It's been four years after the tragic accident and I find myself here; scrolling through this guest book, through the Legacy of Audrey Gunther. Back then I would have wrote about the impact this one woman had on my life, and it would have been true. But through the years I have developed a full understanding and appreciation of the gifts that Mrs. Gunther gave us. The gift of music... of feeling... and of life. It is all this, and more, that she instilled in us; her students, her friends, and her family. It is all this that has steered me through life, towards success and happiness.
High school was honestly some of the best years of my life, thus far, and it was because of choir, because of Audrey Gunther. In high school music became my salvation. To this day it still is. It was in choir where a lot of us broke out of our shells. It was because of choir that some of us learned to laugh, to love, to cry, to feel. And through the majority of the time I was in choir Mrs. Gunther was there every step of the way, to teach us and to mold us.
I thank God for giving me the chance to know Audrey Gunther... a teacher and mother to me and all those she taught.
To the Gunther family:
May God bless you and bring you comfort. May the love you share with each other grow stronger each and every passing day.
Mrs. Gunther... because of you music will always live through me. Thank you for everything and please watch over all of us. Rest in peace.
May the God of all comfort, bring comfort to the family and friends of Gunther. We look forward to the time when sickness and death is a thing of the past.
Ms. Gunther was my homeroom teacher for 3 years. She was very dedicated at what she does. I will truly miss her.
Deep condolences to all friends and family of Mrs Gunther. May she always remain as a sweet, loving and cherished memory, watching over us all. God bless
I would like to express my condolences to the family and friends of Audrey Gunther. She was not only a great teacher, but a great friend to me. She has deeply touched many who have known her. Audrey was a remarkable person, and will always be in my prayers.
Mrs. Gunther taught me for the three years I spent at
St Mary's High School. She was not only a great pedagogue to whom one could go with any problem; she
was also an intensely passionate musician who inspired those around her to develop artistically. She helped me shed my inhibitions and find joy in performing in front of large crowds and expressing my emotions through music.Whether it was a small performance during mass or a grand extravaganza,
I could always feel goosebumps being sent throug my body. Under Mrs Gunther's expert guidance, the
beautiful sound that our choir had created left audiences filled with emotion. I’m sure they too felt
shivers run up their spine. All we had to do was look at Mrs gunthers gigantic smile as her arms moved from one side to the other as she led us, and we knew that everything was perfect.
I mourn the passing of the great pedagogue, friend,and musician, and I extend my most sincere condolences to the Gunther family.
Thank you for your knowledge and passion, Mrs Gunther.
Words really cannot express the impact that Mrs. Gunther made on my life. She always made sure that everyone in the choir was doing the best that they could. She made sure she knew everyones name, and always had a smile for everyone who walked through her door. She will be sorely missed by all of her students past and present. Thanks for being you Mrs. Gunther.
My sympathy go to the Gunther family. I have made it a point to read every entry in this Guest Book and can't believe why such a wonderful lady like Mrs. Gunther was taken from her family, friends and students so early in life. She still had so much to do. However, like her sister said - God needed the best choir director in Heaven and he knew that she was the very best. I have never met her, but every time I pass the area where the accident happened, my heart feels so sad and it always will when I pass this area.
Again, my sympathy to Garth and his family,
A resident of the area
Lord God, hear our prayer,
Keep us in your love and care.
Be our guide in all we do,
Bless all those who love us too.
Mrs. Audrey Gunther is the reason I sing. She had a large role in shaping who I am today. It has been mentioned how she had that affect on her students, how she put a love for music in them, and encouraged them to do their best, and how she never turned anyone away from music. I was, and still am in a way, one of those students. When I joined choir in grade 10, I really would not believe you if you told me I would be where I am today. And this phenomenal teacher and warm, loving lady had a lot to do with that. When I started choir in grade 10, one of my good friends and I joined pretty much because a friend in choir asked us to. The reason we stayed was Mrs. Gunther. Through 3 years I grew to love music, and singing, and I truly believe I am much better off for it. This wonderful woman inspired in me the love of music, which I will continue to grow upon for the rest of my life. She more importantly taught me how to be a better person. She not only taught me notes and rhythms, time signatures and keys (although I never really did the theory, she never really made you do something you didn't want to). She taught me to feel the music, to enjoy it. And above all, more important than the music, she taught me how to care for other people, how to forgive, to be patient, and how to be a genuinely good human being.
I will deeply miss this woman, and all the joy and light she brought to my life , as well as the countless other peopleshe touched. My most heartfelt sympathies go out to her family, and to the school, and anyone else who ever met this fabulous person. She will be missed.
Thank you Mrs. Gunther. For everything you gave me. I love you, and I will miss you dearly. I hope you are enjoying your new life, and I will see you again some day. =)
Dear Audrey, My sincere sympathy to your parents Dorothy and Bert
Strain and Family, and to your husband Garth and your children.
A beautiful. talented lady. You
will be remembered always. Cousin
Joan Uhrich ( sister of Mrs. Gunther) said to the choir, " God needed a new choir director, so he came and took the best one".
Its still very hard for the St. Marys community to believe that such a wonderful and kind hearted women who loved music could be so tragically taken away from the ones who loved her so dearly. At the funeral service on monday, the choir came together and at the end of the service and sang a joyfully spirited Siyahamba. It was great to sing together with the choir as one. Some day we will all sing together with Mrs. Gunther.
Deepest Sympathies to the Gunther Family.
I was never a student or even the parent of a student of Audrey's, but I met her once, at Carnegie Hall. Her radiant smile, firm handshake, kind words, and incandescant sincerity reflected the pure inner and genuine love she had for life itself. Per Ardua Ad Astra Audrey -- rest with the choirs of angels.
Mrs G, you always inspired me. You inspired me to use my gifts and talents to glorify my Creator. You taught me not only to love music, but to adore it. You showed us all love, and brought us together as a family. (I'll never forget the time another conductor asked how you created a family out of your choir, and you told him "well for starters, try smiling at them!!") You created a safe haven for your students, and gave comfort to anyone who came to you. Your door was always open, your smile always ready, your hugs always warm, and your direction always sound. I'll never forget all the blessed memories you gave each one of us, and the beautiful music you created through love and encouragement. Thank you for all you've done, and thank You God for such a wonderful person! Mrs G, you're always in my prayers.
First and foremost my condolences to the Gunther family. Audrey was the most generous and truly caring person I know. She was inspiring to all her students. Audrey was most warm and welcoming to everyone both in and outside of her choir.
She was not only a role model for me but also a wonderful friend, and mentor. Audrey was my guide throughout my high school years and even though she's gone, her memory has continued to spark my musical ambition. If it weren’t for her, I would not be here, in school continuing to study the music that both her and I love.
We must hold our heads high in this time of sorrow, for Audrey is in a better place now.
I will dearly miss Mrs. Gunther, the most beautiful teacher a student could ever know.
You were a beautiful and devoted wife and mother, an AMAZING teacher, and a wonderful friend. You truly were a gift to everyone who knew you, and those who did know you were touched in some way by your loving and caring spirit.
Thank you for the joy you brought to others. You were always so generous with your time; you always gave so much to your students, your family, and your friends.
Thank you for your warm friendship. What a wonderful, loving individual you were. I feel so blessed having known you and having been able to call you my friend. Thanks be to God for the gift of you. You are dear; you are loved, and you are missed.
I am so sorry that your life was cut short. You had so much more living to do. I’m sorry that you weren’t able to retire with Garth, that your children won’t have their “mom” and that your future grandchildren won’t have their “Grandma”. I’m sorry that more students won’t experience a learning relationship with you, that your colleagues won’t see your smile or hear your laughter, and that I won’t have a continued friendship with you.
God bless and keep you, Audrey. May Garth, your family, and your friends be filled with strength and peace.
With love, from your friend,
Loving thoughts of you and prayers for your family also from Kristin, Cally, and Michelle Nurkowski
Words cannot even begin to describe how blessed i feel to have known Mrs. Gunther. She was truly a remarkable teacher in the way that she passionately inspired each of us to discover our own voice. And while she gave me the chance-and the courage-to sing, i believe that to her it didnt matter whether or not you could hit a note, for she recognized the gift of song in whatever way one's song might manifest. She applauded her students for their accomplishments, and more importantly, for their efforts. She did not ask for perfection, but rather investment. She encouraged us to be our best, but loved us all the same when we were not. For her gift of commitment, generousity, passion, and unwavering faith, I will be forever thankful. There is no doubt in my mind that she is now leading a choir of angels in joyful song.
I had the pleasure of being one of Mrs. Gunther's students at St. Vincent de Paul. I chose St. Vincent because it offered a band program, and I couldn't have imagined a better experience, and at the time, I didn't know how profoundly music would affect my life.
Junior high was a strange time for me, and I remember the one thing that kept me smiling was the fact that I had either music class or band practice, both of which Mrs. Gunther was so passionate about. She did whatever she could to make it fun for us. She booked out of town band trips, she opened the music room up to us at lunch hour, and she even took on pieces of music that she knew we'd like. Being a drummer, I was especially happy that we had "Wipe Out" in our repertoire.
I can remember her cheery voice and glowing smile as if it were yesterday. She was there for so many people during an awkward time in their lives and offered each of us a way to feel right at home with music, whether it was in music class, the band, or the choir. Her patience, passion and dedication were so contagious and live on in everyone she touched.
She would have been so proud of the way the choir performed at her funeral. That beautiful music brought her right back to the room, smiling bigger than ever.
My deepest condolences to her family. If she meant this much to a student, I can't imagine the sadness of your loss. Please know that you are in all our prayers as we mourn Mrs. Gunther's passing.
I know that i've posted before, but I wanted to say thanks to everyone who attened on sun and mon. I saw a lot of people that I haven't seen in a long time, and it was nice that everyone got together, but im sure it would have been a lot better if mrs. gunther was here to reminisce the good times we all had together with all of us. I hope that we can all come together on a happier occasion and relive our moments with the most amazing woman i ever knew. I know that they Gunther family appreciated it especially the choir. It just goes to show what kind of an impact that mrs. gunther left on all of us. she will surely be missed.
Infinite thanks for all the wonderful memories that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Being in high school choir is absolutely my best high school memory, and it never would have been without your warm smile, your dedication, and your contagious love of music. You even made it easy to get up early for practise in the mornings! And how because of your contagious spirit, the choir grew and grew, and before long, being in choir was the popular thing to do!
Thanks for Seattle, and Orlando, and countless performances which gave each and every one of us such a tremendous pride and sense of belonging, so dearly needed during the high school years. I'll be singing for you!
To Erin, Corinne, Brett and Mr. Gunther - so sorry to hear about your mom. My prayers have been for your family and for your healing.
I am thinking of the Gunther family and hoping that you will be comforted in this time by the wonderful memories of such a wonderful woman! The news has hit me pretty hard considering I'm currently complelting my music education degree, a path I took because of the influence Mrs Gunther had on me while I was in choir at St Mary's. It is sad to think that she will not be around to make more beautiful music but I know those of us who knew her will continue her legacy by embracing music in our own lives as she did in hers. I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for you Mrs Gunther, I am eternally grateful to you for all you gave of yourself. Your love of music was infectious, I'll never forget you...
My sincere condolences to Mrs. Gunther's family, friends, and students. I only met Mrs. Gunther a few times at music concerts which my nephews were in, but I still think of her every time I listen to music from CDs I have from my nephews’ days in the St. Mary’s Choir. I remember my first time at one of her concerts being so moved by the beautiful music, but also by the abundance of joy I saw in each and every student performing. I remember thinking how blessed these students were to have a teacher so obviously talented, but more importantly a teacher with such great compassion for her students who could bring the best out of each and every one of them. I was happy knowing that all of these students knew that they had created something so worthwhile. I even remember telling my sister-in-law that I was going to write a letter to her to let her know I wished there was at least one teacher like her in every school in the world. I regret that I never did write that letter, but I truly believe that she does now know how much she touched the lives of so many people. My mother, who attended many performances, feels the same as I do and sends her condolences.
I feel so blessed and honoured to have taught with Audrey so many years ago in Leduc and to call her my friend. I will treasure all the memories we shared over the past 24 years. She was so gentle, kind and loving and touched everyone she came across. She will be deeply missed, but will live forever in our hearts.
