From the Office of Bishop Grant J. Hagiya


In sadness, we share the news that Mrs. Aud Helene Gundersen, spouse of The Rev. Gunnar Gundersen, died on Friday, December 17, 2021.

Mrs. Aud Gundersen was born in Bergen, Norway and as a young woman, she worked full-time while attending night school. Upon completion of her formal education, she taught elementary school on a small island near Bergen. She married Gunnar Gundersen in 1959 and they began a life together in church service that would take them to communities along the coast of Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the United States. Together they attended the Methodist School of Theology in Gothenburg, Sweden, where they both graduated in 1962 amidst starting their family.

In 1969, Aud, Gunnar and their three sons immigrated to the U.S., settling first in Valley City, North Dakota and later in multiple communities throughout the Dakotas and in Arizona as Gunnar served pastoral appointments to different congregations. During these moves, Aud always found varied and meaningful ways to adapt to her new surroundings and make new friends. In addition to being a pastor’s wife, she held multiple positions over the years, including her work with special needs youth and adults and later at The United Methodist Conference Office in Fargo, ND. She spent her retirement years in Arizona with family. She is survived by her husband Gunnar, three children and several grand and great-grandchildren.

Rev. Gunnar Gundersen is a retired elder in the Desert Southwest Conference. He was admitted on probation in 1962 and as a member in full connection in 1964. He was a member of the South Dakota Conference, where he served:  Salem Valley City (1969); Tripp County Larger Parish (associate 1972); Parker UMC (1974); as a member of the North Dakota Conference, where he served: Jamestown: St. Paul’s UMC (1980); the Director of Conference Program Council (1983); and in the Desert Southwest Conference where he served: Camp Verde UMC (interim 1988); Phoenix: Central UMC (associate 1989); Chandler: Chandler UMC (1991). Rev. Gundersen retired in 1993.

A memorial service for Mrs. Gundersen was held on December 22, 2021.

We join our hearts together in grief, acknowledging our human loss. May God grant us grace, that in pain we may find comfort; in sorrow, hope; and in death, resurrection. With gratitude for the life and ministry of Mrs. Aud Helene Gundersen, please hold her family and friends in prayer at this time.

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