Harold "Gus" Gustafson
I knew Gus almost all my life, growing up in Longmont, Colorado. He was the same age as my older brother, and Gus's brother was the same age as my younger brother. There wasn't anything extraordinary about Gus. He wasn't the jock in high school, or the best musician, or in the Honor 5%. He was extraordinarily ordinary and an all around great guy. Our families grew very close, with frequent get togethers, and with our families skiing and taking vacations together.
After high school, Gus's parents moved to Seattle. There were occasional visits, but not like before. Eventually Gus joined the army and did a tour in Viet Nam. He finished his service and headed home to Seattle for a summer job, before returning to school to get a college degree. His father, Mel, an employee with the Washington State Department of Transportation, was able to get him a summer job with the Department.
Just after midnight, while working on a highway striping crew, Gus was working to remove cones that closed an interstate off ramp. A drunk driver ran into Gus and killed him. He had survived Viet Nam, but he could not survive a drunk driver. He has been gone a long time, but he is not forgotten!
Born April 17, 1947. Died August 31, 1973.