Reverend Bey Gates Grunder CHARLOTTE - The Reverend Bey Gates Grunder, CDR Chaplain Corps, USN, beloved father and grandfather passed from this world into Eternal Life on December 6, 2013. Born May 6, 1925 in Bay City, MI to Fred and Isa Toutant Grunder, the second of seven children. During WWII, Bey enlisted in the US Navy. After the War, he was educated at Duke University and Western Michigan State University. In later years, he continued his formal education, earning a Master's Degree in Divinity at Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and a Master's Degree in Theology at Princeton University Theological Seminary. In 1949, he married Peggy Blythe, his beloved wife of 47 years. He was ordained a minister of the Methodist Church; and pastored Methodist churches in Flint, MI and Millersville, PA. In 1959, Bey rejoined the US Navy as a Chaplain and served until his retirement in 1979. During this time, there were many adventures on land and at sea, and the family moved frequently from coast to coast. After retiring from the Navy, Bey became an associate pastor at the 1st Presbyterian Church of Evanston, IL. In 1989, he and his wife moved south to Charlotte, NC, where Peggy passed away in 1996. As long as he was able, Bey served the Lord as a minister; his last position being at the Steele Creek Presbyterian Church in Charlotte. Bey Grunder's Faith and Love were an inspiration to many, but most of all to his children who deeply miss his love, counsel, advice and presence. Bey was preceded in death by his wife, his parents, two brothers and a sister. He is survived by his children: Ruth Grunder Bailey (William) of Tulsa, OK; Timothy Bey Grunder (Donna) of Springfield, IL; and Thomas W. Grunder (Kari) of Bluffton, SC; eight grandchildren: Tim and Thom Bailey; Melissa Bloom (Jeff), Jessica Stackle (Zach), Bey James, Colin, Michael and Matthew Grunder; three great-grandchildren: Ella and Keeton Bloom, and Rhett Stackle; brothers James and Glen Grunder; and sister Elsie Dakota. ... the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7 Bey's funeral service will be at noon on January 3, 2014 at Steele Creek Presbyterian Church, 7407 Steele Creek Road, Charlotte, NC 28217. The family will receive visitors beginning at 11:00. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any memorial donations be made to the Steele Creek Presbyterian Church.
Published in Charlotte Observer on Dec. 28, 2013