Leslie William Gunter passed away on February 27, 2014, after an extended battle with pneumonia. He was born in Bristol, Wisconsin, on April 29, 1929, the son of Leslie Edward and Olive Louise (Carter) Gunter. Growing up on a dairy farm, he learned about the environment and the wonders of nature, a gift he gave his children Linda and Marjorie. He had a life-long appreciation for learning and read multiple books at a time.
Les, or Bill as he was known to his family, graduated from Kenosha High School and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, earning Phi Beta Kapa honors. After graduation he joined the US Army and served in the Signal Corps. He had degrees in mathematics and physics, so after a short period teaching at Western Michigan College in Kalamazoo, he spend his life working as a Specifications Engineer in the paper products manufacturing industry here in the Fox Valley. He met his future wife, Ellen Emig, while living in Kalamazoo, MI, and they married on November 23, 1955, moving to Appleton in 1960.
A generous civic volunteer, he was active in the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and the First Congregations Church as well as Kiwanis. Les enjoyed the Buboltz Nature preserve, Attic Theatre, and attending events at the PAC, especially the musical events. He also enjoyed gardening, dining and good wine. After he retired Les took an active interest in the community and his playful side emerged. He wasn't above dressing as a Keystone cop to "arrest" someone for a Kiwanis fundraiser or don Packer green and gold in a contest sponsored by their retirement community Heritage Woods.
Les will be sadly missed by his wife of 58 years, Ellen; his daughters Linda Gunter and Meg (David) Hall; his two grandchildren, Jessica Lyn (Kevan) Smith and Benjamin Robert Thompson; and his sister, Margorie E. Pias. He is further survived by Elaine Pias, Jill (Bill) Holton, Peter (Juanita) Pias and Robert (Linda) Thompson.
A service in celebration of his life will be at 4:00PM on Sunday, March 2, 2014, at Fox Valley United Universalist Fellowship (2600 East Philip Lane, Appleton) with Rev. Roger Bertschuausen and Rev. Jane Anderson officiating, followed by a reception. The family will receive visitors at the Heritage Woods Community room on Saturday, March 1 from 10:00AM to Noon and also at the Wichmann Funeral Home (537 N. Superior Street, Appleton) from 2:00PM to 4:00PM.
In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to the Nature Conservancy or the charity of your choice. The family extends their heartfelt gratitude to the PT, OT, RT and speech therapists of Heritage and special thanks to Elizabeth, Drs. Gianina Sibla, and Sheila Thiel and the loving staff of the 3rd floor at AMC.