My deepest condolences go out to Garth, Corrine, Erin, Brett, all your extended family and the students and staff of St. Mary's High School. I will keep you in my prayers. God Bless
My deepest condolences go out to Mrs.Gunthers family. Mrs.Gunther taught me English in grade 11 in 1996 and its seems like it was yesturday. When I heard that it was her who was in that terrible accident I could not stop thinking about her it has brought back so many wonderful memories.She was such a wonderful lady she made the class so enjoyable; Eventhough it has almost been ten years since that time I can never forget the most inncredible teacher I had. She was so amazing and I will always have her in my thoughts and prayers.My Deepest Regards,
Condolences to the Gunther Family. I have been singing for the past 10 years. It is such a huge part of my life and has defined the person I have become. I have sung for the University of Calgary Jazz Ensemble, sung in CBC Specials, Sung with local bands. But it would all be for nothing if I had not met your mother, wife and My teacher Audrey. I was one of the Boys she recruited when she had only a handful to teach. I never knew I could sing. She not only showed me how to sing, she taught me how to perform and share a piece of my soul. I can never repay or tell her what she has done for me but for every note I sing I'll sing it in tribute to her. Thank you Mrs. Gunther! We'll meet again one day!
My sympathies go out to Audrey's family during this difficult time. Audrey has touched the lives of hundreds of students through her choral music, and I like to think that fragments of Audrey's caring, enthusiasm, and dedication continue to pour out across the world, from wherever her students have ended up. It was an honour and pleasure to be in her Audrey's choir ten years ago, and memories of our local outings and trip to Quebec City seem like they just happened yesterday.
My sincerest condolences go out to Mrs. Gunther's family; I had the distinct pleasure of being a student of hers throughout highschool, and will never forget the unfailing kindness she showed to myself--and to all, with an ernestness and enthusiasm the like of which I know I will never see again.
My deepest sympathies are with your family,
I had the priviledge and honor to sing for Mrs. Gunther all through High School. Her boundless enthusiasm for music and her ability to foster this enthusiasm in her students is a gift that will be sorely missed. Every time I sing I think of the beautiful gift that she has given me and I am so thankful.
Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent
Mrs. Gunther was more than just a teacher. For me she was a mentor, and a friend. For three years she was there for me and guided me to become a better person. I was never the best singer, and I’ll be the first to admit that, but Mrs. Gunther never saw your faults, she would always make you work to your potential and unlock talents you never thought you had. She was a big part of my life, and she changed my life for the better. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for Mrs. Gunther. I wouldn’t be singing or dancing if it wasn’t for Mrs. Gunther. Sadly she was taken from us; on Tuesday October 17, 2006 she was struck by a car and died from her injuries leaving me and all those who knew her in despair. She touched our hearts, inspired thousands, and changed all of our lives.
I decided to go back to the school on Friday October 20th. It was a kind of weird feeling to walk back into St. Mary’s that day. Walking through the halls, I had all of these memories rush back to me. I got to see a lot of the teachers that once taught me, I even saw teachers that never taught me or knew me, and they all knew that there was only one teacher I was looking for. There were quite a few alumni there that day, and just as if we never left high school, we found ourselves sitting in the choir room. When I walked into the choir room, everything was there as if nothing had ever changed, just as it always had been…her desk, her piano, the piles of marked/unmarked assignments, pictures, and music everywhere. It was our safe haven from everything else that was going on in the school. I used music to escape everything that was going on in my life and I still do, but yesterday was different. I couldn’t sing a song to escape reality this time. There were people there that I didn’t know, but at the same time it seemed like we all knew each other for years. We were all there for the same reason, and eventually, we gathered around the piano that we were so used to seeing and just started singing…and as much joy as I get from singing...it hurt this time...it hurt because she wasn’t there to conduct us anymore. And what hurts even more, is seeing that empty choir room where she used to grace us with her music, only to know that she’s not coming back when this tragic event shouldn’t have happened in the first place.
Music is very important to me and it is a vital part of my life. Mrs. Gunther is the reason why I have such a great appreciation for music. I find that music can express things that I want to say when I can’t find the right words.
Today, Monday October 23rd, 2006, we sang in your honor. you helped bless us with the gift of music and though you weren't there to direct us in person, i felt you directing me in spirit. i wish that i could sing along side you once more, that you can direct me once more, but for now i have to be patient because i know that the day will come again where we will be reunited and singing together once again. until then God bless. I will miss you forever.
I just want to take the time and personally thank Mrs. Gunther:
Mrs. Gunther, you taught me more than I could have ever hoped for. You were always there for me when I really needed someone and you always made time for me. Your passion for music and your love for you students inspired me and helped me grow as a person, an individual, and as a musician. I never thought “Praise His Holy Name” would be the last song I would sing with you. I never got the chance to thank you for everything you’ve done for me. I love you. You mean so much to me. I will miss you and carry you in my heart forever. May you continue to inspire me and stay in my memories forever. Thank you…for everything. May you rest in peace.
“God in heaven hear our prayer,
Keep us in Your love and care,
Be our guide in all we do
Bless all those who love us too”
My deepest condolences. audrey was a very special woman to me and to all of her friends and students. she will surely be missed by all. God Bless
To Corrine, Erin, and Brett:
I've never met you before, but I wish that I had. I know that your personalities embody those qualities of your mother. She inspired me to be better and to strive for the best and I'm sure she did the same with you. I now hold her in my memories and in my heart and I am deepy sorry for you loss. I will miss your mother greatly and so will all that knew her. We now not only sing for her but for your family. God Bless you all.
To all her students:
Mrs. Gunther hasn't left us, but the contrary, we all have a part of her with us, her spirit flows through us and she will be with us forever. Everytime you sing, she sings with you, every time you take direction, she's there helping direct you. So do not be sad, but be glad that you have a piece of her everyhere you go and that she is helping you spread the gift of music to everyone that listens.
Kenneth Vincent Co
Saint Mary’s High School Choir 00 - 03
Dear Garth and the Gunther Family,
Even in her passing Mrs. Gunther continues to bring people together through the many fond memories and songs she left us. My condolences to you in your time of grieving. She will be greatly missed.
Hands down, Mrs. Gunther was the most generous and caring person I had the pleasure of knowing. Be it moral support to calm the nerves before a big performance, or advice to get you through the day, Mrs. Gunther never failed to take time out of her busy day to help. My deepest sympathies to the entire family.
My sympathies are with Mrs. Gunther's family. Although I never had her as a teacher, she was always smiling whenever you saw her in the hall. She had a caring aura about her, and brought wonderful music through the choir to all our celebrations.
My prayers go out to Mrs. Gunther's family and friends. She was a wonderful teacher with so much love and joy to pass around to all of her students! I felt so privileged today to be able to sing her favourite songs with her current choir and past alumni. I know she was there today directing us in our hearts. She brought out the best in all of us and I am so blessed to have had her as a teacher and mentor. She will live forver in our hearts. God Bless Mrs. Gunther and thank you for everything!
My deepest sympathy is with your family.
Please accept my deepest sympathies. My thoughts go out to you and your family at this difficult time. May your memories bring comfort.
Having met Audrey a number of times through her dear friend Sandi,
I know she was a very special lady with a wonderfull passion for music and her students.
My sincerest sympathy and prayers go out to her family during this very difficult time. Tonnie Leatherdale
Even I though I never had and/or knew Mrs. Gunther personally, please accept my deepest sympathies to the Gunther family.
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Honestly, singing was never my favorite - but I absolutely loved being a part of Mrs. Gunther’s choir. Every time I think of her, I smile. I remember how excited she would get at the beginning of choir practice and how her face would light up whenever she saw any of her students in the hallways; we were always just as happy to see her.
I will continue to pray for her and for her family. Mrs. Gunther was an amazing person - she touched so many people and we are all so thankful.
I miss you, Mrs. Gunther.
and Corrine and to the rest of the Gunther family. Your mom was an
incriedable person. Its no wonder you all turned out how you did. It
was an honor to do her hair for so long. My deepest feelings are with
Mrs. Gunther, There's not much I can say except that your passing has left a great void in the community. Your warmness and cheerfulness was always eminent in your dealings with others. Your love and compassion for you students was always limitless, and your encouragment was nothing far from impeccable. Despite years away from Calgary, I can hear the voices of my friends in your choir, knowing that they are a wonderful product of your legacy. With deepest sympathy, I would like to extend my condolences to the family. Although you are gone, your beautiful sound will always resonate within us. God bless.
Mrs. Gunther was one of the nicest teachers I have ever met. I am pretty sure that all the students at St. Mary's share the same sentiments that I do when I say that she will be greatly missed by all. Thank you Audrey Gunther for everything that you've done for all your students.
Audrey Gunther was an amazing woman who touched many lives, especially those of us who were priviledge enough to have her as a teacher and friend. Her kindness and joyful spirit was refreshing in a crazy high school world. She was always there to listen or help with a smile on her face. Thank you for all your love and guidance. You will be missed but your tremendous spirit lives on.
Garth Gunther and Family
Our thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort. Garth, Kim and I never met Audrey but it sounds like she touched everybody she met in some special way.
You helped me to sing again Mrs. Gunther, and you didn't hesitate to help when I came to you. We loved you.
Mrs. Gunther was a person that offered constant support and guidance. She was always ready with inspiration or understanding, depending upon what the situation required. More than that, I will always remember her quiet courage and ability to instill confidence in people. I’m saddened to say that until this tragic event, I never realized the impact she had on my life, both professional and personal, helping spur me into the profession of education with energetic words and gentle advice. Mrs. Gunther will be missed this day, and in the days to come. I would like to offer my sincerest condolences to you Mr. Gunther, and to your family. May you all find peace and comfort in your time of sorrow.
I had the privilege of working with Audrey at St. Marys High School from her appointment until my retirement in 1999.
As a teacher Audrey was the consummate professional and in her dedication to both her students and the choral program she set an excellent example for all teachers to emulate.
She was a warm, caring and supportive colleague who was really generous with her time. It was easy to consider her a good friend.
I was always envious of the relationships she was able to engender with her students that could draw from them such a commitment to and an enjoyment of choir. but, I did not envy her the many, many hours outside normal teaching time that she willingly spent on choir practice and performances as well as the myriad 'behind the scene' tasks that are a necessary part of running an extra curricular program at such a successful level. This was all time that could otherwise have been spent with her family.
St. Marys High School students, teachers and alumni have suffered a great loss, but it is difficult even beginning to imagine how devastating Audrey's loss as a wife and mother is, and will continue to be for her family.
My thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time.
Garth and family,
Gwenda and I were very saddened to hear of Audrey's passing. We remember both of you very well. We were young couples back then, and we are not surprised that Audrey accomplished so much in her life and career, and shared so much with so many. Gwenda recalls going to synchronized swimming classes in Regina with Audrey, and of course you and I thumped around the basketball court. Good memories of good people.
Our hearts are with you and your family.
Dear Mrs. Gunther -
Thank you for being a mentor and a friend. I will always cherish the experiences and knowledge you helped us to develope.
The opportunities and the experiences that Mrs. Gunther gave to me will always be cherished. Being a part of the choir and the vocal ensemble gave me the chance to learn about music and the beautiful emotions it brings along with it. Mrs. Gunther created a healthy atmosphere in her classroom where everyone was welcomed. It was no surprise how great music is at St. Mary’s and that credit could be given to Mrs. Gunther. The choir was more than just a choir, thanks to her, we were a family. Thank you Mrs. Gunther for everything, you will most definitely be missed.
On behalf of my son Jonathan, we would like to offer our sincere sympathy to the family of Mrs. Gunther. Even though I had never met her I felt deeply saddened when my son told me about her death. It touched him deeply as I am sure it did all the students and teachers at St.Mary's. She will always remain in all our hearts.
Mrs. Gunther was my homeroom teacher for three years, and a stellar one at that. She was such a soft, joyous presence in the morning; you couldn't help but love her. She will be dearly missed, and fondly remembered.
To the Gunther family;
The impact that Audrey had on everyone was amazing. I had hardly known her when she was assigned my group to chaperone in our choir/band flordia trip last year, and she was anything but hesitant to open up and treat me as if I was a student of her own. She was one of those people that no matter how you know them, their life makes some sort of impact on your own.
Rest in peace, our angel of song and music.
Garth and family. We are truly sadden by your loss. Words can not even begin to express are shock and remorse for you and your family's loss. We will be in attendance on Monday and thoughts are with you and your family.
