James William Gustavson passed away on the evening of February 5th, 2021. Jim, Jimmy, Gus, Amos or Swed as some knew him was born March 6th, 1947 in Fort Frances-Ontario, Canada at the La Verendrye Hospital to Nils and Eleanor Gustavson.
He grew up working alongside his parents in the grocery store they had on Browns Corner for many years. This is where his strong work ethic and devotion to those he cared about, came from. All through his youth on Browns Corner he made many great memories like hunting on the “tracks”, sledding on Frazier flats, driving “the loop”, or fishing and camping with family and friends.
Jim graduated from Falls High School in 1965 and went on to pursue a career doing what he really loved, working as a heavy equipment operator. He graduated from Staples vocational College in 1966. His college endeavors proved to be helpful to him when he then enlisted as a Navy Seabee in 1967 and served 4 years from 1967-1971 in Vietnam. This experience would help him evolve from being a shy kid to his known, outgoing and ready-to talk to anyone personality. He was honorably discharged in March 1973.
One night not long after he returned to the Falls from Vietnam, he and his good friend, Mike Karsnia, took a ride to the Junction in Jim’s green Dodge Swinger. That is where they both would meet their future wives, who were also out together that evening.
Jim and Linda (Wright) were married November 11, 1972. Jim enjoyed nearly 50 years with Linda, their three daughters, five grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.
He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle, and friend. One of the things he always looked forward to was catching up with old friends over coffee or lunch. Jim treasured all those moments he could with friends and family. He will always be remembered as the maker of nicknames and teller of endless jokes. Keeping us on our toes and bringing laughter wherever he went. Jim loved spending time telling, and sometimes re- telling, some of our most loved stories. If you knew Jim, he would always be there for you. Whether it was a listening ear or a helping hand, he was there to help. His big personality and love for his family and friends will leave an impossible space to fill, for anyone that has known or loved him. However, we are sure if you asked him how he is right now, he would have one answer with his big grin and his favorite phrase “just peachy”.
He was preceded in death by his father, Nils and mother, Eleanor; sister, Louise Carolyn Stafne and brother, David Ellerth.
He is survived by his wife Linda (Wright) Gustavson., his three daughters, Jennith (Chad Magner) Graves, Dana (Destry Gaetzke) Gustavson, and Natalie (Brian) Burmeister. His five granddaughters, Kate Graves, Brooke Graves, Hayley Gaetzke, Sophie Gaetzke, Bee Burmeister and his four great-grandchildren Waylon Tymenski, Kash Tymenski, Tatum Martin, and Rosaleigh Gessert. Along with his brother, John (Eunice) Gustavson.
Jim thoughtfully donated his body to The University of Minnesota to help with medical research. A celebration of life will be planned at a later date.
If you would like to send cards or condolences, please send them to Linda Gustavson, 3184 County Road 90 South. If you would like to share stories or pictures, we would love to see them shared on his Facebook page or in letters. Regarding condolences, Dad spent many years being cared for by wonderful doctors, nurses, and medical staff including the EMT’s that were there the night he passed away. Please help us give back to the medical community that cared so kindly for him. Please send memorials to the Community Cancer Walk, gas card fund; in care of the chemotherapy department at Rainy Lake Medical Center; Betsy Loop 1400 Highway 71 International Falls 56649.