PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers University Hall of Famer George H. "Swede" Sundstrom passed away after a brief illness at age 80 on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at home, with his family. Inducted into the Rutgers Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007, Sundstrom played varsity basketball “On the Banks” from 1951-54 under head coach Donald S. White and grabbed 942 rebounds, which ranks third all-time.
Born in Elizabeth, N.J., on Feb. 6, 1933, Sundstrom was a defensive force on the hardwood. He was fourth in the nation in rebounding during his senior year, when he pulled down a school record 494 boards and averaged a record 20.6 rebounds-per-game in 24 contests. Twice during his career, he pulled down 30 rebounds in a single game. Eight of the top 10 single game rebounding performances in RU history belong to Sundstrom, as he pulled down 26 or more rebounds in a game eight times.
Sundstrom graduated with a B.A. from Rutgers University in 1954. Following graduation, he honorably served in the United States Army from 1954 to 1956 as a second lieutenant.
Visitation will be Monday (Jan. 13) from 1 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at the D'Elia Funeral Home, 1300 Vermont Ave., Lakewood, N.J. 08701. His Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in the St. Mary of the Lake Church, 43 Madison Ave., Lakewood, N.J. 08701. Interment will follow in the Gate of Heaven Cemetery, 225 Ridgedale Ave., East Hanover, N.J. 07936. For further information or to post a tribute online, please visit www.deliafuneralhome.com.
Sundstrom is survived by his wife of 53 years, Joan M. Sundstrom; three children, Mary Judith Kemp and her husband, Peter, of Mendham, N.J.; Thomas G. Sundstrom and his wife, Michele, of Downingtown, Pa., and Kerstin M. Sundstrom of Lakewood, N.J.; a sister-in-law, Dorothy Sundstrom of Livingston, N.J.; four grandchildren, John, Kathleen, Paul and Ella, and many nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, 1500 Rosecrans Ave., Suite 200, Manhattan Beach, Calif. 90266, or by visiting www.pancan.org.