Bobbie and Bruce MacKinnon
Mrs. Gunther was an angel- not many people in this life contribute as much as she did to the people around her. She shared her love of music with thousands, and she will live on in the songs of many forever. I will never forget walking through the halls on the way to band practice, and hearing the first choir members laughing and singing in the choir room. Her choirs leant an ethereal quality to school masses, and you could not only hear choristers enthusiasm in their song, but read their love for music and for Mrs. Gunther on their faces when she led them in concert. She was an incredible gift to the St. Mary's community, and to the families and friends of her students who heard the fruits of her labour. Always there for anyone who needed a hug, she was one of the sweetest women I'll ever know.
My deepest condolances to her friends and family, and the students at St. Mary's who must try to carry on the music without her.
Although we will miss you here on earth Mrs. Gunther, the angels have inherited a special gift- and when I hear them sing I'll always know it's you leading their music.
Dear Mrs.Gunther, thank you for all the great years and just being so wonderful. Mrs. Gunther was my English teacher and also my TA for three years. I had the great opportunity to get to know her and find out that, she's the nicest most caring person i have met.I just want to thank you for being the great teacher and friend that only Mrs. Gunther could be. You will be dearly missed!
My deepest condolences go out to the Gunther family.
Garth, my sincerest condolences to you and your family. It has been many years since we worked and played basketball together in Regina.
Those days, and the evenings we spent socializing with you and Audrey and our other friends were some of the best in my life.
I well remember Audrey's smile, so captured in the many pages of testimonials here before my entry, and her soft spoken, but always positive attitude.
You were a picture perfect couple then and I am sure remained so for the past 30 odd years. There will no doubt be a huge hole in your life. Know that your friends will miss Audrey too, and that we are here to share time and to lean on, as best we can.
In my life I have met only a handful of people like Mrs. Gunther. She was a great teacher, but more she was an amazing person. She accepted you whether you were a great singer or not, she always encouraged, and never judged.
Mrs. Gunther was my choir teacher and she was a big part of making my High School years memorable.
As I sit here and try to summ up my feelings and try to think of something say to a lady that touched so many lives, including my own, all I can say is, THANK YOU!
To the Gunther family, my thoughts and prayers are with you.
-Class of 99-
Who are we?
We are the product of all the external influences in life - from circumstance, choices, and other people. Some of these factors, small or large, can affect the entire outcome of your path in life. Some call it destiny... some call it fate. Have you ever thought back and imagined what you would become, had you chosen another path? Your choice of friends, place of schooling, food you eat, activities you do... they all make up who you are now. You can try to change, andyou can try to erase history, but it is always there. We are merely puppets of time and our external influences. Its the choices we make to accept or deny these things that give us the seemingly little control we have on our lives. Given more thought, we are simply intertwined to the inner workings of time and life - it cannot be altered, as frustrating as it may be.
Of all these influences, it is other people who have the greatest hold of your past, present and future... your destiny. Parents, siblings, family, teachers, and friends have shaped you like the clay in the hands of an artist. They are the inner workings, and foundation to which you have grown on. They point you in the right direction when you are lost, they pull you up when you fall down, they inspire you to grow and change, they are the wealth of information to mysteries of life, and they are the warmth to your heart. Some have a bigger influence than others, and some, you cannot live without. These people can show you a world that you thought could never exist, and give new meaning to life itself. As you age, you manage to give yourself proper footing to navigate the adventures of life, letting go of these foundations, always knowing that they are there in times of need.
Over time, these foundations crumble and fade away and will have given you valuable knowledge to pass on to future generations. Unfortunately, some fade sooner than expected, leaving you only memories and a yearning for their wisdom and inspiration.
Mrs. Audrey Gunther was one of these people. She had given me light into a world I didn't know existed, and has inspired to develop a part of me which has become a vital part of my life. She did not only teach music, but she gave me a reason to love it. On Tuesday, October 17th, she was struck by a car, and she died from her injuries. This news was a shock to me and to all those who have witnessed her incredible personality and warmth. She has changed the lives of thousands of people with her inspiration, and her love to teach us music. She was the smile that greeted us at 7 in the morning for choir practice, and the powerful director who guided us in concert at night. She has given me priceless memories, and a reason to keep music a part of my life.
For those who did not know her, she was one of the sculptors who had a direct influence to who I am today. For those who did know her, I'm sure that you can say the same for yourselves. Its sad to know that you think of someone when they are no longer here. Take some time into thinking about who has affected you in this way and appreciate them for being there. I took them for granted, and never took the time into thinking hard enough about their impact on me.
Who am I?
I am the product of all the external influences of my life - from circumstance, friends, family, and Mrs. Gunther. Too soon have you left us behind in this world. May you be the fire and warmth in our hearts, and in stay in our memories for the years to come. May you rest in peace.
To begin, my sincerest condolences to the Gunther family. Mrs. Gunther was one of the best teachers I've ever had. She helped make grade 10 and 11 two of the best years of my life. Though I was never in choir, I spent a great deal of time in the choir room watching them rehearse. I was able to observe Mrs. Gunther's contagious enthusiasm and the joy she found in music.
It was no different in the IB music classroom. I had the priveledge of being in her IB music class, and she was always so deeply involved in any of the music we were listening to.
I remember going to the opera with Mrs. Gunther and some fellow classmates in grade 11. she had always told us that opera was her favourite because it incorporated theatre, choral, and instrumental music. This was my first experience with opera, but Mrs. Gunther made it an unforgettable trip, and instilled within me an even deeper appreciation of the performing arts.
she will be sorely missed. One less gigantic smile in the hallway, one less lover of the arts.
We love you Mrs. Gunther.
Dear Gunther Family
You have been in my thoughts and prayers ever since passing the accident scene about 9:30pm Tues. Even though I have never met you, the moving stories in the Herald about Audrey's life and your family life together has touched my life deeply. Every day I drive past that intersection on my way to work and say a prayer for you. My deepest sympathies.
- A Resident of the Community
Mrs. Gunther was an one my fondest memories during my highschool years,even though I was enrolled in other extra curricular activities. I made time for choir cause something made me want to good for her. She always expected the best out of us. Possibly cause she wanted the best for us. We see by the lengths she went to for us to perform in extraodinary places. She will be sadly missed.
Garth Gunther and family.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you in your grief. Audrey has left a legacy that all will remember thoughout their lifetime.
May God be with you and your family in this most difficult time.
Jim & Linda Wilkie and family.
When I heard about Mrs. Gunther, tears rolled down my cheeks, my heart was broken. Such a beautiful, kind-hearted woman, and an excellent teacher. Mrs. Gunther cared for each and everyone of us, and even got through to the some of the tougher students.
I was in Mrs. Gunther's class in grade 10 and 11, thinking I had no chance considering I failed the previous class. But I was wrong. She taught me to love poetry, and she helped me improve my writing. I really enjoyed english with her and I learned so much! I can definetly say she was my favorite teacher. I will truly miss her, and there will always be a place in my heart for her.
I give my deepest sympathy to Mrs. Gunther's family, I am so sorry for your loss, and I want you all to know that she will be in my prayers every night.
Mrs. Gunther: Although you arn't here with us in person, I know your spirit is still here. You will be greatly missed by so many people, and we were all so lucky to have known such a wonderful, genuinely, kind person.
Until we meet again Mrs. Gunther, thank-you so much for everything.
Not all students have the good fortune to come under the influence of a superb teacher like Audrey Gunther. Mrs. Gunther treated her students with love and respect and showed them that hard work leads to great satisfaction for themselves and the team they are part of. Her spirit will live on in the self-respect and self-confidence that she instilled in every student she touched. Our daughter is one of those students and we are truly grateful for the part Audrey played in her personal development. Garth, our thoughts are with you and your family. Audrey was a wonderful person, never to be forgotten.
Always loved; always cherished.
Dear Mrs. Gunther,
You were the teacher that always gave everyone a chance to shine. I feel lucky to have known you and been able to share you love of music. Thank you so much for always being there and for teaching from the heart.
"but I'll miss you most of all my darling.. when autumn leaves start to fall"
My greatest sympathy and condolences to the family of Mrs.Gunther. She is the mentor with the kindest heart and will definitely always be remembered by the whole st.mary’s hs community. Nobody can equal her gift of handling the choir. Thank you Mrs.Gunther and God bless you. You will be deeply missed.
I wish to send my condolences to the entire family and the school. Our school this year also suffered from a fatal car crash and are still grieving over the loss. May God be with you in this time of need.
I was away from Calgary on vacation and upon returning home today was devestated to learn of Audrey's untimely death. Having taught Audrey and her daughter Corinne singing, I am very aware of the huge hole that her absence will create both for her friends and family and for her students, past and present. Audrey endowed all who were fortunate to be in her presence with a sense of dignity and self worth. Her grace and warm smile were unforgettable and her genuine goodness will inspire me always.
I am a grade 12 student at St. Mary's High School and I have had the great pleasure of having Mrs. Gunther as a choir teacher for two years. I cannot say in words how much of an impact she has had on my life, whether it be making new friends, learning new songs, creating new memories, or performing. Many of my best times occured in that choir room or on numerous choir trips. This year I decided that I wouldn't have time to join choir for the third year instead I needed to spend more time on my studies. I terribly regret quiting this year. Choir practice always relieved the stress in me after a long day at school. As much as i dragged going to practices, i loved it to death. Mrs. Gunther made me enjoy music that much more and i thank her for that.
My deepest condolences go to the Gunther family. God Bless. You will be terribly missed.
I was really sadden to here the news. Even though I had you only for one subject you still made an impact on me. There was that connection being in the music. I learned a lot from you. And I felt proud that you were one of my teachers. You will be missed. (class of 2001)
Dear Gunther family
I am so very sorry for your loss. I am also very sorry for the loss of such a wonderful teacher and mentor. Mrs. Gunther made such a difference in my daughter's life in St. Mary's. She went from being scared and a bit lonely to someone who truly enjoyed her high school years. She loved being in the choir, and sometimes now I catch her singing in her room just for the joy of it. I truly believe Mrs. Gunther had a huge impact on my daughter's confidence and self-esteem and I am ever grateful to her. God Bless your family. Cathie Dallas
Dear Gunther family,
Though I didn't know Mrs. Gunther personally, I knew of her. She was an inspiration to many and will be greatly missed by all. My sincerest condolensces.
Dear Gunther family,
I wish to extend my sincere condolences in your time of sorrow. Despite losing touch with Ms. Gunther nearly ten years ago, I still remember her vividly. She was a formative influence and a source of tremendous good in my life.
Ms. Gunther knew me at my worst – a petulant, self-important, over-privileged child (very much like “Joseph” of “The Amazing Technicolored Dream Coat” variety). Yet she saw something good in me and – more importantly – encouraged me to see good in others.
I am a better person for having known her.
Tim Foran (St. Mary’s, Class of ’97)
Mrs. Gunther was my teacher from the 7th grade until the 12th. She taught me in may subjects including language arts, religious studies and of course her passion, music. She is the reason I love music. Over the 6 years she became less of teacher to me and more of nurturer. She was like a "Mom at school". What I remember most about Mrs. Gunther was her grace and patience and that lovely smile. She loved her students and was wasn't afraid to show it. I am saddened by her passing but I trust that her spirit lives within each of us that she touched so deeply.
My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
We were really saddened when we found out what had happened. It was really shocking. You were a great choir teacher. You made classes so enjoyable, and we will continue to everything you taught us to. We know that whenever we have a performance, you will be with us, singing along, and watching over us.
-Crystal de Guzman and Jessica Diep
I'd like the Gunther family to know that my 13 yr. old son and I prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet prayers for the soul and family of the injured when we drove past the accident scene last week. We are sorry for your loss.
I will be forever grateful to Audrey for instilling a ‘love of music’ in my daughter. Audrey was a wonderful person, a gift to her students and the parents of her students. We feel blessed for having known her. Our prayers go out to Audrey's family.
To the Gunther Family:
My deepest condolences. Mrs. Gunther was a Fantastic choir teacher and St. Mary's will miss her very much. She taught me some great techniques for singing and i plan to use them for the rest of my life. I will miss Mrs. Gunther very much and So will the rest of the school. She was and still is "The Best!"
I have such wonderful memories of Audrey. I especially remember her enthusiasm for nature and music. On the weekends she would organize family trips to local outdoor conservation areas. She loved to go hiking and had such an appreciation of the outdoors. At Christmas time, she would encourage us to go caroling in the neighbourhood and when we came back home she would play the piano and we would sing. I will never forget these times. She was such a special person. My condolences go out to the Gunther family. I'm so sorry for your loss.
