Cover photo for Marilyn K. Gunderson's Obituary
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1940 Marilyn 2022

Marilyn K. Gunderson

August 8, 1940 — December 14, 2022

Marilyn Kay Gunderson of Grand Forks, ND passed away on December 14, 2022 at the age of 82. Marilyn was the daughter of James Russell McDonald and Mary (Green) McDonald and sister to Mary (McDonald) Melberg. Marilyn was born in Halstad, MN and grew up surrounded by family in Caledonia, ND. After graduating high school in Caledonia, she attended Mayville State College earning a teaching certificate in 1959. She married Wallace Gunderson in 1959 and gave birth to her first of six children 10 months later. This was just the start of her lifelong dedication to raising and caring for children. Marilyn dedicated over 40 years of her life to caring for hundreds of children and running Marilyn’s Day Care. Here is where she made her greatest impact. Marilyn proved to be a surrogate mother to many children showing them love, affection and guiding their lives beyond day care. Her passion for children was obvious and her annual day care Christmas parties were legendary. Every child was special and Marilyn made sure they knew it. Marilyn was also known for her cooking. All those that experienced it seemed to find a new favorite dish. Her Christmas baking was an event of great anticipation, transforming the front porch into a makeshift freezer for the scores of baked goods she would prepare. Visits with Marilyn would often start with a cheerful greeting followed by, “What can I get you to eat?” Marilyn actively followed her kids’ sporting events in fundraising, hosting spaghetti dinners, and cheering from the bleachers. She was active in church circle, Cub Scouts, and the American Legion Auxiliary. Marilyn is survived by her children Jay Gunderson (Diane) of Grand Forks, ND, Jamie Gunderson of Las Vegas, NV, Jody Gunderson of Hamilton, OH, Jana (Gunderson) Monroe of Grand Forks, ND, and Jerry Gunderson (Lisa) of Grand Forks, ND. Marilyn is also survived by 15 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. Marilyn was preceded in death by her parents Mary and Russell, stepmother Wilma, stepsister Maureen, stepbrother Dennis, son Jeff, husband Wallace, daughter-in-law Kellie, and sister Mary. Visitation will be December 27, 2022 from 5:00-7:00 pm with prayer service at 7:00 pm at Amundson Funeral Home Grand Forks, ND. The funeral will be held Wednesday December 28, 2022 at 11:00 am with visitation prior from 10:00-11:00 am at Calvary Lutheran Church Grand Forks, ND. Burial in Memorial Park South Cemetery Grand Forks, ND. In lieu of flowers/money, the family requests a donation to Hospice of the Red River Valley, Sanford Long Term Care Center Hillsboro, ND, or the American Diabetes Association.
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