Keith G. Gulbranson

Keith G. Gulbranson, age 88, a lifetime resident of Park Rapids, MN, passed away on Wednesday, June 9, 2021 at Sanford Medical Center, in Fargo, ND, with his step-daughters and wife by his side.

Keith was born at home near Boot Lake in Becker County on July 12, 1932 to Gilbert & Mabel (Walsh) Gulbranson. Keith graduated Park Rapids High School in 1950 with honors. He was known as “slugger” and enjoyed his participation in “Golden Gloves” boxing. Following graduation he attended training with the railroad in the craft of telegraphy, was subsequently employed by the railroad as a telegrapher until 1958, after which he returned to Park Rapids to help with his family’s business Gulbranson Equipment. Eventually he assumed ownership and continued the family business as a John Deere dealership, as well as a dealer for other farming, commercial, and sporting equipment until 2003 when he sold the business expecting to retire. Within a week he was planning his lawn and snow removal services, and remained self-employed until June 2, 2021. It was during his hospitalization that he requested his customers be called and advised that he could no longer provide services.

His competitive nature and love of sports throughout his life were evident in his participation in marathons, snowmobile racing, bowling, golf, and logging events. He loved the sport of hunting, and fishing. For many decades Keith was blessed to be able to share time and friendships with his “coffee buddies” at the West Forty. Most of all he was grateful for the times he shared with his friends doing what brought smiles, laughs, and good times.

Keith was honored to serve 45 years on the Park Rapids Fire Department. There he shared camaraderie, dedication, and compassion throughout his lifetime. Through his work as a volunteer fire fighter, he lived his purpose and passion to be of service for the wellbeing of others.

Keith loved being surrounded by family and dedicating his life to their happiness and comfort. He was a cornerstone to the community, active in civic organizations, and a sponsor of 4-H, an entrepreneur, volunteer, and a model of what Park Rapids embodies; genuine in every action, thought, and conversation; never short for an inspirational story or fish story; a mentor, a friend, a helper, who always placed others before himself, not sometimes but every time.

He is survived by his wife Denise, step-daughters Amanda (Bobby) Wilkins of Park Rapids, and Leah (Dana) Puetz of Park Rapids, step-grandsons Kiergon and Gannon Wilkins, three daughters by a previous marriage, Sharon McGrane, Teresa Dorsey Ota, and Shelley Kay Theisen, grandchildren, and a host of beloved family and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Visitation will be Sunday, June 20 from 5-7pm at Cease Funeral Home in Park Rapids. Visitation will continue from 10am Monday, June 21 at St. John’s Lutheran Church with funeral service at 11am; luncheon to follow.

Honorary Casketbearers: Gannon Wilkins, Kiergon Wilkins.   Active Casketbearers: David DeCeault, Don Hoffman, Dale Johnson, Kevin Lempola, Robert Reschke, and Bobby Wilkins.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the American Cancer Society. Friends may leave online condolences at

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