August 22, 1938 – August 13, 2018

 

Ralph Wilhelm Gundersen, Jr., 79, St. Cloud, MN, died August 13, 2018 at Meeker Manor in Litchfield, MN.

Memorial services will be Sunday, August 19, 2018 at 2:00 PM at First United Methodist Church, 1107 Pinecone Rd S., Sartell, MN. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church on Sunday.

Ralph was born on August 22, 1938 in Chicago, IL to Ralph and Dora (Stoll) Gundersen. He lived there until his late elementary years and then moved with his family to St. Paul, MN, where he graduated from Murray High School in 1956. Ralph attended the University of Minnesota where he earned his Masters and then in 1967 his PhD in entomology (insects). He married Nancy Lowe in 1960.

Before receiving his final degree, Ralph taught at St. Cloud State University in the biology department. Ralph liked both the faculty and the students and was extremely busy preparing a new lecture every night. Soon he acquired more experience and had given many lectures. Fairly early he started using slides of animals, birds, plants and insects to illustrate his lectures.

Outside of the classroom Ralph had his family activities. By the time he arrived in St. Cloud, he and Nancy had a young son and daughter. Ralph was good with the children, and they liked doing things with him. He was also fond of the family pets, as was his whole family.

As things progressed, Ralph became a Sunday School teacher, a Webelos Scout leader, and a dog walker for the Tri-County Humane Society. Somewhat later, he was editor of the Audubon Society newsletter. Ralph was a member of United Methodist Church of the St. Cloud Region. Ralph liked traveling with his students and faculty on biology field trips, and he loved the outdoors.

Ralph leaves behind his wife, Nancy Gundersen, son, Mark (Kathy) Gundersen, daughter Tracy (Kevin) Lee, brother Ross (Cheryl) Gundersen, and sister Sue Gundersen.

The last eight years Ralph struggled with Alzheimer’s disease.

Memorials are preferred to First United Methodist Church or Tri-County Humane Society.