Friday, June 15, 2012

John Gustafson died

John Gustafson, who taught math to many of our classmates, and was a Cardinal football, baseball and basketball coach, died in New Mexico. Here's his obituary.

Our beloved husband, father and Papa, John "Dr. G." Alvin Gustafson, born December 12,1932 has gone on to be with the Lord as of June 5, 2012.
John was born December 12, 1932 to Alfred Ruben Gustafson and Stella Evelyn (Spilseth) Gustafson in Kensington. John graduated from Alexandria High School in 1950, where he received an athletic scholarship from St. Olaf College. He excelled in athletics and was a 'Little All American, End' and graduated in 1955. John earned his MA degree from the University of Northern Colorado and then his PhD from the University of Utah.
John brought his family to New Mexico in 1972 to take a position as a professor of physical education at the University of New Mexico, where he faithfully taught and served for more than 30 years.
John married June Anne Day in Big Springs, Texas in 1956, while he was serving in the United States Air Force as a pilot. After his service was completed, John and June moved to Alexandria, where they began their much beloved family of John Allan Gustafson, born March 27, 1961, Jodi Day Gustafson, born March 18, 1963, and Jill Gustafson, born September 9, 1967. Jill married David Shingledecker in 1992, whom John considered a devoted son.
John was blessed with two grandchildren: Hollie Shingledecker, born September 26, 1997 and Joseph Shingledecker, born April 17, 2000, both of whom he dearly loved and who greatly enriched his life. John considered one of his greatest achievements to be teaching them both to “play ball.”
John's life was marked by his deep love of God, his love and commitment to his family and helping his fellow man through his constant display of the Great Commission. John was a man of God, a devoted husband and father, a teacher, mentor and coach, a servant of all men and a true friend. John will be greatly missed and his legacy will continue in the programs and lives he touched.
Memorial contributions may be made to The Albuquerque Rescue Mission or the Calvary of Albuquerque Food Bank.
A memorial service was held Friday, June 8 at The Hub at Calvary of Albuquerque, 4001 Osuna Rd NE.
An online guestbook for John can be found at:


Personal note from Stan Rolfsrud, Alexandria Class of 1965, which was long before Nike and Starter and the rest made everyone look athletic.

I have fond memories of this wonderful man.
John was a great guy and an inspiring B team basketball coach. He taped my ankles daily during the winter season of 1962-63. His trademark basketball practice outfit was a red tee-shirt and black softball pants with a red stripe down the side that he would cuff up high over the ankle like floods.
To needle him, I would play dumb and subtly refer to these makeshift sweats as his "band pants," knowing he was a consummate jock and wouldn't particularly want to be associated with a fancy musician's band uniform. He was quick to take the bait. "These are softball pants," he would correct with a twinkle and a headshake, as if feeling sorry for someone who couldn't tell the difference.
A great guy, a real man. He always told us to "Be a Tiger."

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