Life's Passages

Geraldine Lou Futterer

Geraldine Lou Futterer of Grand Marais died Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013 at the Cook County North Shore Care Center in Grand Marais.

She was born Sept. 30, 1926 in Duluth to David and Toni Lind of Tofte. Gerri’s grandparents Hans and Johanne (Tofte) Engelsen were Norwegian immigrants and pioneers to Cook County. Hans, along with his wife’s brothers, Andrew and John Tofte, were instrumental in the founding of Tofte. Gerri lived in Tofte during her early childhood before moving with her family to Grand Marais. She graduated from Cook County High School, class of 1944, and attended Carlton College before marrying Chuck Futterer of Chicago, Ill. in 1948.

Gerri was a businesswoman, working in the same location downtown for over 50 years. She served as bookkeeper at Lind Chevrolet during the 25 years that Chuck ran the business. After selling the Chevrolet dealership and beginning a “seasonal retirement,” Gerri spent another 25 years operating an antique store, Lake Superior Collectibles, in the former Lind Chevrolet building. The “shop” as she called it, was open from Memorial Day until late fall each year. Gerri continued running the shop until its sale in 2008.

Chuck and Gerri wintered in Apache Junction, Ariz. for over 20 years. In 2006 they changed their winter location to Russellville, Ark. in the home of their son and daughter in-law. Gerri moved into the Cook County North Shore Care Center in June 2012.

A lifelong member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Grand Marais, Gerri enjoyed knitting, photography, playing and teaching duplicate bridge and socializing with family and friends. She was an active member of the Gunflint Hills Golf Course and also Gold Canyon Golf Course in Arizona, where she won a club championship. Gerri was an active curler and one of the founding members of the Cook County Curling Club. She was an avid sports fan and spent many hours watching CCHS Viking sports. During the 1960s and 1970s she rarely missed an event as she watched her children participate. Gerri was known to offer vocal assistance to the basketball referees when she thought they had missed something important.

She continued to follow the sports careers of her grandchildren, still attending the Little League games of the youngest grandchild, Vaughn Swindlehurst, in Grand Marais last summer. Her sports advice to her children and grandchildren summed up her life’s philosophy, “DYB”—“Do Your Best.”

She was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, Charles Joseph Futterer (Feb. 25, 2011); her parents; one sister, Janet Nelson; brother-inlaw Harold “Holly” Nelson; nephew Steve Nelson; first cousins on her mother’s side Carl Carlson, Betty Backlund, Cora (Olsen) Lempe, Helmer Olsen, Alton Olsen, Kenneth Olsen, Dale Olsen, and Dick Osbakken.

Survivors include four children, Charles David Futterer and his wife Susan of Cook County, Bruce Futterer and his wife Sherrye of Arkansas, Craig Futterer and his wife Terri Simard of Minneapolis, Karen Futterer and her husband Mike Swindlehurst of Cook County; 10 grandchildren, Logan Futterer, Devan Futterer, Will Jameson, Katy (Futterer) Hill, Joseph Futterer, Nicole Swindlehurst, Erik Futterer, Ian Futterer, Anna Futterer, and Vaughn Swindlehurst; five great-grandchildren, all living in Arkansas, Owen Hill, Olivia Hill, Eloise Hill, Elsy Futterer and Addler Futterer; a daughter-in-law Margaret (Tofte) Wilks; a sister-inlaw Charlotte (Futterer) Costello in Indiana; nieces Kim (Nelson) Wilder, Becky (Nelson) Anderson; first cousins Marilyn Ostlund, Ginny (Hansen) Gustafson, Karen (Hansen) Anderson, Harold (Dave) Hansen, Richard Hansen, Nancy Nosker and Pat Zankman.

Final resting place for Gerri will be in the Tofte Cemetery. Honorary pallbearers will be Gerri’s grandchildren and Cade Tofte Wilks. Memorials may be made to the Tofte Historical Society, the Cook County Historical Society, or the Cook County North Shore Care Center.


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 Our deepest sympathies at this sad time.

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