Tranum, Gunar

Partial transcript T0214 T0214-2 T0214-3

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SIE 2-4-t214

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Tranum, Gunar


  • 1982-11-23 (Creation)


3 file folders
3 photographs
1 sound cassette

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Scope and content

This interview was conducted with Gunar Tranum on November 23, 1982 in Olympia, Washington. It contains information about family background, emigration, schooling, work, marriage, Norwegian heritage, and community activities. The interview also includes a photograph of Gunar and his parents (approximately 1907) and two snapshots of Gunar at the time of the interview. The interview was conducted in English.

Folder Contents

Box 10, File 2 Personal and Family History
Tape Archive Sheet, Family Background and Tape Index

Box 10, File 2A Correspondence and Forms
Checklist and Forms
Letters from Janet Rasmussen regarding Mr. Tranum’s participation.
Handwritten Tape Archive Sheet and Family Background

Box 10, File 2B Photographs
Three photographs

System of arrangement

Interviewed by Inger Nygaard Carr
Transcribed by Mary Sue Gee, Julie Peterson and Becky Husby
Encoded by Kerstin Ringdahl & Amity Smetzler
Recording Quality: Good

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Biographical Note

Gunar H. Tranum was born on September 30, 1905 in Kapp, Oppland, Norway, which is 100 miles north of Oslo and 100 miles from the Swedish border. His parents were Henrik (Hveem) Tranum and Paula Hagen. Henrik worked for Nestle's in Kapp, and Paula was a seamstress. America fever hit hard in Kapp, and when Paula's uncle Evin was unable to use his ticket to America, he sold it to Henrik. Not having enough money for Paula and Gunar to have tickets as well, Henrik had to earn enough money for them once he was in America.

The family was reunited in Duluth, Minnesota on April 1, 1907, and Gunar's brother Osvald was born soon after. In 1908, Henrik obtained a carpentry job for Northern Pacific Railroad, and the family moved to Tacoma, Washington. They bought a house in Parkland, and Gunar's brothers Melvin and Henry were born in 1909 and 1912, respectively. In 1921, Henrik invested in the Olympia Veneer Company, and the family moved to Olympia, where Henrik worked for the co-operative plywood plant. Gunar attended high school in Olympia, then went on to earn a BA from Central Washington University, an MA from Western Washington University, and had two years at the University of Washington in education.

By the time he finished college, the Depression had hit the country, and Gunar was fortunate enough to find a teaching job at a two-room school in Shelton. The primary teacher there was Irma van de Ver, whom Gunar married three years later. They had four children: Beverly, Shirley, Paula, and Gunar. In addition to teaching in Shelton, Gunar later was a principal in Mt. Vernon for five years, a superintendent in eastern Washington for one year, and had another administrative job for five years in Friday Harbor.

Following this job, they moved back to Olympia, where Gunar received the Fullbright scholarship, enabling him to teach in Oslo for a year. This was the first time Gunar and Irma visited Norway, and while they were there, Irma took a liking to the troll woodcarvings, inspiring Gunar to teach himself how to carve upon their return home. He did the carving for the Troll Club at PLU. Gunar was also active in the Sons of Norway in Olympia, teaching Norwegian as a project and serving four terms as president. He also attends church and sings in the choir.


Full Name: Gunar H. Tranum
Father: Henrik (Hveem) Tranum
Mother: Paula Hagen
Paternal Grandfather: Gulbran Tranum
Paternal Grandmother: Karen Matilde Grinvold
Maternal Grandfather: Ole Hagen
Maternal Grandmother: Maria (Maia ?) Rustad
Brothers and Sisters: Osvald Tranum, Melvin Tranum, Henry Tranum
Spouse: Irma van de Ver
Children: Beverly Mae Tranum, Shirley Joanne Tranum, Paula Jean Tranum, Gunar Dean Tranum.

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63.8 MiB


June 9, 2022 3:48 PM

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