Gone But Not Forgotten - Gunder K. Volstad

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Friday, February 6, 1920
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Gunder K. Volstad

The silent and grim messenger of death is making frequent calls to our village of late, sounding the solemn warning to young and old that while we are in life, we are in the midst of death; that it is only a step between time and the great Eternity and whenever the call comes, it leaves sorrowing friends bereft of dear ones. When death comes to the aged, our minds wander back to the days when the pioneers wrought out their destinies for themselves and their descendants in terms of trial, hardships and sacrifices. We turn back the course of years and live in the age of memoried traditions, which tell the tale of the early pioneer life. As the years come and go these pioneer pass on the reward of their labors, a reward that we can neither bestow nor yet enhance, save by the words of kindness we may utter, when they have answered the call of the Maker. It must be a great privilege to live more than a half century of active manhood in one place, to begin young and untried with the experiment of settlement; of church, community work and school, grow with it through to the stages of development and look out of the window at twilight to see that the efforts and labors have not been wasted and that a life well spent has had its part in the upbuilding of that community.

G. K. Volstad was known far and wide for his deeds of charity, his unswerving devotion to the cause of temperance and religion. He was one of the incorporators of the Scandinavian Gospel Mission organization in Minnesota in 1897, and one of the stanchest temperance workers in the community, from the early days to the present. He never wavered in his faith and lived to see the day when the land was freed from the legalized saloon. He contributed liberally to the cause of temperance, Missions, and to the Children's Mission in Minneapolis. His topic was usually religion or temperance and he did much to make conditions better for his fellowmen.

He reached the good old age of more than three score years and ten and leaves a legacy that will always be a blessing and a benediction to the community where he labored and lived so long. His Christian character, his unswerving devotion to the truth, as he saw it, his love for all that was good and firm, his stand against drunkenness and debauchery, stamped him as one of the noblest of God's servants in his time.

After celebrating his 82nd birthday, last April he thanked his many friends through the Tribune for their remembrance of him and urged them to seek his Jesus and have their names written in the "Lamb's book of life". It was his public farewell to the people of the community.

The deceased was born on the Volstad estate, Torsdal, Norway, April 13th, 1837. At the age of 23, he came to America, and located for a while with his brother, Halvor, in Nevada township. On October 25th, 1964, he was united in marriage to Guild Svensen and to them nine children were born, five of whom have preceded him to the hereafter. For about thirty years he continued his residence on a farm about two miles east of Lyle until the spring of 1901 when he rented his farm and moved to the village of Lyle, where he spent his declining years. Though quite aged, he was sturdy and strong and always about, taking an active interest in civic affairs. On Armistice Day, the 11th of November last, he was taken ill and it proved the beginning of the end, and from then on he gradually grew weaker until the end came last Sunday morning. He was the last of sturdy family of ten children. He leaves besides his devoted wife, two daughters, Mrs. H. G. Dahl and Mrs. J. W. Johnson, of Lyle, an adopted daughter, Miss Matie Volstad, of the Childrens' Gospel Mission of Minneapolis; two sons, Samuel, of West Virginia, and Art, of Marion, N. D., besides a host of relatives and friends to mourn his departure.

The funeral was held at the home Wednesday afternoon and interment was made at Six Mile Grove cemetery in the family lot. The services were conducted by Rev. S. Heath, of the Congregational church.

The following from away attended the funeral: Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Prestholt, Mrs. Densmore and Mrs. Clarence Knutson of Clear Lake, Miss Helen Knutson and Mrs. Angove of Minneapolis and Geo. Anderson of Austin.