Robert Swede Lundgren

Robert (Swede) Lundgren, age 90, passed away July 27, 2013 at Crossroads Care Center.  A lifelong Worthington (Wgtn) resident, Swede was born on July 8, 1923 to Arvilla and George Lundgren.  He graduated from Wgtn Senior High School (WHS) in 1941 and attended Wgtn Junior College.  Swede played basketball and baseball and served as the student manager for the football team in high school. He served 3 years in the U.S. Army in N. Africa, Sicily, and Italy during WW II and earned a Purple Heart.

Swede married Donna Baltes on April 12, 1948 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Wgtn.  He worked in the sporting goods industry most of his life, beginning in high school at Dingler’s Sporting Goods.  Upon his return from the service he resumed his employment at Dingler’s, which later became Cooper’s Sporting Goods.   Swede and Donna took ownership of the business in 1960 and operated Lundgren Sporting Goods until the business was sold to Harlan and Pam Handevidt in 1985.

Swede was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church serving as an usher for many years.  He was the founder of the youth basketball program at St. Mary’s Grade School in 1951.  He coached and was the director of the program for 16 years, later teaching skills to St. Mary’s students during retirement until 1993.

Over a period of 35 years, Swede volunteered extensively, supporting youth athletic programs in the Wgtn community.  He was the founder of the Wgtn Chapter of Little League Baseball, as well as a coach and sponsor.  He was also the Athletic Coordinator/Director for VFW and American Legion athletic teams, chairman of WHS Athletic Banquets, and Head Timer at the Trojan Track Relays.

Swede was past President of Wgtn Country Club and the Downtown Retailer’s Association.  He served on the Board of Directors for the Wgtn Chamber of Commerce and the YMCA.   Upon his retirement, Swede was the Chairman of  Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), a mentorship program for start up businesses.

In recognition of his volunteer and professional accomplishments, Swede was honored with many awards including the 1966 Sporting Goods National Dealer Baseball Retailer of the Year, 1987 Sporting Goods Industry Retailer Hall of Fame, 1989 Inaugural Wgtn Senior High Hall of Fame, 1993 Wgtn Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award, and Wgtn Community College Service Award.

Swede loved golf, spending time with his friends and family, and playing with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Swede is survived by his wife, Donna;  their children, Tom (Karen), Jean (Tom) Fauskee, Jim (Linda); 7 grandchildren:  Erik (Katie) Lundgren, Krista Lundgren, Jeremy (Elizabeth) Fauskee, Steve (Shante) Fauskee, Robert (Danielle) Lundgren, Laura Lundgren, Rachel (Troy) Schultz and 9 great-grandchildren: Anna, Micheal, Faith, Nalin, Ethan, Alayna, Ava, Isaiah, and Dominic.  He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Marguerite.

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