Helen M. Gundrum, 92
Feb. 14, 1924 — March 8, 2016
Helen M. Gundrum (nee Bly), 92, of West Bend, died Tuesday, March 8, 2016, at The Waterford Assisted Living, West Bend. She was born Feb. 14, 1924, in Fairmont, West Virginia, the fourth child of Clarence and Caroline (nee Brown) Bly. Helen grew up in Monessen, Pennsylvania, where she was a member of the Monessen High School debate and cheerleading teams before graduating in 1941 at 17, the first of her siblings to do so. After working for a short time in an ice cream shop and a factory, Helen moved to Baltimore in 1942 for better employment opportunities. Helen enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps, beginning basic training in Georgia on Sept. 27, 1944. On Aug. 9, 1946, she shipped out to serve first in the European Theater before serving in the occupational forces in Germany. There she met Walter C. Gundrum, who was serving as an Army MP. They married June 21, 1947, in Heidelberg, Germany. During her service she began as a supply clerk and was promoted numerous times to reach the rank of Active 1st Sergeant. Following their discharge they settled in West Bend, in Wally’s home state.
After moving to Wisconsin, Helen and Walter joined St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Barton and she became a member of the Christian Mothers. In 1962, they became members of St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church when they moved to the south side of West Bend and later, in retirement, Holy Angels Catholic Church. She was a Boy Scout troop leader when her family was small. Later in life, she relished her role as a costume designer and seamstress for two West Bend community theaters, the Stage Door Players and Spotlight Productions. Helen and Wally were members of the Wieland’s Sunday night couples bowling league for years. Helen was especially known for her sense of humor and dry wit among family and friends. Helen was the loving and dedicated mother of eight children, six of whom survive her: Clint (fiancee Cheryl) Gundrum of West Bend, Judy Monday of Carlsbad, California, Diane (Terry) Kannass of Fond du Lac, Peter Gundrum of Jackson, Garry (Donna) Gundrum of Sun Prairie and Linda (Stewart) Felix of West Bend. She is also survived by 13 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren, whom she adored. She is further survived by daughter-in-law Donna Gundrum; brothers-in-law Arthur Trilli of Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania, and Paul (Carol) Gundrum of West Bend; sister-inlaw Ruth Nennig of West Bend; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Walter, on March 11, 2005; two sons, Edward and Walter Jr. in 2013; daughter-in-law, Mary Gundrum; all her siblings, Clint, Bernard, Lee, Caroline (Sis), Patty and Nancy; and her parents.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, March 14, at Holy Angels Catholic Church in West Bend with the Rev. Jerome Repenshek presiding. Burial will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Holy Angels Cemetery. The family will greet relatives and friends from 5-6:45 p.m. Monday at the church. Memorials to the Holy Angels School Trust Fund or the West Bend Food Pantry would be appreciated.
The Schmidt Funeral Home in West Bend is serving the family. Online guestbook and condolences are available at www.schmidtfuneralhome.com.