Peter N. Gunnink, 85, of Lake Wilson died on Thursday, August 11, 2016 at the Edgebrook Care Center in Edgerton, MN. Visitation will be held on Sunday, August 14 from 4:00 – 7:00 PM at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Lake Wilson. Visitation will continue at 9:30 AM on Monday, August 15, followed by the Memorial Service at 10:30 AM at the church. Burial will be at the Hillside Cemetery in Lake Wilson, MN.
Peter Nelvin Gunnink was born on May 18, 1931 to William and Frances (Broekhuis) Gunnink on a farm southwest of Leota, MN, the 2nd youngest of 6 children. He grew up on a farm southeast of Leota. He was baptized and made profession of faith at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church in Leota. Pete attended Leota Christian School through the 8th grade and finished two years of high school at Southwest Christian in Edgerton, MN. He farmed with his dad before being drafted in the army in February 1953. He completed 16 weeks of infantry basic at Fort Riley, Kansas. He was then sent to Korea where he served for 10 months. Upon returning to U.S. soil, he was stationed in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri before being honorably discharged in February 1955.
Pete met Mary Ann DeRuyter through a cousin and mutual friend. They married on March 2, 1956. To this union 8 children were born. They raised their children on a farm near Chandler where they lived for almost 28 years. Pete and Mary moved the family into Lake Wilson in 1984 and resided there for 30 years. Pete entered Edgebrook Care Center on April 4, 2016 where he died on August 11, 2016 at the age of 85 years, 2 months, and 24 days.
While on the farm, they were members of the Chandler Christian Reformed Church. After moving to Lake Wilson, they became members of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, where Pete worked as the janitor for 10 years. He also served on the church council and was a deacon.
Pete worked numerous jobs while living in Lake Wilson, including for the city 16 years and construction work for 12. He mowed the city cemetery for 22 years all the way up until his last summer at home. He was proud to have carried the military flag during the Memorial Day ceremony in Lake Wilson for many years. He served on the city council and was a very active member of the Lake Wilson American Legion. Pete received a new heart valve in 1993 and a pacemaker in 1996, although his family says that never slowed him down. Pete enjoyed gardening, canning, coffee at the café with his friends, solitaire, and attending his grandchildren’s school events.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 60 years, Mary; his kids and their spouses: Darwin (Linda) of Woodstock, MN, Larry (Bobbi Jo) of Lake Wilson, MN, Audrey (Tom) Ramsbacher of San Antonio, TX, Linda (Brad) Bauer of Farmington, MN, Tom (Mary) of Lake Benton, MN, Chuck (Darcy) of Ham Lake, MN, Sharon (Tom) Calabrese of Pomfret Center, CT; daughter-in-law, Naomi of Oroville, CA; 20 grandchildren, 5 step-grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren, and 2 step-great grandchildren; brothers Bert (Etta Mae) of Pipestone, MN, and Arnie (Connie) of Leota, MN; several in-laws, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Pete will be joining in Heaven his parents, Bill and Frances; brothers Richard and Johnny; sister Jennie; sisters-in-law Ruth Gunnink and Annie Gunnink; and brother-in-law Rick Bandstra; mother- and father-in-law Dick and Lena DeRuyter; his son Mike on September 27, 2014; several in-laws, and numerous nieces and nephews.