Gustaf G. Chelgren III, 90, of Indiana, passed away peacefully on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, at the Maple Valley Personal Care Home surrounded by family.
Gus was born on Nov. 27, 1929, in Grampian.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary V. Chelgren, in 2013; his father, Gustaf T. Chelgren; his mother, Marie Lyons Chelgren; and his brother, Charles A. Chelgren.
Surviving are his sister, Katherine Sunderland, of Curwensville; his son, Gustav J. Chelgren, of Indiana; and daughter, Rina Chelgren Mlnarik and her husband Brian, of Bellevue, Neb. Gus also leaves behind three grandchildren, Alexandra Chelgren and Jenna and Jason Mlnarik, whom he greatly adored.
Gus, also known as “Gussie,” was raised in Grampian, where his father owned the Chelgren’s Market (town store and butcher shop). At age 90 Gussie still could recall the names of local friends and family and detailed stories of the good ole days in Grampian. After graduating from Clearfield High School in 1947, he worked as a radio repairman. He was then drafted into the Marine Corps during the Korean War and was fortunate to proudly serve here in the U.S. as an aircraft communications/ navigation systems technician from 1951-1953. He additionally operated his own TV repair shop in Grampian and later began working at the Shawville Power Plant.
In 1963 he married Mary Violanti, of Clearfield. They later moved from Clearfield to Indiana in 1967 where they raised their family. While living in Indiana, Gussie worked at Keystone Power Plant in Shelocta, as an electrician/technician. He retired in 1993 after 31 years of dedicated service to Pennsylvania Electric (Penelec).
In addition to his little dog Dozer, the love of his life was music. Gus had a remarkable talent to learn to play instruments by ear and he could play the fiddle, guitar, mandolin and often an 8-track tape player to demonstrate the musical skills of his daughter! (His son inherited his true musical talents.) Gus played the fiddle at bluegrass festivals all across Pennsylvania, annually at Grampian Days and even traveled to Nashville to do a recording as a member of the Barb Wire Choir. Later he played with the Gateway Ramblers until he could no longer travel.
Gus will be fondly remembered for bringing “light” to his community in many ways — through his work at Penelec, the joy of his music, his sarcastic sense of humor and his love and support to his family and friends.
His family would like to extend their sincere appreciation to the staff at Maple Valley Personal Care Home who provided exceptional care and support throughout the last three years of his journey.
A Celebration of Life and Music will be held at Bowser-Minich Funeral Home in Indiana on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m., where a memorial service will begin at 4 p.m. with Pastor Stan Kesler officiating. A burial will be held at a later date in the spring at the Friends Cemetery in Grampian.
Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to the Maple Valley Activities Fund and mailed to the Maple Valley Personal Care Home at 2212 Anthony Run Road, Indiana, PA 15701.