Leonard Paul Gustafson (Gus), age 85, passed away peacefully on September 3, 2022 at Willowcrest Nursing Pavilion in Sandwich, Illinois.
Leonard was born July 5, 1937 in Sycamore, Illinois, the son of Frank L. Gustafson and Olive D. (Mefferd) Gustafson.
Gus met the love of his life, Verena (Toots) in 1953. They married June 21, 1957 and had just celebrated 65 years of marriage in June with their children, Vicky, Rick and Dawn at Lakeview Grille in Yorkville, Illinois..He and his loving wife lived and raised their three children in Sandwich for 60 years. They are members of the United Church of Sandwich.
Leonard was a member of the United States Air Force from 1956-1960, where he was stationed in Mississippi, France, California and Texas throughout his years of service.
Gus had many passions in life but being a member of the Sandwich Fire Department was at the top of his list. He served on the Department from 1971-1995, and was Fire Chief from 1990-1993 during his time on the Department. In past years he was also a member of the Board of Directors for the Sandwich Park District.
Gus was a maintenance manager for CTS Knights for 39 years until his retirement in 1999 at the age of 62. He and Toots had a great love for camping throughout their marriage so when retirement came they bought a motorhome and spent the next 20 years during the winter months in Florida where they made many lifelong friends at the Big “O” RV Park in Okeechobee, Florida. Everyone knew and loved Gus in the park because he would take his twice daily walks with his beloved dogs, Harley and Gustoff, stopping along the way just to say “HI”.
Gus enjoyed Trapshooting at the Sandwich Sportmans Club and reading his books about our History but his biggest love was time with his family. Whether it was the yearly camping vacations, holiday time or just sitting with them on the front porch or in the family room chatting about life. He was always a listener…
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Verena (Toots) Gustafson, Daughter- Vicky Ann Tripp (Bill) - Son, Ricky Leonard Gustafson and Daughter-Dawn Marie Roseberry (Frank). He was a very proud Papa of 7 Grandchildren-Kira Green (Jeff), Matthew Tripp (Brittany), Beau Gustafson ( Katie), Justin Roseberry (Jessica), Brady Gustafson, Nicholas Tripp (Stephanie), Karissa Kindel (Carter) and 15 Great Grandchildren who he loved dearly.
He is preceded in death by his Father-Frank L Gustafson, Mother-Olive D (Mefferd) Gustafson, Sister Ann G Duszak and Daughter in Law-Kim Gustafson.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 from 10:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. at the Sandwich Fire Department, 310 E. Railroad Street, Sandwich, IL 60548. Funeral service will take place immediately afterwards at 12:00 P.M. with a graveside service to follow out to Oak Ridge Cemetery in Sandwich. Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Beverage Family Funeral Home. Online condolences may be made on www.beveragefamilyfh.com
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