Robert Gustafson

Robert Gustafson

DANVILLE – Robert L. Gustafson, 83, of Danville, passed away at his home on Shake Rag Road on Monday (April 17, 2017).

He was born in Danville on May 26, 1933, to Archie and Ruby Florence (Drolinger) Gustafson. On Feb. 7, 1960, he married the love of his life, Shirley Ilene Cunningham. On their first date, Bob asked her out for coffee, and she said "Sure!" (He found out later that she didn't like coffee! - but she did like him!) They were married on Feb. 7, 1960, at Farmer's Chapel Church, where he continued to serve the rest of his life.

Bob and Shirley lived all their married life in a red brick house on the corner of Shake Rag Road and Spud Avenue. They raised their children, Vicki and Doug, there and had many wonderful memories. He was known as the "Mayor of Shake Rag Road" because he had lived there 57 years.

Bob graduated from Bismarck High School in 1952 and served in the U.S. Army. He worked at Berry's Seed Store, then Interstate Printing for 28 years until his retirement in 1987. He loved gardening. He had 100 tomato plants, and he would always give the produce to his family, friends and neighbors. Bob loved walking to the river and hunting for mushrooms in the spring.

When Shirley was diagnosed with MS in 1973, Bob became her caregiver. Bob enjoyed taking her to church every Sunday, family gatherings, ballgames, going to the Landing at Kickapoo, Turkey Run State Park, and gospel sings. His favorite vacations involved houseboating with extended family. He also loved to camp, and one of his special memories was a three-week California trip to see his sister Bonnie. Dad enjoyed waltzing Shirley around in her wheelchair when she could no longer dance on her own. Shirley passed away one day after their 48th wedding anniversary on Feb. 7, 2008.

Shirley was known for the smile on her face; Bob was known for his positive attitude. He always saw the good in everything and everybody. He loved people and was happiest when he was serving others. The last three months of his life were difficult, but his only comment was, "I'm counting my blessings!" Bob lived his faith in action.

Bob's devotion to family was evident by the amount of time he spent with them.

He is survived by his children, Vicki (Clay) Hacker of Eminence, Ind., and and Doug Gustafson of Georgetown, Ill.; two brothers, Archie (Katie) Gustafson Jr. of Georgetown, and Alvin (Jean) Gustafson of Monticello; two sisters, Betty Slayton of Danville and Bonnie (Jim Knight) Ohlrich of Danville; two sisters-in-law, Catherine Johnson of Danville and Beverly (Jim) Zorns of Danville.

He was pre-deceased by brothers-in-law Ted Slayton and Bill Johnson.

Bob treasured his four grandchildren. He never missed sending them a card on holidays. Kyle Hacker of Chicago, Jared Hacker of Indianapolis, Wade Hacker of St. Joseph, Mich., and Grace Gustafson of Georgetown, all deeply loved their grandpa so much. He had several cherished nieces and nephews as well.

A celebration of Bob's life will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 22 at Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Danville. Burial will take place at Danville National Cemetery at 11 a.m. Monday. Visitation will be from 1 to 8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home. Memorials may be made in his name to the Women's Missionary Fund at Farmer's Chapel United Methodist Church. Please join Bob's family in sharing memories, photos and videos on his tribute wall at


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