Bernie Gunter 1933-2023
CANFIELD — Bernie Gunter, 89, of Canfield, passed away Saturday, Jan. 31, 2023, at Hospice House in Boardman surrounded by family and friends.
He was born Aug. 6, 1933, in Pineville, W.Va., the son of Clayton and Lulu Halsey Gunter.
He grew up in Mullensville, W.Va., on the Guyandotte River. He was a nature enthusiast, traversing the mountains and fishing the river from a young age, and will be remembered as a dedicated husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, businessman and servant of his community.
He graduated from Pineville High School in 1951 as the valedictorian and class president, and remained loyal to his school and his classmates, attending every annual class reunion up until the last few years of his life.
He worked in the coal mines for a short while before enlisting in the Army in 1952.
In 1953, he married his high school sweetheart, Frances.
In 1954, he mustered out of the Army as a sergeant. He attended Concord College in Athens, W.Va., on the G.I. Bill, graduating with a bachelor’s degree and, subsequently, had a successful 39-year career with the Social Security Administration, retiring in 1995, as district manager in Youngstown.
Bernie believed in the value of public service and throughout his life served as the president of Kiwanis, president of the PTA and the president of the Area Agency on Aging, where he participated in a coalition for eldercare to develop the Ohio Eldercare Initiative. He received numerous awards for excellence in service, including Manager of the Year from the Jaycees.
He also loved nature. Vacations were spent camping and some of his fondest memories were those made with his fishing buddies. He took daily walks in the woods, and loved to plant trees, gardens and flowers. When people visited his home, they felt like they were in a park.
He was always welcoming, kind and generous and was known as a man of great integrity and honesty who loved his family and friends and showed it in ways too numerous to count.
He is survived by his wife, the former Frances Bane, with whom he shared 70 loving years. He leaves to cherish his memories, his daughter, attorney Debra Gunter Weaver (and Jan Pentz) of Youngstown and Barbara Gunter Brondum (and Professor Lars Brondum) of Stockholm, Sweden; his grandsons, Derek Weaver (and Priscila), Daniel Weaver (and Ivy Sesaldo), Dylan Weaver, Krister Brondum (and Hannah Shanberg) and Eric Brondum; and his great-grandchildren, Preston, Harper, Elliot and Ethan Weaver, and Ben Brondum-Shanberg.
Bernie was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Walt; sister, Bonne; and son, David.
The family will receive relatives and friends 1 p.m. Feb. 11, 2023, at Lane Funeral Home, 65 N. Broad St., Canfield. The service will follow at 2 p.m. at Lane Canfield Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Hospice of the Valley, 9803 Sharrott Road, Youngstown, OH 44514 or Treez Please Inc. — a (501(c) (3) group — at 1330 Wick Ave., Youngstown, OH 44505.