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Rural Perham murder: Pipe wrench reportedly used in brutal killing of mother, son

Ethel Clarice Gunderson

Ethel Clarice Gunderson, 85, of Richville and Perham, MN, died Tuesday, June 30, 2009, at her son's home in Cambridge, MN, under the care of hospice. A memorial service was held Monday, July 6, at United Methodist Church, Richville, with Pastor Rod Tornquist officiating. Burial took place in the Richville Village Cemetery.

Clarice was born November 14, 1923, in Richville, MN, the daughter of Ernest Andrew and Ethel Ann (Babcock) Lillis. She was united in marriage to Harry Edward Davis on October 12, 1942, at Dead Lake, MN. Harry passed away on June 11, 1960. Clarice then married Ervan Henry Gunderson on February 9, 1962, in Sisseton, SD. Erv passed away on May 25, 1971. Clarice loved to fish and spend time at the Deer Camp in Silver Bay. She loved horses and was a great horse trainer. She was very active with the Richville community and the Richville Senior Center pancake breakfasts. Clarice was also a member of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary.

Clarice is survived by her children, Sharon Davis, Perham, Jim (Barb) Davis, Cambridge, Steve Davis, Fergus Falls, Mike (Rhonda) Davis, Lisbon, ND, Harry (Cheryl) Davis, Redwood Falls, MN, and Lonnie (Ollie) Christopherson, Clear Lake, MN; daughter-in-law, Karen Gunderson, Coon Rapids, MN; 23 grandchildren; 41 great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; a brother, Les (Lila) Lillis, Silver Bay, MN; a sister, Vi Robinson, Hibbing, MN; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

Preceding Clarice in death are her parents; husband, Harry Davis; husband, Erv Gunderson; an infant son; three brothers, Chester, Lester, and Horace Lillis; three sisters, Lillian, Hazel, and Mildred; stepson, Jimmy; stepdaughter, Sylvia; four nephews; and one niece.

Schoeneberger Funeral Home, Perham was in charge of the arrangements. (218) 346-5175. Online tributes may be posted on