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Johanne Rae Gunderson, 93, a resident of Wendell, passed away on Monday, October 23, 2023 at her home in Wendell.
Johanne Rae Rodman was born on May 11, 1930 in Angels Camp, California, the daughter of John Fletcher Rodman and Buelah Slankard Rodman. She was raised and educated in San Jose, California.
Johanne married Duane Marvin Gunderson on December 11, 1948 in San Jose, California.
She is survived by: her husband – Duane Gunderson of Wendell; two sons – Marvin Gunderson of Greenwood Village, Colorado and Roger Gunderson of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; four grandchildren – Matthew Gunderson and Jeffery Gunderson of Kalamazoo, Michigan and Tara Gunderson and Alexandra Gunderson of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; and three great grandchildren – Porter Gunderson, Ryann Gunderson and Preston Gunderson.
When Johanne was 6 years old, she was adopted by Mom and Dad Combs. They left Angels Camp for San Jose, CA a year later. She had two sisters, Madora and Easter and one adopted brother Bob.
She was preceded in death by: three brothers – Jack Rodman, Mike Rodman and Bill Rodman.
A graveside service will be held on Friday, October 27, 2023 at 3:00 pm at the Wendell Cemetery in Wendell.
Funeral arrangements are under the care and direction of Demaray Funeral Service – Wendell Chapel.
Johanne Gunderson, better referred to by me as “Auntie Jo” flew away with the angels on a crisp autumn day, bound for the heaven she talked about for as long as I can remember. She holds a place of honor in all my memories—holidays, family picnics, church gatherings, birthday parties, camping trips—and a host of other events throughout the years. I love her—and I will miss her dearly.
Her beginnings, as recounted many years ago during one of our heart-to-heart visits over coffee, were unbelievably difficult. However, she would never spend a great deal of time pondering her tumultuous childhood. Rather, she moved quickly to how God miraculously rescued her and faithfully established her life path. I always believed her to be set apart for His glory—and chosen for great things. Today, she basks in her eternal reward surrounded by loving family and friends that went before her.
She was always very solid in her beliefs— as well as a few hard and fast opinions thrown in for good measure. I always respected her unwavering viewpoints—although I must admit I thoroughly enjoyed an occasional spirited conversation that typically began with “Just consider this, Auntie Jo.” It rarely played out well.
My memory bank is overflowing with happy recollections during the summer season. Steeped in rich tradition, picnics were celebrated with enthusiasm, good food, and lots of family. Of course, there were those unique culinary creations that only certain family members could make. These semi-sacred recipes were not to be messed with, and by no means replicated by someone else. It went without saying that Auntie Jo held the undisputed title of Queen of Macaroni Salad—period.
“Just consider this, Auntie Jo.” You now see everything clearly. There are no second guesses, no presumptions. One glimpse of Jesus and all the questions were answered, His purposes revealed in an instant. You are whole and without pain of any sort. I find comfort today in knowing where you are—and that I will most certainly see you again. Until then, farewell sweet lady.
From Debbie Gunderson
My Aunt Johanne was the best. Every year my family would go to Idaho to visit Uncle Duane and Aunt Johanne. Aunt Johanne’s son Marv and Nephew Wayne seemed to continually get in trouble and Aunt Johanne would have to take care of business. Marv and I would cry some and Aunt Johanne would say that didn’t even hurt, she was right. I will miss Aunt Johanne but we know where she is, she’s with our Lord in heaven.
From Nephew Wayne Gunderson
Memories of Aunt Johanne.
My Aunt Johanne was a very special woman. She loved the Lord first and foremost. She loved her family with her heart and soul. It is with fondness and love that I sit here trying to explain what a special woman she was. I was told that I had met her when I was very young, but I have no memory of that. I do remember being in Redding when I was about 16 years old and she and Uncle Duane were visiting my dad. I knew right away that that she was a force to be reckoned with and I liked her immediately. My next memory is visiting them in Idaho. My aunt was a great cook. Just walking into her house was an experience to enjoy. I still remember her saying something to the effect that she just threw a little something together for dinner! It was always a feast. I soon learned that after the feast we were all expected to go for a long, fast walk so we could then have the homemade ice cream and I was expected to turn the crank! When it was time for me to get married, Uncle Duane performed our wedding ceremony. Aunt Joanne welcomed my new husband with joy and an abundance of teasing. They became pretty good buddies. My aunt’s early years were difficult, but you would never know that about her. I always admired that. While I’m sad at her passing, and we will miss her dearly, I know she is with her Lord and she just might be cooking a feast for Him, or making Him go for a walk along with her mother and her brothers.