Delbert (Del) F. Sundberg

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Delbert (Del) F. Sundberg, 86, died Aug. 19, 2013 at home.
He was born in Loveland Colo., March 24, 1927, the oldest son of Leroy Sundberg and Ruth Swanson Sundberg. His father was a farmer and the family lived near Johnstown.
Like most kids of those times, he was an active 4-H Club member.
Del was valedictorian of his 1944 high school graduation class at Johnstown High School. He enlisted in the Army and under the auspices of the Army Specialized Training Program, spent a year at Yale University's Japanese language school. He was assigned to occupation duty in Japan as an interpreter with the 25th Infantry Division.
After his military service, he attended the University of Colorado, where he received a bachelor's degree in 1949 and a master's degree in personnel administration in 1951.
On June 10, 1951, he married Shirley Uhrich in Loveland's Trinity Lutheran Church and they moved to Los Alamos, where he began a career at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory that spanned 36 years. He was appointed employment director in 1956, deputy personnel director in 1959, public affairs director in 1966 and information services division leader in 1970. Del was also deeply involved in civic affairs and local politics.
He was a member of the Los Alamos Medical Center Board of Trustees, chaired the United Way Fund Drive in 1963, and served on the board of Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce. In 1968, he was elected to the first of four terms on the Los Alamos County Council. He was also an active member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Los Alamos, where he served on the Church Council, chaired numerous committees, taught Sunday School and sponsored the youth group.
Gov. Jerry Apodaca appointed Sundberg chairman of the newly created New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Review Commission in 1976. He was appointed to a second term in 1982 by Gov. Bruce King.
Del retired from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1987 and decided to return to politics. He was elected to the New Mexico House of Representatives and served on the House committees on education, public and consumer affairs, judiciary and health and human services.
Del was particularly proud of successfully sponsoring several education reform bills and passing a million dollar bond issue to fund the first New Mexico-Nature Conservancy Partnership.
In 1993, he and Shirley returned to Colorado to be near aging parents and family. In Loveland, he was a member of the Loveland Rotary Club and served 10 years on the Loveland Public Library Board. He has enjoyed this time with family, relatives and long-time friends. He was again a member of Trinity Lutheran Church where he had been baptized, confirmed and married.
The Sundberg's traveled extensively in Scandinavia, Germany, the Balkan countries, and Alaska. Del was particularly interested in Civil War history and explored many battlefields of that era. He also enjoyed reading, golf and Colorado Rockies games.
Del is survived by his wife, to whom he has been married 62 years; a daughter Ann Sundberg and her husband John Parton of Chadron, Neb.; five nephews, five cousins, and other relatives in the United States and Sweden. He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers David Sundberg and Donald Sundberg.
Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. Aug. 22 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Loveland.
Memorial contributions may be made to the McKee Medical Center Foundation, the Colorado Chapter of the Nature Conservancy or Trinity Lutheran Church in care of Kibbey-Fishburn Funeral Home.
Funeral Home
Kibbey Fisburn Funeral Home
1102 N. Lincoln
Loveland, CO 80537
(970) 667-5885
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Published in Los Alamos Monitor on Aug. 23, 2013
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