Dear Gunther Family, Colleagues, and Past-Present Students of St. Mary's,
"No bond is as great as that between a parent and child."
Audrey, you consistently provided Unconditional Love towards us all. It is with your words that guided me to stay home with my own two sons. Thank you.
My deepest condolences are with you as you grieve.
(Art Teacher, St. Mary's H.S.)
Mrs. Gunther was my Grade 7 English and Music teacher at St. Vincent de Paul. Her contagious and perpetual smile would always brighten my day. She loved all her students and treated us as if we were her own children. I moved on to St. Mary's and remember one day hearing a familiar voice calling my name as I was walking to class. Rest assured it was Mrs. Gunther, with the same smile I could never forget. Her dedication to her students was unmatched and she will truly be missed by the thousands of us she has touched over the years. God bless you Mrs. Gunther as you watch over us from above the same way you did when you were among us.
When I received the news about Mrs. Gunther I was shocked to hear that the world had lost such a great and influential person. Her smile was contagious. I know she is smiling down on us with that same bright smile from the heavens above. May God grant her family the strength and unity to get through this hard time...but for them to rest assured that she is truly in a better place watching over us.
God Bless you Mrs. Gunther!!!
I can not share any direct stories of Mrs. Gunther's immeasurable kindness and generosity, but I will still extend my most sincere condolences. I know for a fact she touched many many students present and past at St. Mary's, and such positive influence can not be measured, much less forgotten.
I am someone whom Audrey might not have known that she touched. She used to come to the store where I worked to buy music for her beloved choral programs. I always looked forward to Audrey's visits because she was one of the few customers that had a true love and appreciation for music. She will be greatly missed.
My condolences to the Gunther family. When I was the School Resource Officer at St. Mary's I had oportunities to talk with Audrey about music and the students that would participate. We both agreed that music played a great part in calming their lifes. It was evident she loved her job and the people she worked with just by watching her work. She will be missed.
School Resource Officer
Presidednt Calgary Police Chorus
Calgary Police Service
Mrs. Gunther exuded a kindheartedness and humanity that was overwhelmingly contagious. Her devotion to music and love of life was most inspiring. I'm richer to have known her, and consider myself lucky to call her my teacher. Mrs. Gunther's death is a great loss to all the students who benfited so greatly from her erudition, passion and kindliness. Thank you for everything Mrs. Gunther, the world needs people like you, I'm so sad you are gone.
"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops." Henry Adams
I have the following to say:
The name of the woman who died in the pedestrian collision on Tuesday was Audrey Gunther.
Audrey was married and had three children. She taught Choral Music and English at St. Mary’s High School.
Mrs. Gunther was a very special lady. She had a passion for music that inspired her students to share that passion. Her optimism was unparalleled. Even when we did not believe that we were ready for a performance, she would always be there to tell us that it didn’t matter whether or not we were perfect, and that we should never wait until we were, because it would never happen. People would love listening to us even if we made mistakes. She was extremely dedicated to her students, and she always put us before herself. She would come to school early and stay late as well as give up her lunch hours to rehearse with us.
She could always tell when someone was having a bad day and she knew how to make them feel better. I know that there were many times when she had uplifted me after a such a day. Her infinite joy of life and unending positive attitude were contagious.
She was always ready to sing, and I am very grateful to her for the music that she shared with all of us, her students. It was one of the greatest gifts that she gave. Her encouragement and dedication were contagious and made us work hard.
Her hard work really reaped the rewards last spring in Florida. We attended the Heritage Music Festival in Orlando where she drove us to win gold and silver awards in choral music. As well, in conjunction with the band, allowed us to bring home the Orlando Heritage Festival Sweepstakes award, which we earned by having the highest total score between band and choir combined. It also happened to be the biggest trophy on the table!
I had to bring it home on the plane, so I can definitely say that it was huge! I remember running through Toronto Pearson International Airport, carrying the trophy, feeling as though the music to “Chariots of Fire” should be playing as we ran to catch our connecting flight to Calgary.
After we had found out about her passing, when we were praying and remembering her, one of my peers had said, “I didn’t know Mrs. Gunther very well, but seeing so many people mourn for her so deeply is a testament to the kind of person she was and the kind of life she lead.”
Mrs. Gunther was also quite a culinary artist. Every once in a while, she would bring baking to early morning choir practices. We often had tasty cookies or muffins. Even after the school board wanted only healthy foods for snacks in schools, she would always find a way to make her baking more healthy.
She never turned anyone away from choir, and would always welcome any person that came with open arms, encouraging them to sing. Many students said that they had never sung in a choir before high school, but Mrs. Gunther took those people and turned them into choristers. The choir room was a place where you could be relieved of the stresses of the day. If you’d just come from a test that you didn’t like or were nervous about one coming up, getting lost in the music was extremely uplifting.
Mrs. Gunther was like a second mother to all of us. She took care of us in a way that was very much like the way our own mothers took care of us. I remember when I was in grade ten, there was a small group of choir students and a parent, along with Mrs. Gunther, and we were heading out to the Alberta Youth Choir at Camp Caroline. We stopped in a town along the way for lunch at a Tim Horton’s and it just so happened that I didn’t have any money with me, so Mrs. Gunther bought me lunch and she said, “I’d hope that anyone would do the same for my kids.”
She taught us the importance of independence and interdependence at appropriate times. She would always encourage each person to bring their music home and learn their part independently, and of course, when we got together as a group, she showed us how to teach and help each other.
She took such good care of herself that it was impossible for her students to determine her age. All we knew was that she looked far younger than she was. She always ate healthy and went for runs when she had preps.
Earlier in the week, I remember that we had come across a passage while reading Hamlet. The basic idea was that once you came to love someone, a part of you goes with them when they leave you. This is most certainly true of all of her students.
Mrs. Gunther had a prayer that she always said before we had a performance. It went like this:
God in heaven, hear our prayer,
keep us in your loving care.
Be our guide in all we do,
bless all those who love us, too.
I always appreciated the simple but powerful message that this prayer offered, and I always smiled whenever she recited it.
One of my teachers said, “If you have been successful in this life on earth, you will know, because when you die and leave this world, everyone will remember the kindness and generosity that you have given them.” Mrs. Gunther has most definitely been successful.
Garth and family:
We are so sorry to hear about the loss of Audrey. Although, at such a time as this, there is little one can do, I hope it helps in some small way to know our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. So sorry for your loss. God bless you and your family.
Audrey had given me a book that contained special messages about friendship and in it she wrote, "Dear Wendy, Hope you'll enjoy these little messages and remember me. Love, Audrey(with an eighth note)" . . . Always and forever, dear friend, always and forever. . . and when I lift my hands to direct my choir on Sunday morning, I know that you and Our Father will be there to hold them up.
Our love, thoughts and prayers go out to Garth, Corinne and Graham, Erin and Ali, Brett,Tawny and Diva, the Strain family, the Gunther family and Audrey's many friends, colleagues and students . . . and to the gang from Alexander Drive.
Love and God Bless,
The Arnold Family (John, Wendy, Scott, Michael, Vicki and Dugan)
I read the many entries posted from former students and parents that have been graced by Mrs. Gunther's presence and see how much each and every one of these people really loved her, yet I cannot find the words to express how much she really meant to me.
All I know is that I will always remember our trip to New York, I will always remember that you called me "Noel" and I will always remember that you were more than just a teacher, you were a mentor and a great friend. I'll miss you so much Mrs. Gunther. God Bless.
How do so many students and staff deal with the loss of such an amazing women? It's not something that any of us were ready for. Mrs. Gunther was an insperation to so many of us kids. The passion and love for music that she had was brought into practices every single day was beyond incredible. Even when we didn't want to be in choir, she had a way of making it more exciting and more fun than the last time! She touched everyone who's ever been a part of her life, from her students inside her choir room, to the students and staff at the school, even to all the parents of her students. Mrs. Gunther was the most kind hearted, loving teacher i've ever had the privilege of knowing. She has shaped my love of music and i will forever be grateful to her! You will never be forgotten and you will always be missed!
I had the distinct honor of having Mrs. Gunther as my teacher twice, first at St. Vincent, and again at St. Mary's when she joined us.
I can still remember the excitment the few of us from St. Vincent had when we realized Mrs. Gunther was coming to St. Mary's, and how we looked forward to having her teach us again. She had the most infectious enthusiasm, and most optimistic outlooks that you couldn't help but smile.
Jr. High and High school was never the easiest time in life. A lot of transitions but many of us knew that if we need to be cheered up, Mrs. Gunther was just down the hallway.
In later years, whenever I would visit St. Mary's, she was one of the teachers I would first visit. I remember the joy she had in hearing our success, success that she in no small part helped us achieve.
Her legacy will live on in all the students she taught, and all the lives she has changed.
Until we meet again
Garth and family, I was devastated to hear about Audrey; I am not at all surprised with the legacy she has left. I loved her for her kindness, her wonderful sense of humor, her love of music, and most of all for her zest for life. My friend Audrey and our relationship defines friendship to me. My childhood and school years are defined by things Audrey and I did together and the thoughts and feelings we shared. I am so glad Audrey and I were able to reconnect over the last few years. When we did, I remembered why she was my friend for so many years and why I loved her so much. There is much I could write about Audrey and still never capture how much she meant to me and how much I will miss her. I think Helen Keller said it well, "With the death of eery friend I love..a part of me has been buried..but their contribution to my being of happiness, strength, and understanding remains to sustain me in an altered world." My thoughts are with you all, and I know Audrey is in heaven wishing we will rejoice her life,rather than let sorrow over come us. I am trying so hard to do that. Love Beth
Mrs. Gunther, I will never forget your patience, dedication and kindness. I pray that your family will find comfort during this difficult and challenging time.
Mrs.Gunther had the ability to make the grumpiest person smile. She could teach someone without a heart to love and make the most unmusical person in the world, sing like an angel. She had the ability to touch every person she came in contact with in some way or another. Whether it was her passion for music, her love of her students or just her never-ending zest for life.
The day of her passing, as I cried an amount of tears I never thought possible to come from a human being, I was asked several times if I was close with her. My reply was always the same, "It was impossible for you to be in choir and not be close with her." She made an unbelievable connection with all those who were lucky enough to encounter her on their paths of learning. She kept the spirit of music alive in everyone's hearts.
She was my "park chaperone" in Florida, and I remember that we had the opportunity to go to Universal Studios for two days, so for the first day, we were to go to the more "educational side" of the park with the learning of all the Universal pictures, etc. We, however, ended up going to the ride section of the park and all day, simply couldn't figure out why we didn't see anyone from the rest of our school. It hit us as we headed over to the other section of the park for the Mardi Gras parade, and all we could do was laugh.
She had the amazing talent for making you cherish the things we do, remembering them, and, in alot of situations, she taught us how to fo that through music. She taught us that music wasn't just a hobby, it was an art from the soul, and the lessons that she taught us will never be forgotten. She was like a second mother to all and will continue to be an inspirational light to us all.
My deepest regrets to her family and friends, she will be greatly missed. God Bless.
Ms. Gunther was a very talented teacher with lots of patience for all her students. Both of my daughters, Jennifer and Cynthia, were very fortunate to have her as their music teacher. I enjoyed all the concerts and appreciated her hard work especially those at Stage West and Jubilations. I had the opportunity to get to know her more during the Edmonton Trip in April, 2005. She was like a personal friend since then, what a lovely lady! I'll always miss her and her smile.
My deepest condolences to the Gunther Family and Mr. & Mrs. Strain.
Audrey Gunther was more then just a teacher, she was a friend.
She gave us joy when we had only sorrow.
She gave us light when there was only darkness.
She may be gone, but her teachings of love and joy will go on forever.
Mrs. Gunther was an amazing teacher, she was passionate and cared for every one of her students. She was a second mother to many of us. She always had a smile on her face. If you had a bad day she would always cheer you up.
RIP Mrs. Gunther, you were truley an amazing person.
Audrey Gunther is a soul that will be forever missed at St. Mary's. She was a remarkable individual who touched the lives of many. I want to express my deepest sympathies both to Audrey's family and to the students of St. Mary's High School, for I can truly say that St. Mary's will never be the same. Mrs. Gunther we will forever keep you in our hearts.
