Gary Charles Munsen


March 12, 1943 - January 12, 2016



Gary Charles Munsen was born March 12, 1943, at White Lake, SD, to Charles Robert and Hazel Elizabeth (Krell) Munsen.  He was raised on a farm in the White Lake area along with two brothers, Ed and Ronnie.

Gary was a standout football and basketball player at White Lake High School, where he graduated in 1961. Following high school, he worked for the railroad.  In the fall of 1961 he enrolled at Dakota Wesleyan University for one semester and played basketball where he was coached by Coach Gordon Fosness.  He then transferred to General Beadle State College, now Dakota State University, where he played basketball for Coach Ed Harter, graduating in 1966.  In 1984, he received his master’s degree from Northern State College in Aberdeen.

On December 30, 1963, he married Cheryl Mae Cudmore at White Lake. They were blessed with two sons and two daughters:  Scott, Stacey, Shana and Sam.  Gary and Cheri lived in Marion, SD from 1966 until 1969, where he taught Typing I and II, Bookkeeping, General Business, Business Law and Consumer Education.  He coached football, basketball, track and field and baseball.

In 1969, Gary and Cheri moved to Mitchell, where Gary taught Business, Physical Education and Drivers Education for the Mitchell School District.  His coaching responsibilities included assistant football coach for twenty years, track and field for twenty-one years and basketball from 1969 until 2012. He retired from teaching in 2001, but continued coaching until 2012. For a total of forty-seven years he coached basketball and was the Mitchell High School varsity basketball coach from 1973 until 2012.

Gary loved his family and was an avid fan of the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bears and any basketball game.  Also, he enjoyed the outdoors and hunting with family and friends.

Gary is survived by his children:  Scott (Michelle) Munsen, Sioux City, IA, Stacey (Fred) Smith, Ewa Beach, HI, Shana Munsen, Sioux City, IA and Sam (Keri) Munsen, Mitchell, SD; thirteen grandchildren, Alex Smith, Quincy Christie, Isaiah Munsen, Brooke Smith, Naomi Munsen, Rusty Munsen, Ayana Shannon, Christian Smith, Ky Munsen, Demi Smith, Kezia Munsen, Jeremiah Munsen and Mason Munsen; one brother, Ed (Mary) Munsen, White Lake, SD; one sister-in-law, Vivian Munsen, Hershey, NE.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Cheri Munsen (June 1991); his parents, Charles and Hazel Munsen; and his brother, Ronnie Munsen. 



A Memorial Fund has been established in lieu of flowers.





Sunday, January 17, 2016
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Corn Palace
630 North Main Street
Mitchell, SD 57301


Monday, January 18, 2016
10:30 AM
Corn Palace
630 North Main Street
Mitchell, SD


St. Peters Catholic Church
White Lake, SD

Posted by Jim Martin on January 21, 2016
Scott and Family: Your dad and I go back to my White Lake days when I was in 5-6 grade, he was our basketball coach. Gary was destine to be a basketball coach. He always took the time to help me with basketball and spend time with our family on visits to the farm on his horse "Cocoa". He coached with my wife at Mitchell Jr. High with the track program. I always scouted for him when he was head coach and soph. coach. He was the reason I got into coaching and stayed at DWU all those years. His records will never be broken in the basketball arena. My parents and his parents were great friends on the farm in White Lake. Those will always be great memories for me. Please greet Eddie for me!! God bless, Jim/Martin/Nancy Martin
Posted by Suzi Griffith Kusnierek on January 18, 2016
My sincere sympathies to the Munsen family. I was a student during the 80s dynasty and the basketball games were always the highpoint of the week. May the memories of your dad help you through the difficult days ahead. Rest in piece coach.
Posted by John Thomas on January 18, 2016
My deepest sympathies to the Munsen children and family. Gary was a friend to myself and many members of my basketball family. Muns was the 8th grade basketball coach in Mitchell when I was an assistant there for one year. That started a long, wonderful relationship through our coaching years, during summer basketball camps and, in later years, getting together to talk about the game, former players, coaches and officials and other memorable times from the past. Rest in peace, Coach.
Posted by Mary Persson on January 17, 2016
Gary and Cheri were both classmates of mine at White Lake High School graduating in 1961. We celebrated our 50th class reunion and had a wonderful time. Gary was a kind and considerate man and will never be forgotten. We lift all of the Munsen family up in prayer.
Posted by Jason Gross on January 17, 2016
I was the sports editor for the Sturgis newspaper back in the late 1990s and accompanied the Scooper basketball team to a game in Mitchell. Gary (the Mitchell girls' coach at the time) came over to me, introduced himself, and an association started. From that time forward, I always looked forward to seeing Gary when his teams came to Sturgis. I consider it an absolute privilege to have known him for all these years, and he certainly will be missed. May God provide comfort to you during this very difficult time.
Posted by Grant Kruse on January 16, 2016
I remember Gary calling me by my nickname Cruise Missle in football after school.(class of '88). He was Mr. Mitchell, SD. I will never forget the basketball memories with him. RIP with your wife and Jesus Christ.
Posted by Katherine Bogenhagen Ostrem on January 16, 2016
My deepest sympathies to the Munsen family. I was a classmate of his in White Lake High School. He did a tremendous job in basketball and I am glad he got to teach others of his skill.
Posted by Scott Friedrick on January 16, 2016
Writing to give my deepest sympathy to the Munsen family. He touched many lives, and I'm sure changed many of them forever. Those of us that played for him will always remember the fierce competivenss, the intensity, and the love that he had for the game of basketball. Proud to have played for him and thankful to have known him. He's up there now, probably having a calm, quiet, civil discussion with Doc and many others about the game. Thanks Coach. You will never be forgotten. Rest in peace.
Posted by Gary & Kay Shafer on January 16, 2016
We are sending our sympathies to the entire Munsen family, & the fans who will miss him too.

I knew his brother , Ron, first because he worked for our family (Hemmer's) on our family farm. Gary knew that & we always talked about Ron, who by the way looked just like him. I wished we could be there for the funeral to say a special hello to Vivian, who also lived on our farm, with her hubby, Ron. A peaceful thought is, those 2 brothers are together again.

May all of the Memories of Coach Gary Munsen, comfort us all these days. PEACE & PRAYERS COACH MUNSEN. PEACE & PRAYERS Coach Munsen & family.
Posted by connie knigge on January 15, 2016
Deepest sympathies I knew Gary in W L highscool He was a year ahead of me.
Posted by Sue Vander Heiden on January 14, 2016
Deepest sympathies to the Munsen family. You shared him with thousands of players and fans while he took us all on an unbelievable ride. Rest in peace coach. You will be remembered forever!!
Posted by Alice Mentele on January 13, 2016
I have known Gary since his first year in Mitchell, as I did my student teaching under him at the Mitchell Middle School. He always said hello when we saw each other. He coached my daughter in basketball, and was just a wonderful person. Rest in Peace, Mr. Munsen!
Posted by Wade and Michelle (Mandel) Kunkel on January 13, 2016
Our deepest sympathies in the loss of a Great man. He touched many lives over the years. I will forever remember all the laughs we all had in Drivers Ed class!! May God give you strength during this sad time, and may you all find comfort in the memories that you all have of the times you spent together. RIP Coach Munsen, you will be missed!!
Posted by Dan Matthews Family on January 13, 2016
Our cheapest sympathies you are in our thoughts and prayers . Gary meant a lot to our family
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