Valdimar Gunnarsson’s parents were farmers in Eyjafjarðarsýsla, near Akureyri in northern Iceland. He grew up learning that you have to work to achieve what you want, but you should use your free hours to learn something, preferably to read books. Both his parents enjoyed music and sang in the church choir, a very Icelandic pastime to the present day. Valdimar remembers singing all his life and he enjoys most kinds of music, although he cannot play any instrument himself.
Valdimar earned a BA in Icelandic (grammar and literature) and History in 1971. He originally wanted to be a farmer like his father, but ended up as a teacher in his old school, now retired after forty years of teaching. He says he does not regret devoting his life to teaching, as working with students is a wonderful job and keeps one young. His wife also worked at the school for over twenty years. She passed away in spring 2014. Valdimar says he is a rich man, with good friends and a loving family, including three daughters, two granddaughters, six grandsons and one great-granddaughter.
As an Icelander and a historian, Valdimar has particular interest in the decades when so many Icelanders decided to leave their homeland and begin a new life in a different country. He loves how genealogy research sheds light on the history of a family or individual. Valdimar’s connection to Icelandic Roots stems from these interests as well as his work as an archivist. Someday he hopes to visit Vesturheimur, North America, the homeland of so many Icelanders.