Alvin Carl "Al" Gustafson
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1932 ˜ 2019

Al Gustafson passed away on March 5, 2019 at the age of 86. He was born to Clarence and Theresa Gustafson in Macoun, Saskatchewan on September 11, 1932, the first of ten children. Al attended Macoun School and enjoyed rural community life.
As a teenager, he ventured out to attend Hillcrest Christian Bible School in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Al continued his education at Cascade College in Portland, Oregon where he met and married Celia Anne Hampton at age 22. Together, they began ministry at Bethel Methodist Church in Ridgefield, Washington where Al served as pastor from 1956 to 1963. At the same time, Al began his teaching career in the Ridgefield School District, teaching algebra and supervising the National Honor Society until his retirement 30 years later. Al and Anne raised 3 children and were married for 37 years.
Al met Wanda Vernon at Crossroads Community Church in 1992. They married that same year. Retired, they traveled with the Gladtimers Quartet across the Pacific Northwest for 9 years.
Al’s survivors include his wife of 26 years, Wanda (nee Vernon); 3 children, Janice Wells (Doug), Connie Schlonga (Michael) and Rodney Gustafson; 6 grandchildren; and 8 siblings.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Bethel Evangelical Methodist Church in Ridgefield, Washington at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 30, 2019.
Donations may be made online, in Al’s memory, to support the maintenance and rebuild of South Sudan Alpha Primary School through the following link:
Please sign his guest book @

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Columbian on Mar. 17, 2019.
Memories & Condolences
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12 entries
March 30, 2019
Larry Schultz
March 29, 2019
Definitely one of my favorite teachers. I can still remember how to solve algebra equations to this day because of you. Always enjoyed your wonderful sense of humor, and the many moral lessons that you incorporated into your classes.
Brady petersen
March 24, 2019
There are certain individuals that leave a lasting impression on your life. Al Gustafson, was one such individual. As my junior high math teacher, he invested himself in me helping me to understand and appreciate math and served as a living witness of what it is to faithfully love and serve the Lord with your whole heart, mind and strength. A great encourager and living witness. Thank you Mr. Gustafson for all the lives that you touched during your time here on earth. I know there is great rejoicing in heaven!
Martin Warner
March 23, 2019
I picture him on his stool with the microphone against his neck, telling jokes about La Center and Scappoose. I can't remember him ever losing his patience.
March 21, 2019
This beautiful soul led me to Jesus in vacation bible school at age 8. He was so much fun, always smiling and being silly! His wonderful CARING spirit was AMAZING! Thank you Mr. Gustafson, you will always be a special person in my life, until we meet again in heaven, GOD'S SPEED!
Peg "Bruhn" Snyder
March 21, 2019
I thank you for being such a great algebra instructor, leading to my success in loving math and becoming an engineer. I always share my favorite teacher was Mr. Gustafson. Will see you in the years ahead in the presence of our good Lord!
Tracy Coleman
March 18, 2019
You were one of my most favorite teachers. I only first met you as a new student at Ridgefield HS. Thank you for being a wonderful man. RIP. No more pain. Be at peace. I have enjoyed reading comments from my former classmates about you and love the impact you had on many from when they were young children in church, and so on . My sympathies to your family and friends.
Susie DeRosa
March 18, 2019
Loved you as a wonderful teacher and mentor.
Lee Ann Johnson (Dietel)
March 17, 2019
As a former student of Mr. Gustafson and member of National Honor Society (class of 1969) I remember him as a kind, caring human being. He provided a model to his students for fairness and compassion. He loved to laugh! He will be missed by many.
Debbie (Hayden) Avery
March 17, 2019
Thank you Mr Gustafson for your patience with us all. RIP.
Madelyn Haines Power
March 17, 2019
Thank you Mr. Gustafson for teaching me Algebra @ RHS in the 70's. You were a wonderful teacher and I still remember a few moments when it finally clicked. Thank you for your dedication.
Debbie Raffelson
March 17, 2019
Mr. Gus will always be remembered. He was my algebra teacher, honor society advisor. I was his teacher aid, honor society teacher, and teachers pet. Hey let me drive his Karmen Ghia all over Ridgefield(now I own one) and he was the minister at my wedding. I will remember him fondly.
Leanne (Harrison) Crouchley
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