Leslie Edward Gundrum, 73
March 21, 1944 — July 16, 2017
Leslie “Les” Edward Gundrum, 73, passed away peacefully Sunday, July 16, 2017, at his home in West Bend, with family by his side. He was born March 21, 1944, in West Bend to Gregory and Mildred (nee Eckhart) Gundrum. He was raised in Slinger and graduated from Slinger High School in 1962. On April 8, 1967, he was united in marriage to Mariann Harrington.
Les was involved in agriculture his entire life. He was a farmer at heart. If he was not farming himself, he was helping others. As a youth, Les was involved in 4-H and FFA. While in FFA, he served as State FFA vice-president in 1961-62. After graduating high school, he was employed at Gehl Co. and served a few years in the National Guard. Then he worked for Dairyland Seed but his passion was farming so he pursued a career in farm management. This led him to a 33-year career as an animal nutritionist with Farmer's Grain and Feed in Allenton, retiring in 2014.
Les was a very proud “Papa.” He enjoyed spending time with family and especially his five grandchildren, coloring, playing games, and attending their school and 4-H functions.
Aside from his family, his greatest achievement was the Washington County Dairy Promotion Committee Inc. He was one of the founding members of the committee and took it upon himself to have the committee incorporated in 1986. To help promote dairy in the county, the Washington County Breakfast on the Farm was born. Although there were doubts, Les firmly believed this event could be a success. With Committee assistance, he spearheaded the first Washington County Breakfast on the Farm. Midway through the first breakfast, a volunteer stepped forward to host the event the following year. This annual tradition continues to this day as the 30th annual Breakfast was held last month. When Washington County was chosen to host the 1995 Farm Progress Days, Les played an integral role in the planning and implementation of the event. Les was an active member of the Washington County Farm Bureau, serving on their Board of Directors in several positions over the years. In 1991, he was the first member to receive the “Friend of Agriculture” Award. Les was also a member of the Knights of Columbus Council 1964 and enjoyed attending their monthly meetings.
Les is survived by his wife of 50 years, Mariann; children, Pamela (Steven) Kescenovitz of Slinger, Penny (Alan) Tank of New London, and Cindy (Scott) Bellon of West Bend; grandchildren, Alison and Melissa Kescenovitz, Danielle and Joshua Tank, and Samantha Bellon; sisters, Elaine (Ralph) Wagner, Rita Lochen, and Diana (Mark) Weber, and brother, Robert (Linda) Gundrum; sister-in-law, Colleen (Robert) Ruhnke; and brothers-in-law, Michael (Dorothy) Harrington and Tom (Maggie) Harrington. He is further survived by nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Les is preceded in death by his parents; parents-in-law, Michael and Dorothy Harrington; and brother-in-law Paul Lochen.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, July 20, at Holy Angels Catholic Church (138 N. Eighth Ave., West Bend, WI 53095) with the Rev. Patrick Heppe presiding. Visitation will be at church from 9:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Interment will follow at Holy Angels Catholic Cemetery.
A special thank you to Dr. Gibson and Dr. Welsh, Horizon Hospice, and all the thoughts and prayers from family and friends.
The Phillip Funeral Home of West Bend is assisting the family: 262-338-2050 or www.phillipfuneralhome.com.