Time froze from the minute you left us, never have we met someone as wonderful as you. From every smile that you've given us, to every single advice that you have spoken to us. You leave no small scar in our lives, and sometimes we just needed that smile of yours to pick ourselves up from a crummy day. You will be deeply missed and be remembered by your teachings, laughter and music. We all know you are up there now watching us, with that giant smile across your face. You made a difference in everyone's lives, and we all know it's hard to say goodbye, but God has taken you home...RIP
"The comfort of having a friend may be taken away, but not that of having had one."
I will take comfort and joy in having known you Audrey, in knowing you were my friend.
Garth, Corinne, Erin, Brett, Graham, Mr and Mrs. Strain and family and to the Gunther and Toth families, I wish you comfort at this tragic time and happy memories with which to move forward.
There was never a day when Mrs.Gunther wasn't smiling. Even when it was a 7am rehearsal and everyone was miserable, she was still so happy to be there. She was so full of life and passion. Why did God take the woman who shaped so many students' lives and shared with us her passion for music and life? St.Mary's Choir would never be the same if it wasn't for Audrey. We weren't just a choir. Mrs. Gunther made us into a family. She brought so much love into that choir room. She listened to us and cared more than just a teacher, but as a mentor and a friend. She allowed us to be part of her life no matter where we came from. She gave us an incredible opportunity to be in her choir and in her life. No teacher has ever had such an impact on me. No teacher will I remember more than Mrs. Gunther. And now I cherish those times that I had with her more than ever. She was truly a special woman and as is seen just by this guest book, her love and passion will be carried on in the hearts of all her students. Thank you for all that you have given me Mrs. Gunther. I will never forget you.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Gunther Family at this time of loss. We will all keep Audrey's spirit in our hearts and be forever grateful that she touched our lives. We had the opportunity to accompany Audrey's Vocal Ensemble to Carnegie Hall and it was an experience of a lifetime, made possible by Audrey. Our son had the great fortune to count Audrey Gunther as one of the most influential mentors in his life. Audrey was a true gift to her students and as many have testified, she made each and everyone of them feel special, valued, and empowered to pursue their chosen career. As a parent we could not ask for anyone better to guide them on their path. God bless your family.
Our condolences to the Strain family for the loss of their daughter. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.
Her door was always open.
The odd time it wasn't...we waited and tinkered with the piano outside...completely annoying the drama kids next-door!
It didn't matter if it was a breakfast rehersal with Timbits, an after school solo audition or just a lunch time chat...she was there.
She had faith in us when we didn't have faith in ourselves...when our voices cracked and we shook with fear, she always knew what to say to put our minds and nervous stomachs at ease.
She gave us opportunities we couldn't have imagined for ourselves no matter how big or small, whether it was at the local church or Carnegie Hall.
Music is an extremely powerful gift to give anyone and I'm so blessed that she was generous enough to share that gift with me. She has forever impacted the course of my life, and I will miss her. I will miss her wisdom, her passion, her dedication, her encouragment, her (occasional) absent-mindedness...hehe...but mostly I will miss her spirit that wafted through the halls of St. Mary's and beyond, influencing every life she touched.
My thoughts and prayers are with her family as they deal with their immense loss. Please never forget what an inspiration she clearly was to us all.
Mrs. Gunther was one of the kindest and most genuinely caring people I have ever had the privelege to meet, much less work with on a practically daily basis throughout high school. I would not be pursuing a singing degree at university without her constant support and encouragement. It was relentless! There was nothing we couldn't do, no feat we couldn't achieve even when we were convinced otherwise. Her faith in us as a choir and as individuals touched all of us at some point or other, and she has influenced all of us deeply whether we know it or not.
I remember that the first time I met Mrs. Gunther, I was going up to her to tell her there had been a mistake, that I wasn't going to be in the choir. In her typical style, she wouldn't hear of it. She convinced me to stay and I'm glad she did, because if I had to choose anything to take from high school, it would have been being in the choir. She brought energy and happiness to the choir room every day, and always asked all of us to sing not only technically superior, but from the heart. She will truely be missed.
Chris Tam (Class of '05)
Mrs. Gunther was my high school teacher that changed me the most. She was not only a teacher to me, but a friend. I would not be able to sing like I can today and neither would I have been able to have organize an SATB Christmas carolling group in Grade 12, if it weren't for her. She has taught me so much and I hope she knows that she will always have a special place in my heart.
My thoughts and prayers are with Mrs. Gunther's family and dear friends. May God bless
Mrs. Gunther was a truly amazing woman. Her dedication and passion for music and teaching will forever be imprinted on those who were fortunate enough to have crossed paths with her. Mrs. Gunther gave so much to her students; time, commitment, confidence, patience, joy, compassion, love, and wonderful memories to last a lifetime. My time at St. Mary’s would not have been the same without her and for that I am forever appreciative. I will always remember her angelic spirit and zest for life. My thoughts and prayers are with the Gunther family during this sorrowful time.
Mrs. Gunther was something extraordinary. She was a gentle, patient, compassionate individual who would put a smile on anyone's face. She had great words of comfort and encouragement. She would uplift me through her music and her unbelievable personality after a tiring day at school and replace a frown with a wide smile. Even though I'm in grade 10 and only got to spend a month and a half with her, I miss her as much as everyone else. She has left an imprint of her kindness in my heart as well as others i'm sure of and it will never fade away. I will miss her very much and will continue to sing to and for her forever. I am very fortunate to have known her and have her a part of my life. To Mrs. Gunther's family, may God shower your family with unlimited blessings to come and give you comfort during this time of distress. My deepest sympathy goes to you all. "May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back....Until we meet again may God hold you in the palm of his hand." May God bless you and keep you, rest in peace Mrs. Gunther.
My love and prayers go out to the Gunther family and all of the students at St. Mary's. Audrey was one of the kindest, most caring people I know and I have very fond memories of times spent with her in Calgary. Deepest sympathies from everyone at the Kokopelli Choir Association. Alberta has lost a great music educator, teacher and person.
Audrey, you were an inspiration to me as a Music Educator and for that, I will be forever grateful. The privilege was mine to have known you. You were my colleague, my mentor and my friend. You took me under your wing when I started with the District and you were my perfect role model. Your words of encouragement and your compliments have helped me to be the educator I am today. The world will never be the same without you. My deepest sympathy to the Gunther family and friends as well as staff and students of St. Mary's High School.
To the Gunther family and friends,
All of my prayers go out to you in this difficult time. She was the sweetest, most gentle woman. I loved the times when I had the great privilege to accompany the choir at school masses. Her love of music was only surpassed by her love of sharing it with her students and the world. I will treasure those memories. I was very lucky to have shared music with her, and I will never forget it. Her passion was contagious! She also had some of the best choirs I have ever heard!!
Thank you for being a part of my life Mrs Gunther. "A song will outlive all sermons in memory..."
Our deepest sympathy goes to the Gunther's family, relatives and friends. Mrs. Gunther was a very special teacher. She has touched the lives of many many students during her teaching career at St. Mary's. This includes our three children: Adrian, Alfred and Lily. Thru her, their love of music has definitely enriched their lives. She will be missed by all.
Mrs. Gunther, thank you for giving me the chance to take part in that choir trip to Vancouver, thank you for your gift of music, thank you for that $1.25 so I could feast on M&Ms, thank you for your sincerity, encouragement and genuine smiles, thank you for attending all our drama productions, thank you for being understanding when we couldn't make it to choir practice, thank you for seeing value in each and every student, thank you for having a hand in shaping the person that I am today...thank you.
My deepest condolences to the Gunther family. Take comfort in knowing how much of a positive effect she has had on thousands of students and anyone within her surroundings.
Can you hear the prayer of your children, on bended knees, in the shadow of your classroom. Empty eyes with no more tears to cry, turning heavenward, towards "our" light. As your name echos the halls of St. Mary's remember you are with us as we will be with you on Monday. You have raised us up to more than we could ever be. You will always be with us. ~St. Mary's Choir 04-07~
Garth, I'm so sorry to hear the news about your wife. My condolences to you and your familiy during this difficult time.
I was a student of Mrs. Gunther's at St.Mary's and from the first day I had her she made me feel great. She pushed you cause she knew you would suceed and always tried to help. Her love of students was beyond words. I hope that you know alot of people are going to miss her and she touched more people than you could ever know and you should be very proud. My thoughts are with you as we are in a time of loss.
Audrey Gunther was probably the best english teacher i have ever had. She had such passion, enthusiasm, and was so kind, gentle, loving, and just a wonderful person as a whole. I'm only in grade 10, but i miss her alot. English class just isn't the same. We will miss her so much and I am always keeping her in my prayers, but also her family that they may cope with this well, and may she Rest in Peace. God bless.
Our condolences to Garth and family, Mr and Mrs Strain and all Audreys, Brothers and Sisters. Audrey was a friend of ours in High School in Stettler. Guess what, we sang together. She was a very special lady. We will all miss her greatly.
today we had a vocal ensemble meeting after school. we discussed what song we were going to sing at the prayers for you sunday night. There are so many choices, but we ended up with Old Isrish Blessing, Siyahumba, Remember, and of course, your favorite, Prayer of the children. I just wanted to let you know that i am going to sing my heart out for you, and i will continue to do so, forever. you were truly a one of a kind teacher. you trusted us byond belief, you cared about us, you were a second mother for all of us. i remember colin telling my family and i about the time you had forgotten your glasses in your car, and you were too busy to go and get them yourself, so you sent colin out with the keys. that in itself is amazing, as i would never trust coling with my car keys( if i had any). he then proceded to run out to your car 3 times only to come back in and say that they were not there. only on the third time did he find anything, wich was 3 different pairs, all dirty and bent. when he walked back in he looked up only to realize you had had your glasses on your head the entire time. Unfortunately i only got to say"they're on your head Mrs.Gunther" once or twice, this year, but im sure God will have the pleasure of doing that for us.
To the Gunther family. you have no idea how much she influenced my life, all the staff and students of st.mary's. she was truly a one of a kind woman, and i want to let you know that the choir will not stop, will not falter, it will keep going strong, for her. every performance we sing at, every show, every rehersal, she will be in our minds, in our hearts, and it will show through out singing. I am trying my hardest with a few close friends to try and keep her dream alive, to keep her spirit going strong.
Mrs.Gunthers sister was at our school recently, and she told us "God needed a new choir director, he went looking, and found the best there was" i hope you'll keep singing up there mrs.Gunther. I miss you terribly, and i love you so much. anytime i sing, it will be for you.
My sincere condolences to the family of Audrey Gunther and also to her "St. Mary's" family; She will be sadly missed. I will honor your memory each time I hear my son sing; you were a wonderful mentor and inspiration to Tyler. Thank you Audrey for the legacy you have left to so many...Rest in Gods arms and sing with the angels Audrey.
Garth and family - Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. We extend our deepest sympathy.
Art and Gerda Brunsch
Maya Angelou said that "People will forget the things you said, they will forget the things you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel." Audrey, I will never forget how you made me feel. I will never forget your encouragement when I was a new mother and looked to you for guidance. Your kindness, your gentle spirit, your happy smile, your beautiful voice which blessed my wedding and the wedding of my brother, your love of life - all of these and so much more will be missed forever.
Garth, Corinne, Erin, Brett and Graham, Mr and Mrs Strain and family and the Toth and Gunther family, I am so sorry for your loss.
Words cannot truly express the shock and grief that I have no doubt that I share with every student whose life has ever been touched by Mrs. Gunther. I have never met a person like her and never will again. Her passion for her students, her passion for music was truly without parallel. I will not hesitate to say that she completely changed my life, and so much of who I am and where I am today I owe to her. I have no idea what I would have done had I not had her in my life. I feel so truly blessed to have known her, and I feel that I can speak for every one of her students when I say that she will be dearly missed. Her legacy will live on in her students forever.
I met Audrey when I was only 16 years old and she always treated me like one of her own children, she was the most wonderful woman and she will be missed terribly.
My prayers go out to her family, friends, fellow teachers, and students. She was a wonderful teacher, one that will never be forgotten.
Audrey Gunther was the epitome of optimism. She always saw the good and the potential in everyone and anything that surrounded her with no discrimination. Her positive energy was simply put - infectious. Even at the end of an arduous school day and drained of mental capacity once you'd headed into her rehearsal room your spirit was lifted. She exuded positivity and warmth.
