Lawrence “Red” Gundersen (1932-2019)
Lawrence “Red” Gundersen, 86, of Hendersonville passed away on Friday, July 5, 2019 at home surrounded by his family. Born to Garfield (a tool and dye inventor) and Mabel Lee, Norwegian immigrants, he is survived by his wife of 63 years, Helga Anna Marie Nurnburger, the daughter of a World War II German officer; sister, Louise Mercer, one of his six other siblings (Garfield, Mabel, Ruth, Lillian and Camilla); his four children with Helga, Charlotte Tallman, Lawrence Jr., Aaron Lee and Sherry; grandchildren, Aaron James, Jessamine Hernandez, Claudia, Anamarie, Eli, Sharrod, and Anna Marie; two great-grandchildren.
Upon graduation from Dumont High School in New Jersey, Lawrence joined the Army National Guard as a basic infantryman. He was forward deployed during the Korean War as a 50-caliber machine gunner on a half-track. While returning cover fire, he was wounded by shrapnel in the knee and evacuated. He received the Purple Heart for his combat related injury and earned the Combat Infantry Badge. Following the Korean War, Lawrence was given the option of leaving the military or changing his military career specialty due to his injured knee. He became a medic in the regular Army and was again deployed to Vietnam, between 1967 and 1968, to a forward Mobil Army Surgical Hospital (M.A.S.H.) in the central highlands city of Plieku. During the 1968 Tet Offensive, Lawrence earned the coveted Bronze Star for going out under the compound’s razor wire to retrieve wounded soldiers during a heavy mortar barrage.
After retiring from active service in 1974, with the rank of Sergeant First Class (E7), he embarked on a successful business career. He became a retailer, developer and apartment complex owner. At one point, he owned over 40 apartment units in Hendersonville, NC and Daytona, FL. Always a friend to the hungry and dispossessed, Lawrence was always quick to assist those in need, hunger or trouble. A great husband, a patient and inspiring father and a loving brother, Red will be sorely missed.
A memorial service, with military honors, will he held at 11am on Saturday, August 17, 2019 in the chapel of Forest Lawn Funeral Home. A reception will follow the service in the hospitality room.
Date: Saturday, August 17, 2019
Time: 11:00 am
Forest Lawn Funeral Home Chapel
Help tell the story of Larry by contributing to the Life Event Timeline. Upload the photo of an event...Post an Event