1918 — 2016
Helen Louise (Buck) Gunderson, 98, passed peacefully in Rochester, MN on December 9, 2016. She was born February 18, 1918 to Louis and Alida (Hasvold) Buck in Egan, SD. She graduated from Egan High School in 1935 and later received her teaching degree at General Beadle College in Madison, SD.
A dedicated public servant, Helen taught 35 years in one-room schoolhouses and rural school districts serving Ashgrove School, DeVaney, Gale Ridge, Trent, Colman, and Flandreau Schools in the Flandreau, SD area.
Helen eloped on May 24th, 1943 to marry Nils Gunderson in Spokane, WA, during his WWII service. Together they had two children, Duane and Vickie, and made their home in Flandreau, SD. Upon retirement, Helen moved with her daughter’s family to Mitchell, SD, Sioux Falls, SD, and Clara City, MN. A longtime member of the Eastern Star, Helen also served as president of the Clara City Care Center’s resident council, and an outspoken member of its Food Committee. In January 2015, Helen transferred to Golden Living Center West in Rochester, MN.
Helen was the beloved matriarch of a large extended family and network of friends. She was famous for her sugar cookies and loved “worrying” about her family. Helen is preceded in death by her husband, Nils; parents, Lou and Alida Buck; and brothers, Vernon and Lawrence. She is survived by her two children, Duane Gunderson (Dianne) of Elgin, NE and Vickie Schulz (Everett) of Rochester, MN; six grandchildren, Kalynn Schulz (Chris Wilson), Will Schulz (Lorie), Paul Schulz (Katie Fitzpatrick), Sarah Janzen (Brett), Joshua Gunderson (Marissa), and Jonathan Gunderson; twelve great-grandchildren and many loving nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Helen’s life will take place at the Buck family farm in Egan, SD in the summer of 2017.
The family would like to extend sincere thanks to Krista Willander, the staff of Clara City Care Center (Clara City, MN), Golden Living Center West, and Saint Croix Hospice (Rochester, MN) for the wonderful care and friendship given to Helen in her last years.
Condolences may be sent to Vickie and Everett Schulz, 1632 2nd Ave NE, Rochester, MN 55906, (320) 894-6402 and Duane and Dianne Gunderson, PO Box 351, Elgin, NE 68636, (402) 843-5389. www.skrochfc.com