Velma ‘Val’ Gunderson/Nelson

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Velma ‘Val’ Gunderson /Nelson

Velma ‘Val’ Gunderson/Nelson
May 2, 1928  • January 28, 2016

Velma was the third child to Frieda (Gaas) and Herman Vollmer, German immigrants who homesteaded their farm in Holloway, Minnesota. She graduated from Benson High School in 1946, and moved to Chicago, IL for two years to live with her maternal aunt, Martha, while working as a bookkeeper.

She returned to Minnesota to marry Sylvester (Skip) Gunderson from DeGraff (the man her brother Bill introduced her to when she was 14 years old). After Skip’s discharge from the Navy, following WWII, they settled in Bloomington, built their home and raised their three children. Val remained in the family home for 65 years until her death.

Val worked as a property manager in the 1950’s giving her the experience she needed to maintain their house and duplex (income property) Skip built before his death in 1966.

Val remarried in 1970 to Arlen Nelson from the Willmar area. They were together until his death in 1977.

Val then met Eldon Johnson from Swede Prairie Township. She found the perfect dance partner in him and they had a lot of fun traveling in her RV camper and spent a few winters in San Juan, Texas.

Val was a sharp card player, loved to dance and read the daily newspaper until her macular degeneration made it too difficult.

She traveled extensively in her RV camper and when in Benson would camp in the city park. She enjoyed a good garage sale giving her the start to an extensive miniature cream pitcher collection.

She was a proud 42-year member of the American Legion and a lifetime member of the VFW.

Val is survived by her children: Kathy Hovelson (Bob), Kevin Gunderson (Debbie), two grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, sister-in-law Nancy Vollmer and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, siblings Evelyn Bach, Bill Granger, David Vollmer and son, Keith Gunderson, whom she lost to ALS.

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