Mrs. Gunther was more than just a teacher or director. She was a dear friend. Someone to count on for advice and encouragement. We are blessed to have known her. Our thoughts, reflections and prayers are with her family.
While our world has gotten a little darker with her loss. Heaven has undeniably gotten brighter.
Audrey Gunther was by far, one of the most influential teachers I ever had. It is not often that you meet someone with such a big heart. She will be deeply missed...and never forgotten. My deepest condolences to the Gunther family.
Recently I had the opportunity to take Audrey and Garth and 6 other friends into the Canadian Rockies. It was a chance to reconnect with old friends in an area of outstanding beauty. We had a great time - laughing, telling stories, exploring the mountains and having a memorable time. I will miss Audrey very much, and my heart goes out to Garth and their family. I will remember fondly her laughter, her singing, her caring and the thank you card she sent after this trip. I have a picture of her smiling - looking out over god's creation. That picture brings out the essence of Audrey - god bless you.
Audrey was a warm, caring, generous, patient woman who taught many of us great things. She brought the best out of everyone. I have great memories of being under her direction in choir. My thoughts and condolences go out to her family. She will be greatly missed.
All I can say is thank you so much for everything you have done for me. Your amazing energy will be missed. We all loved you so much and I hope your family is able to find a small comfort in knowing how many lives you have changed for the better. My deepest sympathy and regret for this loss. Thank you for the 7 AM phone calls Mrs. Gunther. Goodbye....
When I began singing in the choral program at St. Mary's in the fall of September 1998, I had my doubts. For many years I had been involved in some very strict choral programs in Calgary. Would this choral experience measure up? The answer was no-it didn't measure up. It went above and beyond any musical experience I had ever had in the past. For the longest time it was about precision, accuracy, and complexities. The minute Audrey Gunther walked into the choir room at St. Mary's, it was about music. It was no longer as important that every single musical detail be correct every single time, it was more important that we experienced the music-put ourselves into it, and in return, produced something that moved audiences, and ourselves.
Audrey Gunther taught us to use our hearts-something that was hard to do in a math or science class. She taught us that it was ok to be ourselves, and that the choral room was a safe place to express what was in us without fear of judgment. As we all know, she was more than a teacher. She was a friend, mentor, role model and mother-like figure to us all. She left an imprint on my heart that will never be erased, and she is the reason I am a musician today. Although we may all pursue different careers throughout our lives, the music Audrey gave us will forever live in our hearts. Through the pain of this loss, let us try to celebrate her achievements and who she was as a person.
I would like to express my deepest sympathies to Garth, Brett, Erin and Corinne, as well as all of Audrey’s family. Thank you for supporting Audrey and making her the woman she was. I was so lucky to have had the opportunity to be a student of Audrey, and I thank you for encouraging her to share her many talents with her students.
I will never forget the smile and glitter of her eyes when we finished our performance at Carnegie Hall- I know that warm smile is what we will all remember.
“Music is well said to be the speech of Angels.”- Thomas Carlyle
Mrs. Gunther was truly an inspiration for all. She was selfless, caring and always had a kind word to say about everyone. Her dedication and enthusiasm, not only to the choir but to the greater St. Mary’s community will be deeply missed.
It speaks testaments to Mrs. Gunther's life that so many of her students and peers have experienced so many positive things because of her. She is truly someone who led and taught by example with kindness and honesty.
Her legacy will always live on in the people she has inspired who now live far and wide around this country and the world. I'm confident they will take what they learned from her and spread the seeds of her warmth and kindness.
Audrey Gunther was an amazing woman and an inspiring teacher. I remember I would enter her choir room and my outside worries and preoccupations would drop away as she lovingly embraced us with her love and knowledge of music. She would gently coax the best out of each of us. Audrey saw and nurtured the best in everyone. She supported and encouraged us all to pursue our dreams and was always willing to help us in any way she could. I am deeply proud of everything that Audrey gave me and eternally greatful for the lessons she taught. My thoughts and condolences go out to her family and to all those suffering her loss.
I am so sorry for your tragic loss. What an extraordinary women who inspired so many to love life and live it to the fullest. My deepest condolences go out to your family.
I was a student of Mrs. Gunthers at St. Vincent De Paul. She was a wonderful and spirited woman whom everyone loved. She shared with us the love of music that many of us carry with us still today. Anyone that was blessed with knowing this wonderful woman was very lucky. My thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time.
A friend once told me that when your born you cry, while everyone else rejoices. And when you pass everyone else cries and you rejoice. I will dearly miss Mrs.Gunther. She was always so pleasent and such a beautiful passionate person. I thank her for being in my life.
I had the very distinct privilege of working with Audrey in my role as President of the Choir Parents Association at St. Mary's High School during my daughter Lindsay's high school years. Her dedication and commitment to her students was both inspiring and contagious. She nurtured a sense of commitment in her music students that made them believers. Her passion for music was at the core of her teaching, driving her energy and motivating her students. When Audrey received the very prestigous invitation to take her Vocal Jazz Ensemble to Carnegie Hall in April of 2001, it was a ringing endorsement of all that was remarkable about her teaching. We embarked on a journey together - Audrey, parents and students and when faced with adversity, came together to realize an incredible dream for all. I will be forever grateful for the quiet and determined guidance that Audrey provided during that time. And I will never forget the great joy and pride that was felt by all associated with the experience to see Audrey and her students on stage at Carnegie Hall. She deserved that honour and so much more. Darcy and I extend our deepest condolences to Garth and family - we are truly blessed to have had the wonderful privilege of knowing Audrey. May she rest in peace.
Audrey is a longtime friend from my university days. She lived life to the fullest introducing me to the simple pleasures of life. It was with Audrey I experienced my first canoe ride in Banff. I remember the twinkle in her eye when she told me she had a new boyfriend named Garth.
She shared her excitement and deep satisfaction of having birthed three beautiful children. I remember Audrey vividly describing how she savored a hot cup of tea after each birth celebrating that she had "just had a baby!"
Audrey lived life as the miracle it is. She is a rare soul...one who has the capacity to make a significant difference at a heartfelt level. Her memory continues to inspire many, the hallmark of a life well lived. My family and I are indeed blessed to have been a part of her life.
Sincere condolences to Garth, Corinne and Graham, Erin, Brett and Audrey's extended family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.
Brenda and Dwight Love & Family
Ms. Gunther gave me the confidence to do something I never had the will to do and for that I will always be grateful to her. Her encouragement and heart-warming smile will always be a fond memory for me.
Audrey had the special touch that would draw students to choir practise during their lunch period!!! As a parent of one of those inspired students, I sometimes felt that Audrey was helping us with our roles as parents of teenagers.
Thank you, Audrey, we were all blessed by having known you, and thank you for helping our teenagers share the gift of music with others. Your choir performances brought tears to my eyes back then. The wonderful memories I have of you do the same now.
My deepest sympathy goes out to your family, friends, and students. May they be comforted in knowing what a positive impact you had on others.
To our dearest Mrs. Gunther and family,
I came into the choir room last year uncertain of what's gonna happen. I didn't know how to read music in choir and IB music, yet you smiled at me every single day. Your smiles made my day. Choir became my refuge, when the world was not at its best or when my marks weren't what I wanted. Choir became my second home, and you became my third mother (since I already had two). You were always there to listen, you always told me never to give up. You told us how you were in this English Poetry class in university and how you really didnt know half of what was going on... but you stuck it out and made it through. You were there for every single one of us. When I tried out for a solo, you said that it was wonderful and always smiled. This year, I tried for vocal; I didn't make it, but you gave me a hug, and though you knew I was upset, you still understood, like you always did. You taught me never to give up, to always have faith even in the hardest of times.
To her family, thank you. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful person to all of us. I am deeply sorry for your loss. She always treated us with more affection than any of the other teachers.. and for that I thank you.
Mrs Gunther, I was in your life for one year, but you'll be in mine, and all of us, forever.
Dear Ms. Gunther,
I wish you could hear all our messages for you right now. YOU have touched each and everyone of our hearts in one way or another.. i would personally always remember your smile on the hallway, your sweet voice, and your endless patience to us. Thank you soo much Ms. Gunther. Your elegance, kindness, voice and smile would live in our hearts forever.
Our Father, who are in heaven,
May you be with the Gunther family and friends in their time of sorrow and rememberance. May tranquility comfort their minds and may love repair wounded hearts.
Mrs. Gunther (as I knew her) spent countless hours helping me learn a difficult solo line in "When You Believe" on the Prince of Egypt track. She instilled the confidence in me to try out for a duet, and to carry on with my personal struggles. Choir was my escape and salvation during a very hard time, and Mrs. Gunther was always there to lend a finely tuned ear. Open in mind and open in soul, she was one of my strongest allies. Now, I offer my heart and prayers to the Gunthers in their time of need.
Peace be with you.
My Family to the Gunther Family We are so sorry to hear about your loss. I remember Mrs. Gunther as a kind teacher. I remember the very first chior trip the school ever took with Mrs. Gunther it was around Alberta she was very exicited about it. When our bus pulled up th the school in Steller Alberta she was beaming with JOY that she was able to show her old High School what she has accomplished with her singing career and with her teaching career.
I will always think and Pray for Mrs. Gunther and her Family
Mrs. Gunther was a kind, gentle person. Even though I didn't know her as well as a lot of people have, from that short period of time that I did, I knew from the very beginning she was going to be one of those teachers that would always put a smile on your face.
She would always have so much support, patience(especially for people with cell phones), and heart for such a small person.
I remember when me and my friends didn't really want to come to choir, so we would try to skip, and if she knew about it she would never get mad. She would always look at us and say, "I better see you at choir missy."
She was like one of us, a person that can relate to us without being so judgmental. And that is what made her a great teacher. Not by knowing English Literature but by having a good heart and by treating people equally, like a family. And that's what we were and that is what we will always be because of what we have learned from Mrs. Gunther. God must be really lucky to have another angel up in heaven.
So I would like to wish her family, friends, staff facilty members and others students that knew and adored her the best of luck getting though this tough time.
Michelle Francisca Munoz Belisario
Dear Mrs. Gunther,
My best memories from high school were being in your choir. You gave me the opportunity to discover my love for music, especially for singing. You will always be an inspiration for me.
Mrs. Gunther was my “new” choir teacher in Gr. 12. During that time, I found it hard to adjust because I missed the other choir teacher.
At first, I tried to make it difficult for her because I would always give suggestions on how we could improve the choir. Instead of getting annoyed with me, to my surprise, she actually took some of my suggestions. Mrs. Gunther and the choir toured Alberta and performed at different high schools. She even let my singing group perform – within that tour and at our school shows. I became closer to her as I became more involved with the choir. I never thought Mrs. Gunther would give me – the person who tried to give her a hard time – a chance.
After seven years of not seeing her, I saw her at one of the Tri-Christmas Concerts. I was so proud of the St. Mary’s choir. Their performance brought back happy memories of when I was taught by Mrs. Gunther. I had to congratulate her on a great show. Amongst the crowd, as I was trying to approach her, I was afraid that she wouldn’t remember me. But before I could reintroduce myself, she saw me from afar and started walking toward me with open arms to greet me with a hug. She said to me, “My baby girl!”
I couldn’t believe she remembered me! When I told her that, she answered with, “How could I forget you? You’re my baby girl!”
She was the teacher I thought I wouldn’t like, but in the end, she influenced my life like no other teacher would. With her passing away, she’s taught me that we do not know when our loved ones will go. So live life to the fullest and don’t take your loved ones for granted.
I would like to extend my deepest condolences to Mrs. Gunther’s family and friends.
Mrs. Gunther, thank you for all the memories and inspriation you've given me. I will never forget you!
Mrs. Gunther was a inspiration. She was always there when you needed help. She had a very warm heart and was always kind.
I will miss her.
Mrs Gunther was a beautiful and an inspiring person who has taught many of us. She was my choir teacher and my teacher advisor and I enjoyed spending time during choir with her music and each others company. I will never forget her encouragement and her passion to teach. I am honestly lost for words but I hope she knows that I truely appreciate her, as do many of us. My heart and my prayers goes towards her family. goodbye and thank you mrs. gunther - you will never be forgotten.
Mrs. Gunther was my choir teacher from 1999-2002 and in those three years she had a substantial impact on me. She was a beautiful person and I will never forget her. I assume every single person affected by her throughout her teaching career will agree that St. Mary's will not be the same without Mrs. Gunther.
