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How are the elderly coping in the current pandemic? How about someone who’s 100 years old?

The father of this DeLand resident, at 100 years old, is driving his car, mowing the lawn, and doing laundry and housekeeping for himself and his 97-year-old wife. He’s paying the household bills, going for a daily 1-mile bike ride on a stationary bike in his home, and faithfully solving Sudoku problems in each day’s newspaper.

Could you keep up with him?

My father, Forrest D. Gunderson Jr., who turned 100 on May 26, was a World War II instructor pilot, serving our country on our turf for the duration of the war.

Notably, the U.S. Army Air Corps lost just as many men in training as it did in the war overseas, but Forrest never lost a single plane or student.

He is the father of a daughter, Joy Karnitz, who is home-schooling six grandchildren and sewing face masks for her local Wisconsin hospital; and me, a Stetson University art professor since 1976 and currently artist-in-residence at Stetson, who’s working on a 45-year retrospective exhibition scheduled for early spring 2021 in the Hand Art Center on the DeLand campus.

In honor of my father’s centennial birthday, I spent the past two years creating a 111-page book, 100 Years of Experience, highlighting Dad’s life.

The photos on this page were used in the book, which will be on display at the retrospective exhibition in 2021.

My parents, Forrest and Jean Gunderson, celebrated their 77th wedding anniversary on June 12.

Forrest and Jean live in the Milwaukee suburb of New Berlin.

— Dan Gunderson and his wife, attorney Astrid de Parry, live in DeLand.


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