John Rune Gustafson was born March 9, 1925 at Aurelia, Iowa, the son of August and Augusta (Johnson) Gustafson. He was baptized and confirmed at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Alta, Iowa. He attended Aurelia High School and enjoyed participating in football. He grew up on the farm where he acquired his work ethic and love of the land. He voluntarily enlisted in the army in 1951 where he served in the Korean Conflict. He was honorably discharged in 1953.
On September 22, 1952, Rune was united in marriage to Shirley Jensen, daughter of Anton and Myrtle Jensen, at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Alta. The union was blessed with three children, Runae, Linda and David.
Rune and Shirley lived and farmed south of Aurelia. He raised livestock including cattle, hogs and turkeys. He was a lifelong member of Trinity Lutheran and served on the church board. He was a big Vikings and Twins fan. In his spare time he enjoyed fishing, spending time with his grandchildren, polka music, playing cards, woodworking and practicing the organ. He had just celebrated his 87th birthday and would have had his 60th wedding anniversary on September 22. He semi-retired in 1984, moving to Alta where he enjoyed town life, his trees and flowers. He was proud of his Swedish heritage and enjoyed speaking in Swedish to his brothers and also by phone to his many cousins still living in Sweden. He was fortunate to re-visit Sweden in 1989 with Shirley to visit relatives.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Bert, a sister, Gladys; and grandson Joshua Petersen.
Rune’s life will always be celebrated and honored by his family which include his wife, Shirley of Alta; two daughters, Runae Brake and her husband Ervin of Alta and Linda Petersen and her husband Rodney of Alta; one son, David Gustafson and his wife Audrey of Aurelia; grandchildren, Alicia (Michael) Bittner, Kristine Brake, Melissa (Brian) Reiling, Becky (Jeremy) Langner, Tonya Petersen, Neil Gustafson (fiancée Nichole Prunty) Tyler Gustafson and Keith Gustafson; seven great-grandchildren, Nathan and Brooke Reiling, Erika, Brett and Brendon Petersen, Matthew and Cole Langner; brother, Stewart Gustafson of Alta; brother-in-law, Gordon Jensen and wife Nita of Oakhurst, CA; and many other extended family and friends.