Glenn Iverson had a boundless joy in life and a deep love for his wife and kids and family and friends, pulling everyone he knew in for a hug, a story or an adventure. His enthusiasm was infectious and he is remembered for his encouraging and positive outlook. Glenn passed away at home on Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014, after joining his men’s bible study group for the last time.
Glenn Albert Iverson was born on July 14, 1936, in Arnegard, N.D., to Gladys and Elmer Iverson. Glenn was the oldest of the three children, with sister Barbara Ann and brother Keith. He grew up and graduated high school in Alexander, N.D., where he played sports, helped his mom and dad at their hotel and café, and worked the small farm with his dad. He attended college at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., graduating in 1958. He met LaVonne Gravgaard in Glacier Park through college friends and they were married on June 18, 1961, in Tioga, N.D. The newlyweds moved to Cyrus, Minn., where they both taught in local high schools.
From Minnesota, they moved to Missoula, Mont. In 1967, they moved to Billings, Mont., to teach and coach at Eastern Montana College, and to be closer to the mountains for hunting, fishing and camping. Glenn loved to teach and enjoyed interacting with the students. At Eastern as part of the HPER department, he was the leader in building an outdoor recreation program. Glenn was often greeted by former students and he always knew their names.
Glenn was always active and organizing activities, drawing everyone into his passions. He loved to golf and participated in club tournaments, the state seniors’ championship and the Senior Men’s day. He organized always-fun golf tournament fundraisers for the church. Glenn started the Rim’s Adventure Camp, which we ran as a family for several years. Glenn used outdoor adventures and team building exercises to help kids gain confidence and develop an interest in the outdoors.
As a family, we enjoyed time together, especially on summer school breaks. A memorable trip was the family backpack trip from Cooke City to East Rosebud with young kids. Glenn — a kid at heart — loved being a grandparent. He was a keen storyteller and enjoyed taking his grandkids horseback riding, fishing and hiking in the Beartooth Mountains.
Glenn was an avid hunter and fisherman, especially of elk. He and his brother Keith bought a horse together, which was the start of his cowboy life. He expanded the herd, which he used for summer horse-pack trips and hunting in the mountains. He loved introducing friends to horseback riding and wilderness adventures. He found enjoyment just in being in the mountains watching the sun rise at the beginning of each day. His hunting friends trusted his sense of direction and ability to find the trail home, though they learned to be wary of the Iverson shortcut. He enjoyed fishing the Bighorn and mountain lakes and streams. After his first “once-in-a-lifetime” Alaska trip in 2001, he shared the experience by bringing his sons on a memorable Alaska trip of their own, complete with leaky waders and a little friendly fishing competition.
Glenn and LaVonne always loved to travel, with visits to New York City to see Nancy, trips to Oregon to see Brittney and Jordan swim, and journeys to Singapore, China and Thailand with Dave and Sarah. He connected with newfound relatives in Minnesota, England and Norway. Glenn and LaVonne took trips to Alaska, California and Arizona, often with stops to play golf and visit old friends. Even after retiring, he continued to try new things, including learning to fly fish and tie his own flies and panning for gold.
Glenn and LaVonne were active members of the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd. His joy at being in church every Sunday to greet people and visit made it truly the best day of his week. As early members of the church, Glenn and LaVonne developed family friendships that go back 30 years. These friends became part of many adventures and traditions, such as Easter cross-country ski trips, couples and father/daughter horse-pack trips, and trips to Red Lodge. Glenn’s weekly Tuesday men’s bible study group has met for 37 years and was one of the bright spots of his week.
He is survived by his wife, LaVonne (Gravgaard); children David and wife Sarah, Dennis and wife Susie and Nancy; five grandchildren, Alexa, Thor, Zachary, Brittney and Jordan; sister Barbara Griffith, and sister-in-law Paulette Iverson. He is preceded in death by his parents and his brother Keith.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made in Glenn’s name to MSUB Foundation, to Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd or to the American Heart Association.
Condolences may be made online at www.michelottisawyers.com.