Walnut: - Carl J. Gustafson Sr., accidentally shot and killed himself Sunday morning while removing a rifle from a truck which he was cleaning.

Gustafson, 64, a retired farmer, was hit above the back of the right ear by the .22 rifle bullet. He had apparently backed his light truck out of the garage and was removing his two guns before sweeping out the truck. Gustafson who worked as a custom butcher, always carried two loaded guns in the truck.

The other gun had been taken out and was propped beside the truck, as was a broom.

Wayne Harris, Walnut, saw Gustafson lying in the yard as he was passing and went for help. Carl Gustafson, Jr., a son, stopped a few minutes later. The accident occurred around 9:30 a.m.

At the time of the shooting Gustafson was home alone. His wife was taken to the Princeton Hospital about a week ago following a heart attack, and Kenneth, the only son at home, was working.

The coroner's jury, impaneled by Bureau County Coroner A. A. Meyer of Seatonville, brought in a verdict of accidental death. Members of the jury were Joan Ross, Laverne Luritzen, Donald Bell, Vern Harrison, Leo Christensen and Lee Wallis.

The body was taken to the Ross Funeral Home in Walnut where friends may call beginning Monday night. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday in the Walnut Christian Church, with the Rev. E. V. Hallock, pastor, officiating. Burial will be in Walnut Cemetery.

Carl J. Gustafson was born Jan. 18, 1990 near Tiskilwa. He was married to Florence Griffin in 1909. They had lived in Walnut for many years, but retired from farming 15 years ago.

Surviving are his wife; four sons, Floyd, Carl J. Jr., and Kenneth of Walnut, and Raymond of Yorktown; four daughters, Mrs. Paul Curtis of Kirkwood, Mo., Mrs. Jack Pope of Sterling, Mrs. Leo Christensen and Mrs. Lyle Peach, both of Walnut and 15 grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by two sons, Russell in 1919 and Lowell in 1951.

(The Daily Gazette, Sterling-Rock Falls, Illinois, April 12, 1954, submitted by Melva L. Taylor) 




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