A Celebration of Life will be held for Eugene Gaustad, 86, of Alexandria, on Saturday, June 29, 2019, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Vining Community Center in Vining. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., at Vining Lutheran Church in Vining, with Pastor Dawna Hochstein officiating. The urn bearers will be all of Gene’s grandchildren. Military Honors will be provided by the U.S. National Guard. Eugene “Gene” Alvin Gaustad, was born to Edwin and Selma “Sally” Gaustad, April 18, 1933. Gene attended District 100 and 140 Country Schools, Vining Elementary School and Henning High School. He joined the Air Force in 1951, where he served four years. In 1956, Gene joined the Navy from which he retired as a Chief Aviation Jet Mechanic (ADJC) in 1971. Upon his retirement, Gene worked down his career bucket list: he was a dairy farmer, mail carrier, carpenter, boiler operator, school custodian, and a security officer at the Yuma Proving Ground in Yuma, Ariz., before returning to farming in Vining, in 1984. Gene retired again in 1993 as a school bus driver for the Fergus Falls School District. Gene married the love of his life, Phyllis Andersen, July 19, 1958, at Vining Lutheran Church. They were married 60 years and blessed with five children. Gene belonged to the American Legion, the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Fleet Reserve Association, VFW, Sons of Norway, and Vining Lutheran Church. Gene’s varied hobbies included painting, drawing cartoons, playing cards, watching westerns, camping, traveling, wood working, gardening and dancing but he particularly enjoyed hunting and fishing with his children and later, grandchildren. Gene spent the majority of his retirement with Phyllis in Vining. Gene passed peacefully June 15, 2019, in Alexandria, He is survived by his wife, Phyllis; five children, Scott (and Debra), Eugene Jr. “Butch” (and Helen), Peter, Patrick “Eric,” and Katherine; four grandchildren, Kari (and Clay) McAnally, Garrett, Heather, and Grastjon “Tyler;” step-granddaughter, Kirsten Martin; great-grandchildren, Henry McAnally, Parker Eugene McAnally, and Elizabeth; brother, James; sister, Sandra Brill; many other relatives and friends. Preceding him in death were his parents; and brother, Delvern. Gene is loved by many and will be dearly missed by family, friends and his community. Belmont-Karvonen Funeral Home, of Henning, is in charge of the funeral arrangements. Visit www.karvonenfuneralhome.com to send Gene’s family a message of comfort and support.