Gilbert "Gil" Lunder Jr., 86, Minot, formerly of the Glenburn area, died Friday, May 17, 2013, in a Minot hospital.
Gil was born Feb. 9, 1927, at Minot, the son of Lovina "Bird" (Dutter) and Gilbert Lunder Sr. He was raised on the family farm near Glenburn and educated at Glenburn area schools. He entered into active duty service with the U.S. Navy on Feb. 9, 1945. He honorably served his country in the Pacific Theatre of World War II aboard the USS Biloxi and later on a mine sweeper. He was honorably discharged on July 11, 1946, and returned to North Dakota to work as a printer's apprentice.
Gil met and fell in love with Dorothy Nielsen and they were married on Jan. 17, 1947. Gil was employed with the Great Northern Railroad as a carman for a number of years. Dorothy and Gil started Lunder's Kiddyland at Roosevelt Park in 1953. Gil built all of the rides and enjoyed making many families happy. The zoological society purchased Kiddyland in 1973. Gil and Dorothy then operated the concessions stands at the South Hill Complex until 1979. They started a greenhouse on wheels from which they sold flowers and vegetables in small communities around Minot until Dorothy died in 1986.
Gil also enjoyed farming throughout the years, first on a farm near Foxholm, then at a farm that he purchased near Benedict, and he later returned to his family's homestead near Glenburn to farm. After Dorothy's death, he married Eloise Monson on Feb. 14, 1988, in Fargo. Together, they enjoyed gardening and spending time with many friends. They also operated rides and concessions stands at small town celebrations. Gil loved to travel and was fortunate to have visited all 50 states as well as overseas. His favorite trip was to Israel to see the place where his Savior was born and died.
Gil was a member of the Congregational United Church of Christ, Minot, where he was active as a Sunday school teacher, greeter, active in Bible studies, prayer groups and with the Men's Club. He especially enjoyed staying in touch with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
His loving family includes: wife, Eloise Lunder, Minot; daughter, Kae (Rick) Olson, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii; Eloise's son, Paul Monson, Billings, Mont.; grandchildren, Korrie (Nick) Wallin and their children, Gretchen and Hannah of Sioux Falls, S.D., Heidi Olson, Coral Springs, Fla., Brock Michael Lunder Vardsveen, Sioux Falls, S.D., Suzi LaSpina, and her daughter Bianca of Las Vegas, Nev., Tessa (Jason) LaQua and their children, Paxton and Parker of Culbertson, Mont., Alyssa Monson and her daughter, Ariah and Melanie Monson and her children, Mitchell and Kyrene, all of Billings.
Gil was preceded in death by his parents; first wife, Dorothy; and a brother, Norton Lunder.
Funeral service: Tuesday, May 21, at 11 a.m. in the Congregational United Church of Christ, Minot.
Interment: Rosehill Memorial Park, Minot.
Visitation: Monday from 3 to 7 p.m. in Thomas Family Funeral Home, Minot.
Memorials are preferred to the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, Congregational United Church of Christ, Minot, or the donor's choice.
Those wishing to sign the online memorial register or share memories are invited to use the expressions of sympathy section at (www.thomasfamilyfuneralhome.com).