Cover photo for Gerald "Gus" Clayton Gustafson's Obituary
Gerald "Gus" Clayton Gustafson Profile Photo
1928 Gerald "Gus" Gustafson 2024

Gerald "Gus" Clayton Gustafson

September 14, 1928 — March 1, 2024

Mankato

GERALD CLAYTON “GUS” GUSTAFSON, age 95 of Mankato, formerly of New Richland, died in the early morning of Friday, March 1, 2024 at Hillcrest Rehabilitation Center in Mankato.

 

Gus was born in New Ulm on September 14, 1928, to parents Herbert and Ida (Edlund) Gustafson.  During the Korean War era he enlisted in the United States Air Force, soon commissioned, and began a career as a fighter pilot, specifically a River Rat. During the Vietnam Conflict he flew over 100 missions, was shot down twice and successfully evaded capture. After Vietnam he attended George Washington University where he ultimately earned a Master’s Degree in International Affairs and went on to work at the Pentagon. He retired a decorated Colonel in the Air Force after nearly 30 years of service. In his retirement, Gus was a dedicated member of the Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association and many other local Veterans Associations. He also enjoyed gardening and working on his hobby farm. He was the proud recipient of the Air Force Cross, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Purple Heart, the Air Force Air Medal, and many others.

 

He was married to JoAnn Togstad on August 3, 1957, and they made their life and family together until they divorced in 1975.  In December of 1981 Gus was remarried to Kathryn Ober.  They later divorced but remained close friends. 

 

Gus is survived by six children, Julie Mortensen of Mankato, Kristin (Randy) Hoffmann of Mankato, Pete (Jenny) Gustafson of Owatonna, Michael (Julie) Gustafson of North Mankato, Casey (Jim) Gustafson of Anacortes, WA, and Janey Rakowski of Mankato; three step-children Sarah (Joe) Stoddard of Ann Arbor, MI, Sandy Stoddard of Forest Lake, and Jeremy (Kim) Stoddard of Madison, WI; 13 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and countless other unofficially adopted family members. He was preceded in death by both of his parents; his first wife; two siblings, Lyle Gustafson, and Kelly Gilfry; and his grandchildren, Todd Michael Gustafson and Bryan Gerald Mortensen.

 

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, at Trinity-Wilton Lutheran Church near Waseca.  Visitation will be held for one hour before the service at the church.  Interment will take place at Fort Snelling National Cemetery at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13th, 2024.  
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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Graveside Service

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

1:00 - 1:15 pm (Central time)

Fort Snelling National Cemetery

Minneapolis, Minnesota, MN

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