matter where his children’s and grandchildren’s paths took them, he always showed pride and support for them.
Visitation will be held at ST. THOMAS AQUINAS CATHOLIC PARISH, 602 Everglade Dr., Madison, on Saturday, January 25th from 9:30 – 10:30 AM. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at the church at 10:30 AM. In lieu of flowers, memorials appreciated to St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, UT, or the charity of your choice.
CRESS FUNERAL AND CREMATION CARE
3610 SPEEDWAY ROAD
MADISON, WI 53705
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St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Parish
602 Everglade Drive, Madison WI 53717
The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
P.O. Box 4777, New York NY 10163-4777
Best Friends Animal Society
2005 South 1100 East, Salt Lake City UT 84106