US Navy

Charles Gudmunson

July 11, 1939 ~ April 20, 2023 (age 83) 83 Years Old


Captain Charles E. “Gus” Gudmunson

Charles E. “Gus” Gudmunson, passed away with his loving family surrounding him on Thursday April 20, 2023, he lived an incredible life spanning over those 82 years.

Gus is survived by his wife, Karol, son Richard and wife Linda, daughters Laura Thomas and husband Max, and Pamela Thompson, also including 7 grandchildren, 9 great grandchildren, his brother Mike Gudmunson, and his beloved dog Cowboy. He was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Laura, sister Clarice, grandson baby Steven and many fine dogs.

He was born July 11,1939 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. At the age of 18 he enlisted into the Navy and went on to the Naval Aviation Cadet program where he received his commission and wings in October 1961. At the end of his career, he had accumulated more than 900 carrier landings, over 5000 flight hours and 235 combat missions in Southeast Asia. He was the recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service medal, twenty-three Air medals and the Navy Commendation medal with Combat “V”. His last duty station was NAF El Centro where he retired as a Captain in April 1991. During his time in El Centro, he had the opportunity to work with the Blue Angels. After retirement he was selected as an honorary angel, which he took great pride in.

When he wasn’t flying dad could be found racing his #15 Lemoore Pizzeria car at the Jet Bowl in Lemoore, CA. Although he had retired from the Navy, Dad never got over the need for speed. He worked with NHRA drag racing teams which included Jim Head Racing and RJR Racing. As a race fan, he could be found at any racetrack, big or small. He attended the Chili Bowl many times and went to over 40 Indy 500 races.

Our dad had a servant’s heart and invested in the Oklahoma City community and beyond. He was involved in many clubs and foundations: Oklahoma City Council of the Navy League, Tailhook Association, Naval Aviation Museum, Blue Angels Association, and Oklahoma City Downtown Lions Club. Through the Navy League he coordinated the Blue Angels to perform at the OKC Air Show. During his time with the OKC Downtown Lions he was the Chairman of the scholarship committee, which lead to a scholarship being named in his honor called The OKC Downtown Lions Club Gus Gudmunson Scholarship fund. Another interest was a non-profit called Celebrating Together Inc., which hosts events for the special needs community.

Gus was an amazing husband, dad, grandpa and a dedicated American. We will miss him dearly. He was a man who truly lived, didn’t just exist. We would like to continue to support the foundations he had a passion for and are asking in lieu of flowers for donations to be made to the following:

The OKC Downtown Lions Club Gus Gudmunson Scholarship Fund
Go to - Giving Options, How & What to Give, Scholarships and Awards,, memorial funds.
PO Box 1146
Oklahoma City, OK 73101

Celebrating Together Inc.
PO Box 891413
Oklahoma City, OK 73189

Services will be held June 14, 2023, at 1:00pm at St. Luke’s Methodist Church
222 NW 15 Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73103


June 14, 2023

1:00 PM
St. Luke's Methodist Church
222 NW 15th St.
Oklahoma City, OK 73103


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