Having already traveled the world with Gherry, his wife of 50 years, Leland Verne Gustafson began his most glorious trip on Dec. 26, 2017. He loved God and his family first, but always looked forward to seeing new places and sharing that wanderlust with others. There are probably few reading this that have not enjoyed traveling with Leland and Gherry. He was born in Torrence, California on Dec. 13, 1942. After growing up in Los Angeles as the son of Reverend LaVerne and Evelyn Gustafson, he left California to attend Westmar College in Iowa. He then received his PhD in economics at Florida State University where he met the love of his life, Gherry, whom he married and with whom he had two children, Mark and Amy.
He was a devoted husband and father. He loved to spend time with his family and always encouraged them to expand their horizons. He delighted in trying to teach calculus to his middle school son, reveled at taking one year teaching assignments in Europe so his family would be exposed to other countries and cultures, and took every chance to come home between classes to be with his wife and children. His students at the University of West Georgia, where he taught economics for 46 years, will describe a man who easily displayed his passion for teaching in the classroom, who always had an open door and who revealed his love for his family in his teaching. The hundreds of students who have taken his consumer economics course can relate the economic lessons he wove around stories of his children’s education and marriages, the birth of his grandchildren and many other benchmarks of a proud father’s life.
He leaves a legacy of friendship and faith that were unconditional. He was generous with his time and compassion. He loved his Sunday school class at Carrollton First United Methodist Church, and they formed a lifelong bond built on an unwavering faith in Christ and a commitment to Agape love. Traveler, teacher, devoted friend, Christian, father and husband: Leland was all of these. His life was filled with joy and happiness traveling and sharing God’s beautiful world with so many precious friends.
Leland is survived by his wife, Gherry Gustafson; his son and daughter-in-law, Mark and Laurie Gustafson; his daughter and son-in-law, Amy and Paul Eidson; his sister, Luanne Snoberger; his sister and brother-in-law, Lynda and Les Moore; and his six grandchildren, Isabelle and Oliver Gustafson, Lexie and Zoe Edwards, and Cole and Jake Eidson.
The family will receive friends at Almon Funeral Home on Dec. 28, 5 p.m.-7 p.m. The funeral service will be Dec. 29, 2 p.m., at Carrollton First United Methodist Church.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Leland Gustafson International Study Abroad Scholarship Fund at the University of West Georgia. Make checks payable to “The UWG Foundation (Gustafson Study Abroad Scholarship).” Mail them to UWG Foundation, 1601 Maple St. Carrollton GA 30118.
Messages of condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.almonfuneralhome.com.
Almon Funeral Home of Carrollton.