Cover photo for Garry Daniel Gunderson's Obituary
Garry Daniel Gunderson Profile Photo

Garry Daniel Gunderson

December 14, 1941 — December 25, 2023

Hubbard Lake

On the evening of December 25th, Garry Daniel Gunderson, 82, of Hubbard Lake, MI, passed away
peacefully. He was loved by many and will be greatly missed.
Garry was born on December 14th, 1941, in Detroit, Michigan, the heart of Motown and nicknamed the
‘Motor City’. He was raised by his parents Orville and Marian (Hager) Gunderson and resided in both
Flint and Lincoln MI.
Garry spent a lot of time helping his father run a gas station business, in the mid-1950’s in Lincoln, in the
location now known as Lincoln Truck & SUV. That was when his love for cars began. His knowledge
about cars was impressive. He was one that would be able to name the make, model and year of every
car he drove by. He was passionately excited to share stories about the cars he owned, especially his
green corvette.
If he wasn’t talking about cars, it was sports. He was a sports enthusiast and had a pretty good
basketball legacy. His journey started at Alcona High School. During the 1958-1959 basketball season, his
team made it to the Semi-finals. To date, this is the most successful team the school has ever had. After
graduating from Alcona, Garry played at Alpena Community College (ACC) under legendary coach Jim
Dutcher. While at ACC, he was ranked the 3rd highest rebounder and 10th highest scorer for the
National Junior College Athletic Association. After college, he moved to Flint and began his career with
General Motors.
In 1973, Garry met his wife, Marlene, and within six months they were married at St. Mary’s Church in
Mt. Morris. They planted roots in Flint and by 1979 had three beautiful children. A dream Garry had was
to own a home on Hubbard Lake and have his children attend his alma mater. His dreams became a
reality with the love and support of his wife.
A big part of Garry and his children's lives involved sports, whether watching, playing, or attending a live
event. He made sure he and his children always had the best equipment and were taught the proper
fundamentals of each sport they played. His motto was if you started something you had to see it
through, there was no quitting. Garry supported all three of his children throughout their sports career
and instilled a strong work ethic.
During the first few years after moving up north, Garry lived in Flint and worked at General Motors to
support his family. Garry not only had strong work values but he also taught his children strong work
values as well. While he was still working in Flint, he would finish his shift and head north to attend his
son's basketball games. He was committed to being at each game on Tuesday and Friday evenings,
which meant he would be driving three or more hours to attend a game, and then drive back to Flint
afterwards to start work again at 6 am. It was so important for him to be there for his family. Watching
his son, Michael, lead the basketball team and his daughter, Jai-leah, pumping up the crowds with
cheers on the sidelines were some of his most special times.
Garry had a knack for helping people, no matter who they were. There are so many examples of him
gifting bowling balls to those who didn’t have the best equipment or him giving pointers on ways one
could improve. He did it out of the kindness of his heart because he loved helping people. It really
brought him great joy to educate and see others excel.
Garry had many passions, was very curious, and had a big imagination. His knowledge about cars, sports
(anything from basketball to track & field) and his ability to remember specific details was remarkable.
He had quite the eclectic taste in music too. He listened to many different genres ranging from Jelly Roll,
Marvin Gaye, Salt-N-Pepa, the Temptations, to Bob Marley.
Garry loved being on the water and fishing on Hubbard Lake. It was the place he found peace of mind
and where he spent his final days just as he had always wished. Garry was fortunate enough to attain
many milestones during the course of his life including, the one he treasured most, celebrating 50 years
of marriage with his wife. He truly loved and was so very proud of his family, especially his children and
grandchildren. He kept up-to-date with all his grandchildren’s sports and activities, even as he got older
and was unable to travel.
Garry was preceded in death by his parents, Orville and Marian Gunderson, brother, Curt Gunderson,
nephew, Jeff Gunderson, father-in-law, James Flood Sr., mother-in-law, Virginia Flood, brother-in-law,
Jimmy Flood Jr., grandson, Zachary Johnson, and several other family members.
Garry is survived by his wife Marlene, son Michael Gunderson (Jenney Donaldson), and two daughters;
Jai-leah Walstad (Matthew Walstad), and Natalie Gunderson. His grandchildren, listed in birth order;
Dariele Bilbey, Dominic Gunderson, Jazlyn Gunderson, Delaney Walstad, Olivia Gunderson, Dempsey
Walstad, Isabella Gunderson, Grayson Walstad, Sophia Gunderson, and Dorsey-Cate Walstad.
Cremation arrangements have been made through Gillies Funeral Home. A funeral Mass, led by Father
Tyler at All Saints Parish in Alpena, will take place on Thursday, April 4, 2024 at 11am. In memory of
Garry, we encourage all sports enthusiasts to wear their favorite team to represent the love he had for
sports. (Sidenote; those wearing Michigan State or Ohio State will be escorted out of the church. Just
kidding, please see security).
A special thanks to the staff at Medi-Lodge and Hospice of Michigan for all the great care they
If you wish to make a memorial donation, please consider Hospice of Michigan. Our family is eternally
grateful to this organization and all the staff who helped, with the utmost care and compassion, during
our loved one's final days.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Garry Daniel Gunderson, please visit our flower store.


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