November 14, 2012 in Obituaries

Obituary: Gustafson, Herschel R. “Gus”


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GUSTAFSON, Herschel R. “Gus”
(Age 89)

Died Sunday, November 4, 2012 at Riverview Care Center from a variety of health complications. He is now in his eternal home in Heaven with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and his first wife, Betty. Herschel was born (in 1923) and raised in the small mining town of Telluride, Colorado to August and Serena Brown Gustafson. He was the youngest of four children, all of whom preceded him in death. He graduated from Telluride High School in 1941. He was a veteran of the US Navy and served during WWII on the USS William C. Cole Destroyer Escort. He was able to travel with the Inland NW Honor Flight in 2010 back to Washington D.C. to see the WWII Memorial. “Gus” first came to the Spokane area as a naval recruit and spent a year at Farragut Naval Training Station. After being discharged from the Navy as Electrician Mate 1st Class, he returned to Spokane to marry Betty, whom he had met while stationed at Farragut, and entered Gonzaga University in March 1946. He graduated from Gonzaga University in 1950 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. Gus also received the Alumni Merit Award from Gonzaga University in 1989. He married the former Mary R. “Betty” Jernigan in 1946 and they shared 64 wonderful years together, and traveled extensively throughout the US, especially enjoying their homes on Coeur d’Alene Lake and in Maui. Betty died in August 2010. Gus was a faithful and devoted husband to her throughout her life and went every day to sit beside her and hold her hand after she entered a long term care facility. Prior to his graduation from Gonzaga, “Gus” went to work for Power City Electric as an estimator on electrical projects. The power line division of Power City Electric broke off and Roy Johnson formed Power City Construction, of which “Gus” was a vital part. Power City Construction was bought out by Chuck Walters, and a few years later by the Hughes Construction Company. “Gus” worked for them for two years. In 1967, he was one of four principals that formed Wire Installation Contractors, Inc and served as its President until his retirement in 1982. He was a leader in the stringing of transmission lines and was the patent holder of a tension stringing device. Gus served several terms as President of the Northwest Line Constructors chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association. He served one term as its Governor. He was a past member of the National Joint Apprenticeship training committee for the electrical industry and also past member of the National Marketing Committee of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). Gus was a member of Fourth Memorial Church for nearly 40 years and served on the Board of Trustees and the building committee. His impact on the church and Riverview Bible Camp were immeasurable. After Betty’s passing, Gus longed for a female companion and married Barbara Bennett in December 2011. They had 10 short, but wonderful months together. Herschel is survived by his new loving wife,Barb;his two daughters, Rebecca L.” Becky” Flugstad (Ben) of Port Ludlow and Roberta J. “Bobbi” Caesar (Robert) of Spokane; his six grandchildren, Joel (Shannon), Tim, and Holly Flugstad, and Jonathan, David and Jeremy Caesar, plus one great-granddaughter, Serenity Caesar. He has numerous nieces and nephews that he always enjoyed spending time with. He will be greatly missed by his friends and family. Services will be held on Saturday, November 17, at 11:00 a.m. at Fourth Memorial Church, 2000 N. Standard St., Spokane. It was Gus’s desire that an accessible (“handicapped”) living quarters be built at Riverview Bible Camp and thus memorial gifts may be given to Riverview Bible Camp c/o Fourth Memorial Church. Ball & Dodd are in charge of arrangements. Herschel will be buried with his wife, Betty, at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

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