News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

In Memoriam: James Gundersen (April 20, 1935 – Jan. 8, 2023)

James Oliver Gundersen, 87, died Jan. 8, 2023. He was born to Oliver Gundersen and Doris Klindt on April 20, 1935, in Albany. 

James grew up in Lebanon, and moved to Astoria for a few years before moving to the Mill City/Gates area in the ‘70s.

James married Paula Joanne Nelson on Jan. 6, 1962, in Salem. The two met through friends and had their first date at Silver Falls.

James worked for the Oregon Department of Forestry as a forester for much of his life before retiring in 1997. He also served in the United States Army as a Tracked Vehicle Mechanic. He was honorably discharged in 1957 at the rank of SP3.

In his spare time, James enjoyed hiking, fishing, woodworking, canoeing and spending time with family and grandchildren. He had a love for the woods and was an environmentalist while also supporting the timber industry. 

James was a member of the Santiam Canyon Community Chorus, Historical Society, and an Elder at First Christian Church in Mill City.

He was preceded in passing by his parents, Oliver, and Doris; younger sister, Rosemary; and grandson, Joshua. He is survived by his wife, Paula; children, Kimberly and Walter; and daughter in-law, Suzanne. Ken Bergstrom; grandchildren, Kaitlyn, Tyler, Emily, Caitlin, Zachary, Joshua, Benjamin, and Samuel; sister, Karen; and niece Elise.

James was laid to rest at Fairview Cemetery in Gates. A memorial service will be held at noon March 11 at Mill City Christian Church, 400 SW Kingwood Ave. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made out in James’s name to the Mill City Christian Church Building Fund or Santiam Canyon Community Chorus.

Arrangements by Weddle Funeral Services in Stayton.

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