Serving Western Wisconsin
Robert Gustafson 05/31/2019

Robert Gustafson 05/31/2019

Robert Melvin (Bob) Gustafson of River Falls, WI, passed away on May 31, 2019. Loving husband, dedicated father, and wonderful grandfather. River Falls High School teacher for 38 years, selfless volunteer for countless causes and his beloved First Congregational-UCC Church.  Born May 11, 1943, in Mountain Lake, MN, graduate of the University of Minnesota (B.S. and M.A.), a member of Theta Delta Chi Fraternity and Iron Wedge.  Preceded in death by his parents, Melvin T. Gustafson and Frances A. (Harder) Gustafson. Survived by his wife of 53 years, Ann (Hertel) Gustafson; sons, Todd (Barb) Gustafson, Brent (Trina) Gustafson, Kyle (Betty) Gustafson; grandchildren, Ryan, Sara, Andy, Evan, Jack, and Louie; brother, Gary (Martha) Gustafson; and sister, Gail (John) McHardy.  Visitation was Thursday, June 6, 2019 from 5:00-8:00 PM at Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services 805 E Division St River Falls, WI. Private interment was on Friday, June 7, 2019 in Greenwood Cemetery followed by a Memorial Service  at 11:00 AM at First Congregational Church 110 N 3rd St River Falls, WI.  In lieu of flowers, the family prefers gifts to the First Congregational Scholarship Fund, the First Congregational Youth Fund, or the FORWARD Foundation.  Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services


  • Den and Lynn Linder Posted May 31, 2019 7:30 pm

    Our hearts are so sad. Bob will be missed by Many. Our prayers are with you.

  • Roger Tweiten Posted May 31, 2019 8:06 pm

    Bob was a valued colleague of mine way back to the sixties he did so much for students and serving on the school board so much for teachers he will be treasured but also missed

  • Nancy & dave Ayers Posted May 31, 2019 9:18 pm

    We are so sorry Ann. Saw the ambulance last night across the street and had a bad feeling. Dave and i haven’t known Bob long, but he was a good neighbor and we’ll miss his kindness and historical knowledge of this wonderful town. Take care. Your neighbors, Nancy & Dave

  • Kay and Bill Montgomery Posted May 31, 2019 9:54 pm

    So sorry to hear of Bob’s sudden and untimely death! Condolences and support for Ann and their family in their time of loss and grief.

  • Debra Quist Posted June 1, 2019 5:45 pm

    Ann and family, Our hearts go out to you. We spent so many hours with Bob working on Mission Ed projects and other various tasks around the church. He inspired us to do good. Much love, Bill and Deb

  • Shari Colby (Luka) Posted June 1, 2019 6:18 pm

    Just saw Bob a few weeks ago at the flower shop, always smiling and teasing. As a former student, many fond memories of this very special teacher and mentor. Too soon! My heart goes out to all of his family and friends.

  • Kay Rindal Posted June 1, 2019 6:22 pm

    So sorry to see this, Gustafson family❣️ Prayers and condolences.

  • Megan Ettinger Posted June 1, 2019 6:34 pm

    I will always regret that our families weren’t closer. Though I haven’t seen you in decades, I was grateful for the family updates at Christmas and knowing what a good person you are. See you the other side, Uncle Bob.

  • Anne Lee Posted June 1, 2019 6:58 pm

    Oh, Ann! My heart aches for you. My prayers are for you. May God’s peace and support as well as love surround you.

  • Karen Rengert Posted June 1, 2019 7:17 pm

    Ann, I am so sorry for yor loss. I will be keeping you and your family in my prayers.

  • Lara Koecher Posted June 1, 2019 8:23 pm

    We were saddened to hear about the sudden passing of Bob. Steve and I always enjoyed talking with him. He had such a kind and gentle way about him. We know he impacted many lives during his time here on earth and will be missed by many. Sending love and hugs,
    Lara and Steve Koecher

  • Mary Bebie Posted June 2, 2019 3:08 pm

    Oh Ann, I’m in tears for you and my dear friend Bob. He was such a dear friend that cared about everyone he met. He guided me as I worked on union issues. He cared deeply about the education and those who devoted their lives to children of our nation. He left his mark on this world and I will be missed dearly.
    Love to you and your family in the very difficult time.

