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Amos Walter Svennungsen

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Amos Walter Svennungsen Obituary
KALISPELL Amos Walter Svennungsen, 92, of Whitefish, died of natural causes Monday, April 15, in Kalispell.

Visitation is 4-7 p.m. today at Buffalo Hills Funeral Home. Funeral services are 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Kalispell.

Amos was born to the Rev. David and Kari Svennungsen on Jan. 18, 1921, in Dazey, N.D.

The eighth of nine children, Amos attended elementary schools in Northfield, Minn., and Big Sandy and graduated from Big Sandy High School in 1939. After high school, Amos attended Northern Montana College, where he excelled as an infielder for the Lights. He graduated with a teaching certificate.

Amos served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1942-46, after teaching junior high for one year in Galata. After the war, he taught one year in Shelby and then attended the University of Montana in Missoula, where he earned his bachelor's degree in 1949. In 1952, he received his doctor of optometry from Los Angeles College of Optometry.

In 1951, he married Mary Gestring of Creston, and in 1952, they moved to Shelby where, for the next thirty years, Amos faithfully served Shelby and Chester as an optometrist. In 1990, he received the Distinguished Service Award from both the Montana Optometric Association and his alma mater, now the Southern California College of Optometry. A civic leader, Amos served on the school board, church council, Kiwanis, Elks Club and sang with barbershop ensembles and community chorales. He was instrumental in the construction of the much-loved Marias Valley Golf and Country Club. From 1981-1989, he practiced optometry in Sonoma, Calif. During retirement, he and Mary spent their summers in Whitefish and winters in Palm Desert, Calif.

Amos was the last surviving child born to Rev. David and Kari Svennungsen. A lifelong member of the Lutheran Church, Amos was an active congregational member throughout his life – participating in Bible studies, church choir, stewardship and various leadership roles. Amos was also an accomplished bridge player, avid reader and enjoyed sports of all kinds – especially when his children or grandchildren were playing!

A beloved husband, father, son, brother, uncle, brother-in-law, grandfather, family member and friend, he lived life fully – relishing each chapter of his 92-year life story. His values of hard work and joyful play, love for family, community betterment, education, humor, integrity and faith in Christ have shaped his loved ones more than words can say.

Amos was preceded in death by his wife, Mary; his parents, David and Kari; and his siblings, Rolf, Steinar, Ruth, Dave, Esther, Phil, Arthur and Paul.

He is survived by his son, Rock and wife Joanie of Shelby; his daughter, Ann and husband Bill of Minneapolis, Minn.; his son, Bradford and wife Marnett of Sacramento, Calif.; ten grandchildren, Kara, Peter, Sonja, Kirsten, Sarah, John Amos, Mary, Ellyn, Brooke and Bradley; four great-grandchildren, Kyrie, Finley, Noelle and John; and a host of beloved nephews, nieces and extended family members.

The family suggests that memorials be given to the church of their choice.

Condolences may be posted online at and/or

Published in Great Falls Tribune from Apr. 18 to Apr. 19, 2013
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