Alan Tuntland - Rochester, Minnesota

Sept. 4, 1940 - Oct. 11, 2021

Alan Olaf Tuntland passed away in his home on Oct. 11, 2021, after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was born on Sept. 4, 1940, to Olaf and Edith Tuntland. He spent his boyhood days in Sioux Falls and Brandon, South Dakota, graduating from Brandon High School in 1958. He continued his education at South Dakota State College obtaining a degree in mechanical engineering. He worked for Northwestern Bell Telephone Company in Sioux Falls for a year and joined the South Dakota Air National Guard.
In 1963 Alan enrolled at Purdue University where he continued his Air Guard meetings and graduated with a master of science in industrial administration.
Alan moved to Minneapolis where he worked as a management consultant for Touche, Ross, Bailey, and Smart and Wilson Learning Corporation.
On Dec. 26, 1964, he married Sharon Grotewold from Larchwood, IA. The couple lived in Minneapolis for seven years and then moved to Rochester, MN where Alan started his entrepreneurial career in 1971 as the owner of GMC Truck, Inc.
Alan sold GMC in 1976 and purchased Schmidt Printing. In 1989 he sold the printing company to the Taylor Corporation in Mankato, MN. Alan continued working as a Taylor employee until 1994. Owning his own business gave Alan much pleasure. He enjoyed the process of building a successful company, mentoring young talent, and helping all his employees succeed and thrive.
When Alan sold Schmidt Printing, he donated the building to the Rochester Area Foundation. Rochester Area Foundation’s sale of the building to Glen Taylor allowed the Tuntlands to establish the foundation’s first Donor Advised Fund. The Tuntlands have used the fund to support a variety of charities. Alan volunteered for many educational and community organizations. He chaired the boards of Future Scan, Rochester Public Schools, Rochester Area Foundation, First Homes, and the South Dakota State University Foundation.
Alan had a love of flying and owned small airplanes throughout much of his life, obtaining his pilot’s license at age 17. He flew for business, charity, and pleasure. As an Angel Flight and Veteran’s Airlift Command pilot, Alan transported patients and their families to medical appointments at no charge.
He donated over 400 hours of flight time and flew 100,000 miles into 21 states as he helped raise funds for South Dakota State University Foundation. In 2010 Alan donated his beloved Jet Prop to the SDSU Foundation.
Alan was patriotic throughout his life, participating in the Ground Observer Corps, ROTC, the Air National Guard, and the Minnesota Civil Air Patrol.
Alan loved playing the piano. He spent much of his free time in his seventies taking piano lessons and playing for friends.
Travel was a priority in Alan’s retirement. He and Sharon traveled to all seven continents. They took five Air Journey trips, flying with other private pilots to the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.
In his later years, Alan often spoke about how satisfying it had been to help others. He spent countless hours volunteering for his favorite charities – raising funds for operations, buildings, and scholarships.
Alan encouraged others to have a generous heart. He said he had never met a grouchy giver and that a man who dies rich, dies disgraced. Alan believed we should all love our God, our family, our neighbors, and our community.
He was a champion for education, life-long learning, and free enterprise. Alan has been called witty, strong willed, industrious, hard-headed, soft-hearted, determined, and persistent. He wanted to be known as a kind man.
Alan was preceded in death by his parents (Olaf and Edith Tuntland) and his brother (James Tuntland). He is survived by his wife (Sharon), his daughters, Kristen (Terry) Stamman, Sarah (Andrew) Truitt, and Meredith Tuntland; his grandchildren, J.T. and Jake Stamman and Taylor and Sam Truitt; and his sister Helen (Isaiah) Jackson. He has a soft spot in his heart for his grand dog, Aly, who was named for him.
In the philanthropic spirit that defines Alan Tuntland, he wishes you to consider donating to one of his beloved charities in lieu of sending flowers or gifts. Special links for donating in Alan’s memory to the Rochester Area Foundation and the South Dakota State Foundation can be found here. Click on the link or copy and paste into your browser. (in the search bar enter ‘Alan Tuntland’)
The memorial service will be held 12 p.m. Monday, Oct. 25, 2021 at Bethel Lutheran Church, 810 3rd Avenue SE, Rochester, MN. Visitation will be held 4-7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home, 5421 Royal Place, NW, Rochester, MN and also one hour prior to the service at the church.
The interment will take place at Hills of Rest Cemetery in Sioux Falls, SD,at a later date.
To view the live funeral service online, enter into your browser. Search Bethel Lutheran Church Rochester, MN.
Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Tuntland family. To share a special memory or condolence, please visit


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