William (Bill) Gotfredson died peacefully in his sleep on Saturday, May 11, 2019, at St. Clare’s Living Community. He was 77 years old.
He was born in Pokegama Township to Carl and Merle (Olson) Gotfredson on March 24, 1942. He spent his years growing up as a young boy loving life on the farm. This is where his strong work ethic was instilled in him working side by side with his parents. He told many stories of riding his horse or driving the tractor to country school. He attended Whited Township School, first through eighth grade, and graduated from Mora High School in 1960. When he went to “town school” in ninth grade he met the love of his life, Martha Ann Youngquist. They were a loving couple until his passing 60 years later. They were united in marriage in 1959 at Immanual Lutheran Church in Brunswick. From this union three children were born – Shari, Jane and Karl.
After high school he worked in auto part sales and as a route driver for Old Home Foods. Working in auto part sales brought the opportunity to purchase the bulk oil business from Tinker & Larson in Mora in 1971. The couple continued this company which grew as Town & Country Oil serving East Central Minnesota for 30 years after which it was sold to their children. On the corner of Highway 65 and Maple Avenue in Mora the spot known as “The Station” was where he formed many friendships with customers and the young men who worked for him through the years.
He attended Grace Lutheran Church serving as Sunday school teacher, chairman of the church council and member of the senior choir. He was also a member of the Mora Masonic Lodge (past Master 1975), Zurah Shrine (sponsored two children to the Shriners hospital), Mora Fire Department, MAYRA, Ducks Unlimited life member, NRA and North American Hunting Club life member, Minnesota Petroleum Marketer’s Assn., Minnesota Shorthorn Assn., Mora Vasaloppet and loyal member of the Liar’s Club at his Arizona winter home. He was instrumental in starting the Snake River Chapter of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, of which he became a lifetime member, and served as regional director of the state chapter of MDHA. He and his wife were very fortunate to travel to many different countries including three trips to Sweden.
A passion of his had always been to be able to participate in a mission trip which he did in 2005 traveling with a group to Honduras. This experience touched his heart deeply.
He had a huge zest for life. He had an immense interest in everyone he met wanting to know all about them. He loved a good time and a good laugh. He was a fan of the Gophers, the Twins and the Vikings. He was an avid outdoorsman and loved to hunt and fish. His other passions included golf and bowling. His joy upon retiring was to move to a small farm where he raised a herd of registered shorthorn cattle and loved using his ‘toys’ – John Deere tractor, dump truck, backhoe, bulldozer and skid steer.
Family time was most important to him. Grandchildren were loved dearly. Family get-togethers and great-grandchildren were a special treasure. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
He is survived by his wife Martha Ann; children Shari (Dave) Salmonson, Jane (Greg) Skramstad and Karl (Amy) Gotfredson; nine grandchildren; five step-grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sisters Marlys Olson, Donna (Russ) Callander and Carol (Don) Ellens, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
His body was donated to University of Minnesota Medical School Anatomy Bequest Program to support medical education and research.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 7, 2019, at Grace Lutheran Church in Mora with Rev. Paul Lutter officiating. Visitation will be held from 5 until 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 6, 2019, at Dresser-Methven Funeral Home in Mora as well as one hour prior to the service at the church. In lieu of flowers memorials are preferred to Grace Lutheran Church or Mora Dollars for Scholars.
Arrangements by Dresser-Methven Funeral and Cremation Services.