Robert H. Gunderson, 98, of Rochester, passed away Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019.

Robert was born March 3, 1921, in Albert Lea to Otto and Mary Gunderson. He was raised in Hayfield and graduated from Hayfield High School.

Robert served in France during WWII. He was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his participation in a mission referred to as "Baby Patrol," rescuing 81 children in one night.

Robert owned and operated the Dodge Center Cafe for a few years before selling it and starting Gunderson Lumber, which he owned and operated until his retirement. Gunderson Lumber became the largest housing developer in Dodge Center.

Robert married Virginia Young, of Rochester, in February 1984. Virginia worked at Mayo Clinic for 32 years.

Robert loved sports and in his younger years played basketball and baseball. He was a fan of the Twins and Timberwolves.

Robert is survived by his wife of 35 years, Virginia of Rochester; his son, Tom Gunderson of Woodbury; his daughter, Mary (Paul) Gundblat of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; grandchildren, Kristy, Casey, Betsy, Katie, Anne and Michael; and great-grandchildren, as well as nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents and siblings.

A Funeral Service for Robert will be held 1 p.m. Monday, Dec. 9 at Calvary Episcopal Church, 111 Third Ave. SW, Rochester, with a reception to follow.