On May 9, 2015 Noreen Gustafson passed away from complications of Rheumatoid Arthritis. On November 11, 2015 Donald “Jim” Gustafson passed away from complications of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Their recreational hobbies were always being out-of-doors enjoying nature. In 1976 on one of their walks, Jim found an ancient Indian arrowhead, rekindling an interest in artifacts they both had when they were younger. Searching for them became a family affair.
Over the years they had accumulated a sizeable collection, many of which were their personal finds. They both served as president of Wolverine State and held many other offices of both W.S.A.S. and Central States. Being affiliated with C.S.A.S. gave them the opportunity to travel to several states, looking for artifacts in different areas and see most of the ancient earthworks across the country. They spent a good portion of their lives doing what they could to keep W.S.A.S. a great organization for collectors. They both enjoyed going to schools in the area talking about and educating young folks about the Native American culture.
They enjoyed opening their home to anyone you wanted to stop and look at their finds. I remember about a year ago a lady stopped with her grandmother and brought her granddaughter to see the Indian artifacts. This lady’s grandmother had brought her as a child to see them so she brought her granddaughter. A true testament to their love that they left such an impression on people.
Noreen wrote this poem years ago in honor of all folks gone from the club. I want to share it with you all again.
I walked plowed fields and thru the woods
Submitted by Roxeanne Gustafson
Followed waterways wherever I could
Searched for relics of an ancient time
Happy with any signs I could find
Pottery sherds and flakes of flint
This was a place ancient man went
If I look close, perhaps I’d find
Some sort of tool left behind
Maybe an arrowhead held in my hand
Thrilled with relic of ancient man
I’m pleased to see others find arrowheads now
As my spirit still follows the drag and the plow.