Carlton Einar "Gus" Gustafson died on February 19 at the home in Altadena he shared with his wife Juliene for fifty-one years. He was 88. Born in Gothenburg, Nebraska on December 6, 1925, he was the second child of Einar and Vollga Gustafson. The son of a butcher, Gus was brother to three siblings, older sister Charlotte Nutting and Paul and Don Gustafson. Only younger brother Don of Omaha survives him. In 1944, after graduating from Gothenburg High, home of the Swedes, he was drafted into the United States Army and served in the Pacific theater during World War II. As part of Company F, 383rd Regiment 96th Infantry Division, Gus was wounded three times on Okinawa receiving the requisite three Purple Hearts as well as a Bronze Star for his effort in taking Conical Hill.
After the war, he attended the University of Nebraska, graduating in 1950. Gus loved to write and was Editor of the Curtis Enterprise newspaper before relocating to California in 1956. There he worked in insurance before joining Fred Stoffel Associates selling specialty advertising and eventually becoming owner. He retired in 2001. Gus was a longtime member of the University Club of Pasadena and a Rotarian for over 60 years. In 1962, he married Juliene Westerberg originally from Fergus Falls, Minnesota. She survives him along with daughter Ann, son-in-law Tony and granddaughters Clarice and Emilia of Altadena and son John, daughter-in-law Bethany, and granddaughter Phoebe of Santa Monica.
Gus was a lover and champion of wine, leading several group trips to Napa and Sonoma as well as France's Loire Valley and traveling extensively to Europe, South America and Asia. He loved sports and was a lifelong fan of Nebraska football and the Cincinnati Reds. Gus was also a family historian transforming his love of writing in commemorating the lives of relatives and friends alike. Most importantly, he was a loving father and husband, a man generous beyond his means whose legacy reflects the words of Auden: "If equal affection cannot be, Let the more loving one be me." He is and will be forever missed.
A memorial and a celebration of his life will be held on March 22nd at 2PM at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Pasadena. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Gus' name to the City of Hope, 1500 East Duarte Road, Duarte, CA 91010-3000. www.cityofhope.org/giving
Published in San Gabriel Valley Tribune on Mar. 12, 2014