Roy Alton Gustafson

Roy Gustafson

MARQUETTE, MI – Roy Alton Gustafson, age 85, of Newberry, passed away from this life on Saturday, December 16, 2017 in Marquette.

Roy was born on April 4, 1932 in Newberry, Michigan to David and Violet (Fyvie) Gustafson. He and his brothers, Marvin and Jim along with cousin, Burt Gustafson, were raised on Center Avenue in the Hospital Location of Newberry in Pentland Township.

As a boy, Roy spent many hours in the outdoors. A natural hunter and fisherman, Roy always seemed to know where to cast to bring in the fish. In addition, he was a natural athlete. Being ambidextrous, he could pitch left-handed and bat right-handed. In high school, Roy played basketball, but football is where he excelled, earning himself a full scholarship to Michigan State University where he earned a Bachelor degree in education. He later earned a Master’s in education from Eastern Michigan University.

In 1952, Roy married Reta Staebler from Turner, Michigan. They met at MSU and resided in Newberry where they raised four children.

Roy worked at Newberry State Hospital for most of his career, where he retired as Director of Physical Education. After retirement, he spent many years as a builder and remodeler in the Newberry area. In this capacity he was a great mentor to many people, especially his children. Wherever he was needed, you could always count on a helping hand. As a lifelong Elk’s member, he volunteered countless hours to structural improvements at the club. Simply put, he always gave more than he received.

Roy was preceded in death by his wife, Reta; brothers, Marvin and James, and a grandson, Kai Olaf Johnson.

He is survived by his children, Kirsten, Karl, Kim (Lindquist), and Gunnar as well as 10 grandchildren, Celeste Johnson Greenan, Ari and Kate Rasmussen, Greta, Lars, Kersta, Diedra, Ilsa, Nils, and Annika Gustafson.

A gathering to honor Roy will be held at Blaney Inn in the summer of 2018 at a date to be announced.

The Canale-Tonella Funeral Home of Marquette is assisting the Gustafson family where memories may be shared at canalefuneral.com.