Cover photo for Loretta Lee Gulbranson's Obituary
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1939 Loretta 2023

Loretta Lee Gulbranson

March 1, 1939 — April 15, 2023

Funeral service for Loretta Lee Gulbranson, 84, of Gilbert, will be 1:00pm Monday, April 24, 2023 at Community United Church of Christ in Biwabik with Rev. Brad Felix officiating.  Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church.  Burial will be at a later date.  Arrangements by Ziemer-Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home in Gilbert.

Loretta passed away Saturday, April 15, 2023 at her home in Gilbert surrounded by family.

She was born March 1, 1939 in Biwabik, Minnesota to Wilfred and Edna (Sten) Ballavance.  Loretta attended Biwabik schools and later married Merlin “Buttsie” Gulbranson on June 1, 1956 in Biwabik.

Together, they co-owned and operated Gulbranson Excavating. The business expanded from Minnesota to California, Colorado, Nevada and Arizona. 

Loretta was a homemaker and enjoyed raising her family.  Throughout her years with the business, she spent much time traveling throughout the states.  She especially enjoyed spending time with her family.  She and Buttsie enjoyed entertaining friends and family during the winters in Las Vegas.

Loretta enjoyed crafts of all kinds, working puzzles and researching genealogy of her ethnic heritage.

Survivors include her children: Kerry Gulbranson, Connie (Walter) Petersen and Lanette (Sherwin) Heitzman all of Arizona and Tamara Jean Gulbranson of Gilbert; eight grandchildren: Tammi (Mike) McCurdy, Nicole Gulbranson, Shane (Erin) Petersen, Chad Petersen, James Heitzman, Jerome (Gina) Heitzman, Karlee (Kenneth Husmann) Gulbranson and Kaylee (Jake) Fallos; several great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren; brother, Alan (Sheila) Ballavance of Duluth and several nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Wilfred and Edna; husband, Merlin “Buttsie”; grandsons, Justin and Jeremy; siblings: Myrna Jean and Bruce.


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Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Monday, April 24, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

Community United Church of Christ

408 7th Ave N, Biwabik, MN 55708

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