Gary Hunstad was born in Aberdeen, S.D., Jan. 12, 1950, the son of Donald and Odell Hunstad. Gary was baptized at Scandinavia Lutheran Church, Aberdeen. He was confirmed at St. John's Lutheran Church, Le Mars. He graduated from Le Mars Community School in 1968 and from St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn., in 1972. He received a Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., and served as an intern pastor at Eltingville Lutheran Church, Staten Island, N.Y., for one year. He served an internship at St. John's in Le Mars the summer of 1978.
Gary's ordination took place November 1978 at First Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids, where he served as associate pastor until 1984. Gary then accepted a call to Christ Lutheran Church in San Diego where he served as co-pastor and then senior pastor until 1994. During this time he participated in continuing education at Union Theological Seminary in Virginia from 1979 to 1986.
Gary is survived by his parents, Donald and Odell Hunstad; a sister, Rachel (Robert) Bonderson of Hawarden, and their children Nellica (Scott) Seibert, Clara and Lydia, Micah (Erica) Bonderson, Keaten, Kate and Kora and Sonja Bonderson and CJ Lynott; and a sister, Colleen (Scott) Carlson of Sergeant Bluff, and their family Jeff (Ashley) Carlson and Jason Carlson.
Gary was proceeded in death by an infant brother Daniel and grandparents, Harry and Clara Nerland and Birger and Nettie Hunstad.
Gary had a strong religious faith and had an extraordinary zest for life. In accordance with his request, there will not be reviewal or visitation and his body will be cremated. There will be a private graveside service at a later date at Scandinavia Lutheran Church, Aberdeen, S.D.
Memorials may be designated for St. John's Lutheran Church Sanctuary Renovation Project, St. John's Seminary Fund of Le Mars, Iowa, or Scandinavian Lutheran Church in Aberdeen, S.D.