Harold was born June 30, 1924, at the Caledonia Hospital to Carl and Luellen (Olson) VanGundy. He attended country school in Mound Prairie and Money Creek. Harold graduated from Houston High School in 1942 and also attended Winona Technical School. He worked in the shipyards as a machinist in Bremerton, Washington. Harold was drafted into the U.S. Navy, honorably serving from July 23, 1943 to April 23, 1946, where he was assigned to the U.S.S. Destroyer O’Bannon.
On February 25, 1950, Harold was united in marriage to Dolores Peterson at Houston Lutheran Church. They farmed in Yucatan and Looney Valley where they raised six children. He will be remembered for his love for horse pulling, winning many trophies in different states. He drove his horses and mules, bringing Santa Claus to town for 40 years. He touched many hearts, young and old, giving rides for groups throughout the area. Above all, Harold loved his family, friends, and grandchildren.
Harold was a member of the Cross of Christ Lutheran Church and served as an usher for many years. He was also a member of the VFW Post 3833, American Legion Post 423, Minnesota and Wisconsin Horse Pullers Association, Circle A Saddle Club and U.S.S. O’Bannon Shipmates Association.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Dolores; children, Dianne “Dino” (Tim) Orr, Cheryl (Hoyt) Zenke, Shelly (Dwayne) Johnson and Steve (Kendra) VanGundy; daughter-in-law, Cindy VanGundy; 12 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren; sisters, Lois Quillin and Judy Mrachek; brothers, Donald, Wesley (Dorothy), Francis (Shirley), Robert (Laurel), Junior (Donna), Larry (Patty) and Allen; aunts, Arletta Jurasinski, Edith Guy and Joyce Bjerke; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents; sons, Dennis and Gary VanGundy; granddaughter, Sara Jo; and sisters-in-law, Loretta and LaVon.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m., Friday, August 22, 2014 at Hoff Funeral & Cremation Service in Houston and also one hour prior to the service. Funeral service will be 11 a.m., Saturday, August 23 at Cross of Christ Lutheran Church in Houston with Reverend Leonard Liptack officiating. Burial will take place at Stone Church Cemetery with full military honors provided by the American Legion Arnet-Sheldon Post 423.
Please share a memory of Harold with his family and view his video tribute at www.hofffuneral.com.