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Lowell Gilbert Gunselman

February 5, 1934 - August 31, 2018

Lowell Gilbert Gunselman, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend, passed into eternal rest August 31, 2018, in Salem, at the age of 84.

He was born February 5, 1934 in Wakefield, Kansas, the youngest of Lawrence and Evelyn Gunselman's four children. He was raised on their family farm in Oskaloosa, Kansas, graduating from Oskaloosa High School in 1952. He attended Ottawa University. In 1954, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. During his service, he was assigned to the USS Curtiss as part of the well-known Operation Redwing in 1956, during the nuclear bomb testing operations at the Bikini and Enewetak atolls in that year, and in retirement was an active member of the Oregon Association of Atomic Veterans. He was awarded the Good Conduct Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.

In 1957, when stationed in Bremerton, Washington, he met and married Mary Ann Newkirk. They made their home in the nearby community of Belfair, Mary Ann's hometown, where they raised their five children. In the mid-1960s, he began working as a school bus driver for the North Mason School District, where he especially enjoyed his Old Belfair Highway route and driving the school's athletic teams. He also worked as a sports referee for youth and school sports programs.

While two of their daughters were attending Willamette University in the 1980's, Lowell and Mary Ann visited the area often and decided to relocate there. They moved to the Salem area in 1983, where he continued working as a school bus driver for the Salem-Keizer School District. Both enthusiastic gardeners, Lowell and Mary Ann delighted in the boundless richness of Willamette Valley growing conditions. Lowell became certified as a Master Gardener, and their flowers and produce have been enjoyed by many of their neighbors.

Lowell and Mary Ann were active members of their church congregations, and especially enjoyed sharing their faith through music as members of their church choirs at Belfair Community Baptist Church in Belfair and at Calvary Baptist Church in Salem. In his leisure time, Lowell was a sports enthusiast, rockhound, country music fan, and a member of The Breeze barbershop chorus. Lowell and Mary Ann celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in November 2017, and the 61st anniversary of their meeting on June 26, 2018.

Survivors include his wife, Mary Ann, of the family home; children Cheryl Gunselman and her fiance Hans Rauth; Lawrence (Larry) Gunselman; Kathryn (Kathy)  Slightam and her husband, Randy Slightam; Cynthia (Cindy)  Martin and her husband, Marty Martin; and Craig Gunselman and his wife, Linda Gunselman; grandchildren Keaton, Haleigh, and Briana Gunselman; Mark, Samantha, and Rebecca Slightam; and Taylor and Sabrina Martin; great grandchildren Kyson and Ivy Gunselman, and many nieces, nephews, other extended family, and friends.

A memorial service will be held at Calvary Baptist Church in Salem on Wednesday, September 5, 2018, at 11:00 am. A private inurnment ceremony will be held at Willamette National Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the American Lung Association 

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Guest Book Entries

Love you Dad! We are so grateful to you for being a part of our lives. You have taught us all so much about life and love. We will miss you so much! We love you so much, Cynthia, Marty, Sabrina, Taylor, and Jennifer

He will be very missed by Paul and I. I have always had a special place in my heart for him. Detrie & Paul Batty

We will miss you Lowell, many evenings of sharing meals with the family, playing games, watching sports, the beginning of girls softball, referring football with you, riding the bus to sporting events, sharing the accomplishments of our children and best of all sharing our faith. You have had more than your share of health issues but now you are free and singing in heaven. Much love to your family.

Lowell was a very giving, loving and thoughtful man that always put others before himself.  Lowell always made people feel welcome, he reached out when he saw someone needed help.  Lowell always gave more than he received.  Lowell made people smile and would always go that extra mile for anyone, even a total stranger, he never hesitated to help.  He loved his wife, his family, was very proud of all of his children and grandchildren and loved his country, he was proud to have served in the military and I am thankful for his service to his country, community and things he helped me with.  Thank you to the entire family for sharing such a wonderful man.  May you find peace in your hearts and many special blessings to you.  

Lowell was our friend and bus driver. He chatted with so many of the kids that rode his bus. He showed us that he cared about us in so many little ways. We occasionally got some candy and I think I remember an orange one time. I bet that became a mess for him to clean up. He was always encouraging us to keep working hard. I loved his laughter.

So many sweet memories of him and your family.  We were neighbors when I was in 2nd grade.  He was also my first boss!  Love and prayers for you all.  

Lowell was a great man and father he was always fun to being around on our bus trips to games he was very special man he will be missed. Ron Burrows

Thinking of you all! He had quite a life!!

What a wonderful life lived, you all were truly blessed to have him in your lives. Thankful for his service to our country. Prayers for comfort to your entire family in the many great memories you have.  Love, Claudia, Xavier & Xander