  • KERRY NELSON Posted June 2, 2019 3:19 pm

    Mr. Gustafson is a very good memory for me. He was the adviser for the Dimension newspaper which I was proud to be a part of. Loved him as a teacher and as a person.

  • Corri (Skelton) Anderson Posted June 2, 2019 3:47 pm

    Prayers of peace and comfort to the Gustafson family. “G” was an amazing teacher, but an even more amazing person. It was always a pleasure to run into him around town. You are in my thoughts.

  • Pam Friede Posted June 2, 2019 4:17 pm

    Our prayers are with you and your family, Ann. Bob was such a selfless role model! His advocacy for public education and support systems for people needing a hand up was incredible! His legacy will continue to live on!? Pam and Mark Friede

  • Bob Haushalter Posted June 2, 2019 9:16 pm

    I was named after Bob, and am proud to have been so. Wayne and Marlene thought highly of him and my condolences to our to you all.

  • Christine Wing Posted June 3, 2019 2:01 am

    My condolences to Ann and the family. Bob was a wonderful teacher and coach and much respected school board colleague.

  • Mary Bell Posted June 3, 2019 6:14 pm

    Bob was a mentor, a friend, and one of the kindest people I have ever known. His loss is sad for me, not because we were able to share time over the last few years, but because I knew he was working for peace and equality anywhere and everywhere he was. Peace to Bob and all who are grieving.

  • David McQuillen Posted June 3, 2019 8:35 pm

    So sorry to hear of your loss, Ann. Bob was such a bright and nice man who did–as do you–so much good and leaves the world a better place. I hope that you are surrounded by family at this time and that you take care of yourselves in your grief.

  • Jermitt Krage Posted June 3, 2019 8:46 pm

    My condolences to Bob’s family. He was a dedicated leader and work hard in behalf of students and staff of the public schools.

  • Deb Timmerman Posted June 3, 2019 9:26 pm

    We all have countless stories to tell about this wonderful man. The greatest gift he gave me was when my daughter, Abby was ill. He met a man on a plane who worked with grants from 3M through that random conversation, he found a way to write a grant that allowed me to stay with Abby while she was dying. Bob’s tireless work to make things better gave me precious time that Abby and I would not have had.

  • Roger Evans Posted June 4, 2019 3:19 pm

    Bob was a great educator and volunteer in many local organizations. I had the privilege of working with Bob and Anne as supportive parents. Todd, Brent, and Kyle were certainly reflections of their parents, and I consider each of them as some of my sixth grade favorites. Peace be with all of the Gustafsons, their loved ones, and friends.✝️

  • Faye Binsfeld Posted June 5, 2019 1:30 am

    Oh, Ann! I am so very very sad to read of this terrible untimely loss. Although I never had the pleasure of meeting Bob, I knew how generous, dedicated, and loving he was from your many stories. It will be so hard to go on without him, but you will rely on faith, family, and friends- and you will learn a new life. May the love of so many help bring you healing.

  • Steve Sidie Posted June 5, 2019 4:54 pm

    My deepest sympathies to Ann and family. I was so sorry to hear about Bob’s passing. I first met Bob at the 1978 NEA Rep Assembly in Dallas, TX where we were roommates. We were colleagues and friends for the next twenty odd years serving the members of WEAC and NEA. His life and his service was a model for all.

  • Chris Silver Posted June 6, 2019 2:36 pm

    I had the honor and pleasure of teaching with Bob at RFHS. Bob loved his students and they loved him. He had a great sense of humor and kindness that was felt by all. He served as a role model for all of us with his professionalism and dedication. When we moved to River Falls, he helped us find our home and made us feel like we were part of this community. He will be missed!

  • Carol Harder, Sara and Sami Abu-Rumman Posted June 6, 2019 4:08 pm

    Our sincerest condolences to Ann and family. We are sorry we couldn’t be there today. We enjoyed getting to know Bob through the years, especially when he dropped off Aunt Mur at Grandpa’s house. Bob had the best sense of humor and was so kind to all, again always making sure Aunt Mur was well taken care of. We loved our visits with Bob and wish we lived closer to have more family reunions!

  • Sue Danielson Posted June 6, 2019 10:34 pm

    We are all the richer for having had Bob in our lives. So sad that he is no longer with us. Praying for your wonderful family.

  • Nancy DeVries Posted June 7, 2019 3:49 pm

    Ann and family-We’re so very sorry for your loss. Prayers for all of you.

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