James Julian Gunderson, loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, friend and the best Santa Claus, passed away on Monday, May 22, 2017, at his home in St. George, Utah, with his loving wife of 26 years at his side. He was born April 2, 1937, in Ogden, Utah, to Julian James and Jean Humphreys Gunderson.
Jim attended schools in Weber County, graduating from Weber High in 1957. He joined the U.S. Navy Reserves in May 1954 and was discharged in May 1962.
He married Carol Hamblin March 15, 1957, in the Logan LDS Temple.
Jim spent his career first working for State Roads, which was located by the state capitol. When UDOT moved to the current location, he went with them and worked his way to becoming a Civil Engineer. He designed many roads and interstates in Utah. He walked thousands of miles reviewing the plans.
While designing the St. George Port of Entry, he met the love of his life, JoAnna. They were married January 26, 1991, later solemnized in the St. George LDS Temple on January 22, 1994.
Jim retired from UDOT in January of 1993 and made his home in St. George with his wife, after a two-year absence due to his work in Salt Lake.
After his retirement, he continued working for different engineering companies. He was the Project Manager when Sunset Boulevard in St. George was expanded out to Santa Clara. He also was the Project Manager when the Interchange was built on SR-9 to Coral Canyon and designed the Rest Area located on I-15 by Kanarraville, Utah.
He was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in many callings in the Green Valley 2nd Ward. He was a true and faithful Home Teacher with his partner Keith Ivory.
Jim was the best and most professional Santa Claus helper and has passed this trait on to his son, Ryan. He loved fishing and hunting with his children and grandchildren, his cousin, Bob Rushton, and friend, Alan Archibald. When he moved to St. George, he continued fishing with the Leany boys.
He instilled his knowledge and professional work ethics into his children.
Jim is survived by his wife, JoAnna; children: Cheryl (Mike) Stubbs, Doug (Danielle) Gunderson, Brian Gunderson, all of Washington Terrace, Utah, and Ryan (Christie) Gunderson of Richfield, Utah; 17 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren; and his sister, Lois Jordan of Spotsylvania, Virginia.
He is also survived by step-children: Travis (Beverlee) Parsons of Salina, Utah and Jodi (Todd) Christensen of Syracuse, Utah; nine step-grandchildren and one step-great-granddaughter.
Jim was preceded in death by his mother and father, daughter, Kathy, sister, Barbara, great-granddaughter, Monique, wife Carol, and in-laws, Neldon and Muriel Torgerson of Richfield, Utah.
- Funeral services will be held Thursday, May 25 at 11 a.m. at the Green Valley Stake Center, 511 S. Valley View Dr., St. George, Utah.
- Visitations will be held Wednesday, May 24, from 6-8 p.m. at Metcalf Mortuary, 288 W. St. George Blvd, St. George, Utah and prior to services, from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the church.
- Interment will be in the Richfield City Cemetery.