Cover photo for Donald Gunness's Obituary
Donald Gunness Profile Photo
1928 Donald 2017

Donald Gunness

February 25, 1928 — February 4, 2017

Donald, B. Gunness, 88, rural Abercrombie, ND, passed away Saturday, February 4, 2017, at Rosewood on Broadway, Fargo, ND. A Funeral Service will be Thursday, 2:00 PM, at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Abercrombie, ND with Rev. Matthew Tooman officiating. A visitation will be one hour before the service at the church. Interment will be at Emmanuel Lutheran Cemetery, Abercrombie. Arrangements have been entrusted with Vertin-Munson Funeral Home, Wahpeton.

Donald B. Gunness was born on February 25, 1928 to Arthur S. and Adelia (Satter) Gunness of Abercombie, ND. He was baptized and confirmed in the Christian Faith and he graduated from Abercrombie High School in 1946. He also graduated from North Dakota State College of Science, Wahpeton, ND with a degree in Diesel Mechanics.

He continued farming with his brother, Gordon until he was called into military service in 1952. He graduated from Army Diesel School and was shipped to Korea where he helped work on maintaining the heavy equipment used in the building of airstrips in Pusan, Korea during the war. These heavy machines were removing sand from the ocean to build the air strips.

He was honorably discharged from the Army in 1953, and returned home to continue farming with his brother.

He attended NDAC (now NDSU) several years during the winter quarter, which he enjoyed very much. It was at this time that he met his future bride, Alice Bjorklund, of Richville, MN. They were married in 1955 and lived on their home farm in rural Abercrombie for 60 years. In this union five children were born and raised: Peter, Mary, Sonja, Arthur and Sarah.

He farmed continually until the early 1980's and then transferred his talents and abilities to beekeeping. It was at this time he invented and patented the Dakota Gunness Uncapper, which is still being sold world-wide today.

Donald's honesty and fair dealings were well-known throughout the industry. At 88 1/2 years old he was still building machines and farming his own land, which he thoroughly enjoyed.

Donald was active in the American Legion at Abercrombie. In later years he was a very active member in the Gideon Organization, giving Gideon presentations to various churches in Richland County. In addition, he was also involved in the Gideon Jail Ministry in Wahpeton, ND.

He was preceded in death by his mother and father and his older brother Gordon, who was killed in a sugar beet accident at the age of 52.

Left to mourn is his loving and devoted wife of 60 years, Alice; his children, Peter (Sue) Gunness, Waconia, MN, Mary (Dr. John) Sanderson, Elgin-New Leipzig, ND, Sonja (Clarence) Bachmeier, Colorado Springs, Arthur Gunness, Abercrombie, Sarah (Dr. Geir) Ostrem, Colorado Springs, CO; his grandchildren, Lucy Gunness (Vance) Kerber, Hans Gunness (fiancé Annie), Mark (fiancé Mikayla) Sanderson, Soren Sanderson, Baret Bachmeier, Kate Bachmeier (Zachary) Kinnison, Silje Ostrem, Trond Ostrem; his two great-grandchildren, Audrie and Ezra Kerber.

Donald was a man of faith, a man of his word and an eternal optimist who loved his family, his friends, his community and his country. His family will cherish the memory of their beloved Donald.

Memorial Contributions may be given to Emmanual Lutheran Church General fund or Gideon's International.

Donald's Memorial Folder


Emmanuel Lutheran Church

Abercrombie, ND

Thursday, February 9, 2017
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM


Emmanuel Lutheran Church

Abercrombie, ND

Thursday, February 9, 2017
2:00 PM


Emmanuel Lutheran Cemetery

Abercrombie, ND

Thursday, February 9, 2017
4:00 PM

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