Community pulls together at funeral service for West Fargo Lt. Adam Gustafson
WEST FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) – Family, friends, colleagues and strangers pull together to honor the life of fallen West Fargo Lt. Adam Gustafson, who died from a heart attack last week.
A contagious smile and laughter that would echo off the department walls; that’s how those at the West Fargo Police Department remember Lt. Gustafson.
“The way Adam lived his life is what made him a hero,” West Fargo Police Chief Denis Otterness said at the funeral inside Northview Church in Fargo Wednesday afternoon.
Gustafson wore the badge for more than a decade but his years of service extended beyond the West Fargo Police Department.
He served his country in the Army National Guard for seven years, which is where he met his wife Amber.
“The man we are honoring today is the type of man we should all strive to be: a man who served his country, a man who gave back to his community, a man who put himself in harm’s way to keep his country and his community safe, a guardsman, a police officer, a husband and by all accounts most importantly a great father,” Rep. Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota said.
Gustafson leaves behind one boy and two girls.
His colleagues say his favorite job in the world was being a father. Being a police officer was a close second.
“A man who just made work worth it; made work worth coming to,” remembered West Fargo Lt. Jason Anderson.
Gustafson died while on-duty May 18th from a heart attack.
He was 40 years old.
“Could I have all the West Fargo staff please stand up? To the Gustafson family, I want you to take a look around. I want you to see the family that you inherited the day Adam was sworn in. You know that Adam was loved by every one of us and that you are all a part of this family now and forever,” Anderson said.
When he wasn’t at the department or with his family, Gustafson could be found raising money for the Special Olympics, ringing bells for the Salvation Army or contributing to various charities.
Although he was taken away suddenly, loved ones say his impact will be felt forever.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that the life and example of Lt. Adam Gustafson is not over,” said Northview Church Pastor Cal Thomspon. “In fact, this may just be the beginning because he cared enough to care and he will now pass on to others the responsibility to make a difference.”
Gustafson served on the West Fargo Police Department for 12 years as a patrol officer, sergeant and lieutenant.