Cover photo for Dwight Allen Gourneau's Obituary
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1944 Dwight 2023

Dwight Allen Gourneau

March 29, 1944 — January 4, 2023

Dwight Allen Gourneau, 78, of Rochester, MN passed away on January 4, 2023. Dwight was born March 29, 1944 to Patrick and Mary (LaFavor) Gourneau in Belcourt, ND. He was a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. He graduated from Turtle Mountain Community High School in 1961. Dwight married Darlene LaFournaise on August 24, 1963, at St. Ann's Catholic Church. The couple moved to San Jose, CA and later moved to make their home in Rochester in 1967. Dwight is survived by three daughters, Dawn (Robert) Allan of Gallup, NM, Donna (Marlin) LaFromboise of Rochester and Debra (Chad) Schiefert of Rochester; twelve grandchildren, Gabrielle Allan, Joshua Allan, Robert Allan, Alexandra Allan, Jessica LaFromboise, Shelby LaFromboise, Kayla (Michael) Stock, Kirsten (Kristoffer) Langlie, Cassandra (John) Schiefert, Caitlin (Joel) Newberg, Christian Schiefert and Camille Schiefert; and eight great-grandchildren, Skyler LaFromboise, Carter Langlie, Willow Langlie, Brayden Stock, Bennett Stock, Cooper Stock, Ryleigh Schiefert, and Jaxson Schiefert; three sisters Rita Erdrich, Madonna Owen, and Dolores Manson and two brothers, Howard and Terrence. He is preceded in death by his parents and wife; one sister, Gladys Poitra; and two brothers, Charles, and Kenneth. Dwight retired in 1992 from IBM after 27 years as a computer development engineer and manager. While at IBM he had 12 published inventions, obtained two patents, and received many special technical awards. He earned bachelor's degrees in both Electrical Engineering and Physics and a master's degree in Systems Engineering. He also received an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Michigan in recognition of his lifetime achievements. After retirement, Dwight spent more than twenty years creating and directing STEM education projects that serve Native American students and teachers. As one of our nation's most distinguished American Indian educators, he inspired students to pursue careers in science, math, and engineering. It was very important to him that everyone have equal opportunities to higher education and that inspired him to work with many organizations. He served as Board Chairman of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society and as Chairman of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian. He also served on the Board of the Bush Foundation. He was appointed by Governor Pawlenty to the Rochester Higher Education Development Committee which resulted in the establishment of a University of Minnesota - Rochester. He also served on Advisory Committees for National Science Foundation. Dwight enjoyed reading, fishing, softball, basketball, cribbage, Jeopardy, watching sports and running. He ran many 10K fun runs and 6 marathons (5 Grandmas and 1 Twin Cities). He also loved large gatherings with his family and friends. A memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 10, 2023, at Ranfranz & Vine Funeral Home 5421 Royal Place NW Rochester MN 55901. A visitation will be one hour prior to the service. To live stream the service on the day of, please go to our Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/Ranfranzandvine ; Once the service starts the live video will show there. Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Gourneau family; to leave a special memory or condolence please visit www.ranfranzandvinefh.com.
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes

5421 Royal Pl NW, Rochester, MN 55901

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Service

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Starts at 3:00 pm (Central time)

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes

5421 Royal Pl NW, Rochester, MN 55901

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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