Loretta “Lori” (Gross) Gustafson, 87, Sartell
September 3, 1933 - November 15, 2020
With profound sadness, we announce the peaceful passing of our loving mother Loretta “Lori” Gustafson, age 87, on November 15, 2020 at Country Manor in Sartell, MN, having previously resided at Highland Senior Living in Little Falls, MN. Loretta was born in Lastrup, MN, to the late Alex and Loretta (Nagel) Gross. Lori was nicknamed “Sis” by her siblings and relatives.
As a teenager, Lori worked at The Black & White in Little Falls, MN. In the 1950’s it was just a small hamburger joint. She also enjoyed babysitting and helping her Aunt Helen (Nagel-LeBlanc) Hamrick on the farm. Lori was recruited from high school by the FBI and worked in Washington, DC, where she met her future sister-in-law, Dorothy, and shared an apartment. The highlight of her career was meeting J. Edgar Hoover at his private elevator that she accidently tried to use after only a few days on the job. Lori married her Little Falls High School sweetheart, Robert “Bob” Gustafson, who she affectionately called “Boop”. Bob preceded her in death in 1994. She was also preceded in death by her brother Arthur Gross, sister Ardeth (Gross) Allmon and husband Joe, sister-in-law Mary (Gustafson) Boisjolie and husband Jack.
Lori lived in Little Falls, MN, until 1962 when she and Bob relocated to Palmyra, NJ, with their 4 children. Lori lived a full life as a wonderful mother and homemaker. She kept an immaculate house, loved to bake and was highly skilled in sewing. Lori was a very proud band parent of her 4-G’s trumpeters volunteering to work the concession stands at the football games and enthusiastically attending all the parades the PHS Band marched in from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, Miss America Beauty Pageant in Atlantic City to the Cherry Blossom Parade in Washington, DC. As her children grew older, Lori returned to the workforce. In NJ she worked at Sears Service Center in Pennsauken, at the Cinnaminson Senior Home, and with the Palmyra Public Schools assisting teachers. She volunteered at Sacred Heart Church in Riverton and Our Lady Star of the Sea in Cape May where she also served as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. After the passing of her beloved husband, Lori moved to Des Moines, IA, close to her brother Alex and sister-in-law Connie, where she worked at a Day Care For Exceptional Children. Lori was very caring and compassionate and very much loved by the children as well as the staff. Next, Lori moved to Cape May, NJ, where she and her husband used to love to go fishing and walking on the beach. She made many friends there and everywhere she went. From Cape May Lori moved back to Little Falls, MN, where her life began. Lori had a vivacious personality and always made people around her laugh with her quick wit.
Lori is survived by her sister Cleo Sprandel (Charley), sister Bernice Chezick (Lloyd), brother Alex Gross (Connie); sister-in-law Gretchen Rey (Alfredo); sister-in-law Trudi Weiss (Marvin); sister-in-law, Dorothy Gross; her three sons, Greg, Garth and Gayle and her daughter Gwen Goodson and husband Michael; grandchildren: Brian, Lizzie, Garrett, Glen, Tanner, Stuart, Sandy, Andy, Karla and Kevin; plus 7 great grandchildren; remembered by her Aunt Helen, and many nieces and nephews. All of whom she loved and touched deeply. She will be dearly missed and forever in our hearts. A celebration of life will be held at a later date at the convenience of family.