From the moment I walked into the choir room at St. Mary's High School I knew it was somewhere I was going spend most of my time during high school. Mrs. Gunther inspired every student who walked through her door. She was a loving, caring, selfless, nurturing and humorous woman. She has impacted my life and the lives of her other students in profound ways. She is the reason I am now a singing teacher. She is the reason I treat each and every one of my students with compassion and patience because that is how she treated her students. My fondest memories of high school are thanks to Mrs. Gunther and her bubbly, happy-go-lucky attitude. She will be missed dearly by everyone. My condolences to the Gunther Family and may your hearts be warmed by these wonderful messages. My thoughts and prayers are with you and everyone who she has touched.
The music you taught and loved lifted you up to the stars and beyond every time, now the music that your loving students are still filling up your room with is taking you a little further, all the way to heaven. It's not a surprise since you were the sweetest and most passionate woman anyone could ever know and always a joy to be around. It will be so hard not to hear you lending your voice to everyone to hear. We all know that you will always be where there is music. Rest in peace, you will never be forgotten.
My best wishes and condolences to the Gunther family.
I had the pleasure of having Mrs. Gunther as a choir teacher from 96-99. An amazing teacher, mentor and friend. She was always smiling and happy to see everyone no matter what the day brought her. I would like to express my deepest sympathy to her family. She will be sadly missed but not forgotten.
I was deeply shocked by the news of Mrs. Gunther's tragedy. My deepest sympathy goes to her family. She was my music teacher in junior high school at St. Vincent de Paul. I recall her encouragement as I learned the trumpet, and she was always a very pleasant and kind-hearted lady. Seeing so many former students post their condolences and memories of Mrs. Gunther is a testament to what a special lady she was, and the impact she had on so many young minds. She will truly be missed.
She was a wonderful influence not only as a teacher but as a kind, caring, and good humoured person. She taught me so much about myself and she never doubted me and believed I could do anything if I put my mind to it. She was concerning, and thoughtful and was always thinking about others' above herself. I only wish that I could of known her longer, and I know she will be dearly missed by her students and colleagues a like.
What I loved about Mrs. Gunther was her warm, accepting nature. She always seemed to see the inner passion of music in people. She knew it was in me before I realized it myself.
The world has lost a beautiful soul and a kind spirit. My heart felt sympathies go out to the family and friends of this extraordinary lady.
Mrs. Gunther, you will be missed, and you will never be forgotten. Thank you for instilling in me an appreciation of music that I will carry with me always.
My heartfelt condolences to Garth and family. My words cannot even begin to express my sense of loss and sorrow at Audrey’s passing. I bumped into her on Monday at the Fine Arts Celebration at Central Office. We joked, laughed, reminisced and shared our love for the students at St. Mary’s. Audrey was a rare soul, caring and compassionate, kind and true. I am privileged for having had the opportunity to know her.
Mrs. Gunthur was a huge inspiration to me and helped me through a very difficult time in my life.
She always had a smile on her face, and she always pushed all of us to be the best that we could be.
She will be deeply missed, and will never be forgotten.
condolences to the Gunther family over this great loss. Audrey was an
inspiration whose joy in life and music will not be forgotten.
I am greatly saddened by the news of Mrs. Gunther's passing. She was the reason why the choir was such a warm and welcoming family. I am blessed to have been one of the many students whose spirit she has touched.
The Gunther family will be in my prayers.
We were all really shocked. I didnt know her personally, but the grief was visceral. She will be sorely missed by everyone who knew her.
Mrs. Gunther will always be a very special teacher and friend. In our lives, it is rare for us to meet an individual with her sunny disposition, and her unparalleled amount of love for her students.
As a student teacher, I know that a part of her will live through my teaching and I hope to form such strong and profound relationships with my students as she did.
--- Class of 2002
Mrs. Gunther was kindness incarnate.
Her passion for teaching and for music itself, her peaceful compassion for others, and her youthful spirit were unmatched by anyone I have ever met.
I know that my family and I are especially saddened by the tragic loss of such a wonderful woman, who had such an enormous impact on the lives of myself and my two brothers, Brendan and Matthew. We would all like to offer our most sincere condolences to the Gunther family, and we would be happy to lend any support that we possibly can in this time of mourning and hardship.
The 'chocolate orange story'... (see the first page of this guestbook, the entry by Karisma Lee)... it's a perfect exemplification of Mrs. Gunther's innocent, slightly clumsy mannerisms that we all came to love her for! I doubt any of us will ever meet another person so in touch with her inner child. Mrs. Gunther was truly one of a kind.
Personally, Mrs. Gunther was the person who taught me to sing. I had sang in choirs earlier in my childhood, but she taught me the *art* of vocal expression. Being a part of her choirs and ensembles for my last two years at St. Mary's taught me the skills and knowledge I needed to pursue more and more opportunities to sing. After that first day of choir rehearsal in September 2000, I have never stopped singing, and I never will. She changed my life for the better, I owe her so much, and I am incredibly thankful.
Thank you, Mrs. Gunther. You meant so much to us, and you will be remembered, always.
Our children went to St. mary's.
It's such a shock hearing the news.
Our deepest condolence to the surviving family and you are in our prayers.
Im a grade 10 student at St. Mary's Senior High School, and eventhough I only had one Music IB class with her, I knew that she was an incredibly nice and kind lady. She was always so excited and happy, and you could see she loved what she did. The day she died I saw her at lunch playing Dogeball with her TA, and she was laughing and as always very happy. The day after her unfortunate death, when we were notified at school, the moment my TA said Mrs. Gunther has passed away, my heart stopped and I just couldn't believe what she'd just said, and I remembered her the day before so happy-go-lucky playing dogeball, and I thought 'this can't be happening, Mrs. Gunther dead, its not possible'. Today all the students that knew her were invited to come to the choir room, and share memories we had with her, and as I listened, I couldn't belive all the lives Mrs. Gunther had touched, and I thought 'How could such a thing have hapenned to such a generous person'. Today at lunch we also met Mrs. Gunther's younger sister Jones, and she told us that God had been looking for a new choir director, and he'd found the best one there was. Mrs. Audrey Gunther was known for her hardwork and love for her work. She will be deeply missed. My most sincere condolence to Mrs. Gunther's husband (Garth) and her three children.I will always have Mrs. Gunther in my heart.
Why Mrs. Gunther? She was the teacher that opened her room to anyone. Didn't matter if you we're in her class or not. She never judged. She was always loving. Just being around her made you feel better. She's an example of what we should strive to become. Always willing to love, to listen and to laugh. She'll be dearly missed.
I am sorry to hear about the loss of such kind and wonderful lady. My deepest sympathy for her family and friends.
Audrey was the most influencal teacher i ever had. She beleived in all of her students and would do anything to further their learning and yearning for music. Even with only 7 students she allowed a group to become the st mary's Jazz girls. I would give all i could in her class because i know she did the same. Her memory will be cherished and i will pray for her and her family ....GOD BLESS
My sincere condolences go out to the Gunther family over their tragic loss. I am very shocked and saddened my this news. Mrs. Gunther was my TA and music teacher at St. Vincent de Paul. Her passion for music and teaching inspired many of her students including myself - I am currently studying to be a teacher. I will always remember her kind, warm smile.
I never knew Mrs.Gunther on a personal level but she could make anyone sound like an angel. The joy she had brought to all her students and co-workers is a work to marvel at. May her soul rest in eternal peace.
Audrey was not simply a teacher. She was everyone's mom when our own moms could not be there. No matter who you were, she automatically adopted you as her own. I remember when I was the only female gr 10 in our Vocal enseble group, scared and nervous and there was Audrey encourageing me to do my best, giving me solos to try on weather I could do them or not, she gave everyone a chance. I miss her dearly. I can't believe that she won't be there tomorrow morning with a great big grin on her face. Our school is not quite complete with out her. We must be strong enough to carry her spirit with us and sharing her with everyone we meet.
"Forever we will be your children."
God Bless You!
I want to take this time to send my deepest sympathy to Mrs. Gunthers family.Mrs. Gunther was the greatest teacher. I appreciated all the help she gave me,she could brighten any room she walked in. I had the pleasure of being in her english class I always looked forward to going to her class, at the end of class she would play the piano for us it was beautiful. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Gunther family and to the staff at St. Mary's.
I only had the pleasure of being Mrs. Gunther's student for one year but within that time I was able to see what a great person she was and how she left long lasting memories with many students. She will missed but never forgotten. May the lord bless you and your family for all the goodness you brought to this world.
Mrs. Gunther (as I knew her) was my English and Music teacher at St. Vincent De Paul Junior High, then she switched to St. Mary's the same time that I did. I never had her as a choir director, but I knew her quite well. She will be missed.
Mrs. Gunther was a wonderful teacher and human being. This is such a tragic time for the Gunther family and the students at St. Mary's High School. She will be missed by everyone who knew her.
My family would like to express our deepest condolences to Mrs. Gunthers family.
Mrs. Gunther was a wonderful and inspiring teacher. I am so honored to have been taught by such a passionate woman. My fondest memory of Mrs. Gunther was when a friend and I were in the choir room with her and she had just received a chocolate orange as a gift from a student. Not knowing that she was supposed to smash the orange while it was still wrapped, she opened it halfway and hit it against the piano. Chocolate flew EVERYWHERE. We all started to laugh hysterically, Mrs. Gunther laughing the loudest. Keep on smiling down on us, Mrs. Gunther and everytime I eat a chocolate orange, I'll be thinking about you.
Mrs. Gunther was a wonderful teacher, I was one of her students at St. Vincent de Paul and her passion for music and teaching is something I remember to this day, my sincere condolences to her family for their tragic loss.
Mrs. Gunther was an inspiration to all the students at St. Mary's, regardless of the extent of their participation in the choral program. She influenced us beyond music, and taught us kindness, discipline and courage. Mrs. Gunther, you will be deeply missed.
"Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest, heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul."
Mrs. Gunther was, to many of us, more than a teacher, friend, mentor, she was our inspiration. Kind, graceful, generous, full of love, and always with a smile.
Mrs. Gunther was a great teacher. For the short time she taught me in the beginning of this year I knew she would always light up my day and she always did. Being a grade 10 student I didn't know her well but I still feel the pain the school does. She helped me find my place in choir and in Music IB. I wish from the bottom of my heart I could go back in time and see her smiling face again.
My condolences to her family, I know exactly what she means to you guys. She was like family to everyone who knew her.
Mrs. Gunther was one of the best people I know. She was kind, understanding, and considerate. I was in the the choir last year and had the oportunity to go to Orlando Florida with her. This would never had been possible without her amazing spirit and talent. She had such a huge impact on me and all of the people who had the chance to meet her and she will be missed always. My heart goes out to those in her family in this time of need. My prayers go out to you.
I spent the better part of my high school years in the choir room with Mrs. Gunther, the Senior Choir and Vocal Ensemble.
I will always cherish those memories of our Vocal 'family' and remember Mrs. Gunther for her sincerity, kindness and generosity. I would not be the person I am today and have the love of music that I do without her.
My deepest condolences to her family, she will be truly and deeply missed.
Mrs. Gunther, we all are singing you a love song and singing you to heaven.
Through this stream of tears, we are still managing to smile at all of the endless memories and stories that we would not be able to treasure and cherish if we had never known this amazing woman. We talk about Mrs. Gunther's kindness and compassion, the abundance of smiles and hugs she has given us, and her unwavering patience for everyone around her, but when I see the seemingly insurmountable grief that the death of this amazing teacher has caused, it allowed me to admire the greatest gift she could have ever given us, that of just one person being able to bring so many others together. Mrs. Gunther's death has left with me with the realisation that words alone could never describe the impact that she has had on so many people's lives, and despite the hopelessness myself and everyone else is feeling, I know that what Mrs. Gunther would want is for us to just keep supporting each other, and to just keep singing.
I hired Audrey to teach music at Notre Dame School in Leduc in 1981. From the beginning I knew that the music program was in excellent hands. She had a way of bringing out the best from every student, even those who said they hated music. She was a wonderful staff member who is fondly remembered by all. We had a brief chance to renew our friendship a few years ago at the Catholic Conference in Calgary. Rest in Peace, Audrey. Your music will continue in our hearts.
