Gordon L. Danuser — Rochester

Gordon Danuser

The funeral service for Gordon L. Danuser will be held on Monday, Aug. 29, 2011, at 1 p.m. in Christ United Methodist Church of Rochester, 400 5th Avenue SW, officiated by Rev. Nancy Wheeler Handlon, with the visitation one hour prior and a reception following. The interment service will take place at Evergreen Cemetery in Mantorville at 3:30 p.m.

Well-know musician Gordon L. Danuser, 89, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, passed away on Monday, Aug. 22, 2011, at Season’s Hospice in Rochester.

Born and raised in Galesville, Wis., Gordon was the son of Lester and Belle Danuser. He married Virginia Bergmann in 1944; they had one daughter, Leslie.

Gordon was preceded in death by wife, Virginia, brother, Norris Danuser and sister, Constance L’Odense.

After graduating from high school, he served in the U.S. Army and later graduated from Winona State University with a bachelor’s degree in music, ultimately earning a master’s degree from McPhail College of Music in Minneapolis. He was the music teacher and band director for the Dodge Center Public Schools (13 years) and continued as a music educator at Rochester Community College (19 years) until he retired.


Gordon and Virginia were active members of Christ United Methodist Church where he taught an adult Sunday school class for years. He belonged to the following clubs/organizations: 393rd ASF Band (Army); Musician’s Union (70 years); Sertoma Club, Elks Club; Turkey River All Stars (38 years); Rochester Park Band (20 years); Director, Rochester Park Band, 1978-1979; Rochester Symphony (20 years); Bob Hirsch All Stars (2 years); and Al Townsend’s Wonderful World of Jazz Band (2 years).

Gordon Danuser was the original "music man," but he was the real deal, not a fake. He played every instrument in the band and gave thousands of lessons. His first job as an eighth-grade musician was playing for 10 cents a night and all the root beer he could drink. He was the band director at Dodge Center for 13 years—all K-12 students. His band had 12 years of "A" ratings at district and state music contests. His Dodge Center band was also WCCO Basketball Band of the Year in 1960. It was his goal to develop the finest band possible. Gordon served as a judge for music contests for over 20 years. As a member of the Turkey River All Stars, a Dixieland band, he played many jobs locally, represented the State of Minnesota for one week at the 1984 World’s Fair in New Orleans, played 25 years of river cruises on the Delta Queen and the Mississippi Queen, appeared at the opening of the Metrodome, and performed for four U.S. Presidents. For 19 years he worked at Rochester Community College; his band took trips to Winnipeg, New Orleans, Tampa, and Orlando.

Gordon is survived by his daughter, Leslie Jeanne Davison, Ph.D., Maple Grove; grandchildren, John Mark Froiland, Ph.D., and Andrew Mark Davison, CPA, MBA; and great-grandchildren: Elijah, Isabella, and David Froiland; and Samuel and Rebekah Davison.

Gordon Danuser’s family wants to gratefully acknowledge the amazing kindness and goodness of so many people in Rochester, including Elder Network, Christ United Methodist Church, Golden Living East, Season’s Hospice, and his many friends and neighbors.

Macken Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Online condolences are welcome at


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