Audrey was my choir teacher and she also was my chaperone last year when the St.Marys High School went to Florida. I remember trying to convince her to go on the Jurassic Park ride in Universal Studios. She was sparkling and full of life, chatting away with every student and enjoying the sunshine. I will never remember those 5 days.
On the day after she passed away, our school was silent in the halls; a complete change from the normal cacophonous ruckus. Many teachers, students and support staff were in tears. I hope that through prayer, anyone who knew Audrey will grow and become stronger from this.
We extend our deepest sympathy to Audrey's family. Our hearts and prayers are with you in this time of immense sorrow. Sincerely,
i couldn't believe what i was hearing. mrs gunther was the sweetest lady i've ever met. she was so kind hearted. i owe a lot to mrs gunther, because if it wasn't for her, i wouldn't be the person i am today. i owe her so much, she's done so much for me and insipired me to be a better person. i wouldn't be singing and dancing today if it wasn't for mrs gunther. i owe her so much, and i'm so mad that i never got the chance to tell her thank you.
last year i sang with the st mary's choir again for the first time since i graduated high school and it was so good to see mrs gunther, i never would have thought that the last time i would give her a hug or see her or sing with her, sing under her would be that day. i never got to say goodbye.
mrs. gunther was the most amazing and sweet woman i've ever met. it is a tragedy that this had to happen. she didn't deserve this.
Audrey will always be an inspiration in my life, both musically and personally. I remember the very first time I met her. I was walking a friend to choir one day, and she literally pulled me by the arm into the choir room and told me I was in the group as she needed male voices. Without any pre-judgment or hestitation she accepted me into her beautiful world. That rarely happens in life today. Back then, the choir consisted of about 40 people. Now there are hundreds. That says a lot not just about Mrs. Gunther, but the atmosphere she created for those around her. Your strength, ambition, and love drew us all to you, and changed us forever. I stand here today with a degree in Economics, and a degree in Music. You gave that to me Mrs. Gunther. Thank you with all of my heart. I only wish that I could have told you that in person and embraced you like you’ve always embraced me. You are a part of us all, and we are better people for it. My prayers go out to family, friends, and all others who were blessed by her presence.
Mrs.Gunther was that teacher from high school that you always remembered and still talked about years after you graduated. She meant so much to so many people. She treated all of her students as individuals and treated us like we were her own. She created many memories, many laughs, took us on wonderful trips but most of all she helped us grow into successful young adults. She never judged. Many of her teachings I use as my own. She will truly be missed. The memories that we have of this remarkable woman will never be forgotten. Our hearts are with you Mrs. Gunther! You touched us more than you will ever know!
I was in the 'vocal ensemble' and the larger choir at St. Mary's High School for three years. I travelled to Florida, New York, and Whistler with our conductor, Mrs. Gunther. I will always remember the special memories we all shared with her; whether it was a saturday morning rehearsal or a braodway show in New York. She was funny, kind, and caring. My dad put it best: "There are very few people that can change the world to the degree that Mrs. Gunther did."
I just would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude for Mrs. Gunther's dedication to St. Mary's and her students. I was a student at St. Mary's and saw what she did for my peers, and later how she helped my sister. Her kindness, generousity, dedication, and sincerity will not be forgotten. My deepest sympathy goes out to the St.Mary's community, her family, and to all those affected.
I am so sorry to hear about this tragedy. Thank you so much for sharing your talents and dedication with all of us.
I come in contact with music everyday in my life. I can appreciate it a little more sophisticatedly because of some gentle guidence an angel gave to me. This is a tough time for everyone, but as long as we remember the good times and keep a smile on our faces, Mrs. Gunther would be proud.
I was one of the students who went on the trip with Mrs. Gunther to Carnegie Hall, and it is because of her dedication and willingness to teach that had brought us to that stage. At the time I didn't even realize what kind of opportunity had been given us, performing at Carnegie Hall, but it was her commitment to the students and strong will, she has given us the experience of a life time. Her presence will be greatly missed. Thank you Mrs. Gunther for your teachings, you will be in my prayers.
Mrs. Gunther was truely a kind soul that will be missed by everyone who has been lucky enough to have known her. Growing up in Milton (Ontario) around her and her family is something that I am grateful for and will never forget. My family and I would like to extend our sincerest condolences to the Gunther family for their loss. She was a wonderful person, mother, and friend.
I’m a Gr 10 student at St. Mary's and I know everyone is deeply affected by this event. I only got the chance to know Mrs.Gunther for a couple of months. When I first came to choir class she was so nice to me and the whole choir. Today we all came to the choir room at lunch and we talked about or memories of Mrs. Gunther and how she influenced us. She will be greatly missed by all of her students and the community of Calgary. Also one thing we met Mrs. Gunther's younger sister and she said that god needed a new choir director in heaven.
She was one of the greatest teacher in my life. It's a true great sadness to hear this tragedy. I am forever thankful for her teachings and inspirations. I will remember Ms Gunther in my heart and delicate my prayer to her forever.
Adding my still, small voice to the rising crescendo of voices already here.
I was not a student at St. Mary's; rather Bishop Carroll. However, through the annual joint Christmas concerts with St. Mary's and Bishop Grandin, every student involved knew of Audrey Gunther. I was shocked to learn of this lovely lady's passing.
Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let Perpetual Light shine upon her.
Rest in peace, Audrey, and may you now enjoy membership in the Choir of Heaven.
Our deepest sympathy to the family of Audrey Gunther. Although we have only had the opportunity to meet a few weeks ago at the marriage of our son to Audrey's niece, we can see that she was truly loved by all.
Our hearts are broken. We will always remember Audrey as a truly amazing person and a very special friend. Her caring and kind ways will never be forgotten. She was so talented as a mother and teacher. She shared her love of music with everyone she met and her enthusiasm for nature was contagious. We loved Audrey and will miss her so much. Our sincere condolences go out to Garth, Corinne and Graham, Erin, Brett and to Audrey's parents and family. Love from the Joels (Greg, Joanne, Kelly, and Keith).
We, Wayne, Shirl and Danielle Valleau, extend our sincerest condolences to the Gunther family. As with all of her students, Danielle truly loved Mrs. Gunther, learned much from her and shared her love of music. Audrey will be greatly missed personally and professionally.
Audrey's life, though tragically cut short, serves as an inspiration to all. Her dedication to her family, her students, and her art was tremendous. Calgary has lost a great citizen, a great teacher, and a great person. Her memory will live on through her wonderful family, hundreds of students whose lives she touched, and all of us who were lucky enough to know her. She will be missed, but never forgotten.
I had the pleasure of teaching with Audrey at St. Vincent du Paul School.A wonderful colleague and friend, she conducted herself with such poise and grace.Audrey had a wonderful sense of humor,always approachable, she conveyed a special warmth.How fortunate we were to have known her,what a priviledge to have called her a friend.To have touched so many lives and leave behind such a legacy is a testimony to a life well led.Sincere condolences to Garth and family.
She was a wonderful teacher and a wonderful person. She's part of the reason I love music as much as I do. I'm terribly sorry to hear this news.
I was shocked and deeply saddened by the news of Audrey's passing. My sister's (Val and Janis Amies)and I went to school with the Strain family in Stettler many years ago. Although I didn't know Audrey well I have learned through reading the articles what an extraordinary person she was and what a difference she has made in the lives of her school kids and how she has touched so many. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Gunther and Strain famlies.
Thank you Mrs. Gunther for bringing the beauty of music to my life. I know that the angels are singing to you in heaven. You were a beautiful human being and one of the greatest teachers in my life. My condolences go out to the Gunther family and to the staff and students of St. Mary's.
Everybody’s got that one teacher that made a difference in their life and left a mark. Mrs Gunther was, for myself and many other students through the years, that one teacher. She was dedicated, supportive, approachable and sincere. I am deepely saddened by this news and offer my deepest condolances to the Gunther family through these difficult times.
Mrs. Gunther continues to be a huge inspiration in my life. Her constant encouragement from when she first taught me in grade 4 and continuing support through to high school will never been forgotten.
Sandy and I are crushed by the loss of so special a friend as Audrey. We offer our most sincere condolences to Garth, Corrine, Erin, Brett and families. It is impossible for us to comprehend your loss. Audrey was one of a kind - sincere, talented, open, giving, caring, enthusiastic - You will always have a special place in the hearts and memories of those who knew you.
God bless Audrey's soul. May He give strength to her family, friends, workmates, students and everyone else who Audrey touched in a special way.
My condolences go out to the Gunther family. Mrs. Gunther was a truly amazing person and teacher. She touched everyone she taught. She will be remembered for her smile, kindness, and passion for teaching.
On behalf of my 3 sons (John, Aris, Albert) and myself, I am extending my sincerest condolences & prayers to the Gunther family.Audrey will be truly missed...
I am offering my deepest sympathy on behalf of my mother, Linda Mackenzie and I. My mom used to work alongside Mrs. Gunther, as well as I was one of her students. She was a lovely woman, and she truly embodied the heart and grace that an angel should have. She has done a lot for both her students, and her fellow faculty over the years, and we are forever grateful for her contribution to the arts. She guided my dream to pursue my love for performing, and she will always be an inspiration. Thank you Mrs. Gunther, you were an amazing woman. God bless.
The classiest lady around! A mentor and friend. Our hearts break for her close friends and especially her family. She was a blessing to all who knew her. We hope we learn to appreciate everyday as much as Audrey did!
Our condolences to Audrey's family. Our thoughts are with you, we are saddened for your great loss.
Audrey Gunther will be truly missed. She was one of the brightest and bubbly people. She was a huge mentor to me in high school. The world will be a little quieter with out her voice and love and inspiration for music. Some peole are too good for this world. We will miss you Mrs. Gunther.
My condolences go out to Mrs. Gunther's family at this tragic time. She was a wonderful teacher and was SO kind to me and my classmates when she taught us.
Mrs. Audrey Gunther touched the lives of many at St. Mary's High School with her kindness, inspiration and devotion. She will be dearly missed and memories of her will live on. My deepest condolences go out to the Gunther Family.
I am very saddened over the loss of this lovely lady. She had so much more to give this world and will be greatly missed. We were classmates from grade one through twelve in Stettler and I was not surprised when Audrey carried through her love of music into her career. My condolences to her family, friends, students and co-workers. She will be greatly missed.
I would like to offer condolences on behalf of myself and my family (Gancheff/Lefebre). Audrey was the kindest and most sincere human being I have ever met and she will be deeply missed.
I am very sorry for your loss.
All my love, Michelle Groff(Gancheff)
I would like to express my sincerest condolences to the Gunther Family. I feel truly blessed to have had the privilege and honor of being acquainted with Mrs. Gunther and cannot express in words how dearly she will be missed. Our thoughts and prays are with you. May your heart mend and your memories stay forever strong.
My deepest sympathy for her family and friends. She was a great teacher and I will always keep her in my prayers
My heart is full of sadness to hear of the passing of a wonderful inspiration to many people.
Mrs. Gunther was an amazing person that filled each life she touched with song. She is one of the reasons I am a professional singer today. My thoughts and prayers are with the Gunther Family in their time of loss.
You were an inspiration for me. In a very important time of one's self discovery in high school, you were a role model of a selfless servant who gave all that you had. I cherish the memories and your spirit. Laus Deo.
We will miss you Mrs.Gunther! You taught me and my brothers the beauty and fun of music. Rest in the eternal arms of the Father.
Our condolences go out to Garth and family. We are saddened by the passing of a gentle spirit and friend.
For 3 years, I was blessed to have Mrs. Gunther not only as my teacher, but as a mentor and friend. She may never know what an impact she made on my life and the lives of so many others, I can only hope she has some idea now. I will miss her more than words can say.
From an Irish song the Sr High Choir sang in 2001:
"May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back, the sun shine warm upon your face, the rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand."
We'll miss you Mrs. G.
My family would like to express our deepest condolences to Audrey Gunthers family and students whom she was a guiding light for. I hope that her legacy will go on, in the halls of St. Mary's High School. Our prayers to Audrey and all her family.
I am so sorry to hear about the loss of such a wonderful lady. She was an inspiring teacher and always coming up with new ways to bring her students together and make homeroom interesting. She will be missed.
Audrey we loved you so much and never wanted you to leave us.
You are irreplaceable as my friend and my heart is breaking. Love you forever - Margaret Starko
Audrey touched so many lives with her special talents and love of music. I will miss her dearly. My love and prayers to the entire Gunther family.