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Mary Lois Gunnell


1930 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Mary Lois Gunnell Obituary
1930 ~ 2014
Mary Lois Gunnell, 84, passed away peacefully on the morning of July 4, 2014, at her home in Orem, Utah.
Mary Lois was born January 4, 1930 in Rexburg, Idaho to Delbert Thomas Bolingbroke and Ina Leota Anderson. She grew up in a loving home, and enjoyed good friends and being involved in school, church, and community activities throughout her school years in Rexburg and Twin Falls, Idaho, and in Billings, Montana where she graduated from high school in 1948. She earned a B.A. Degree in English from Brigham Young University where she was involved in many activities during her college years: Cougarettes, A.W.S. Council, White Key, and To Kalon Social Unit to name a few. When the Air Force ROTC was first organized at BYU in 1951 Mary Lois was asked to serve as the first Commandant of the female Sponsor Corps, now known as Angel Flight.
During her senior year she met the love of her life, fellow English major, Leroy Gunnell, in a vocabulary class. By the time they finished a Shakespeare class together they knew this was meant to be and were married in the Salt Lake Temple on August 26, 1952 by Spencer W. Kimball.
In 1954 Leroy received his degree and a commission as an Officer in the U.S. Air Force, where he made his career for the next 24 years. Mary Lois found being an Air Force wife was an exciting and rewarding life for both her and their 7 children as they lived and learned around the world. She loved music and sang in many choirs during her lifetime.Mary Lois had a marvelous talent for making friends and making those friends feel important. She affected the lives of multitudes of people throughout her life. She was an avid reader and a whiz at trivia games, which led to her coaching BYU's College Bowl team for 4 years, taking them to 4 NCAA tournaments.
She had a great love for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and had numerous opportunities to serve throughout her life as a Primary President, a Young Women President, Relief Society President (3 times), Gospel Doctrine teacher, and enjoyed a lifetime of Visiting Teaching. She served as a missionary at the Visitor's Center on Temple Square with her husband (1991-92). They also worked as Temple Ordinance Workers together for 14 years, and had served at the Missionary Training Center in Provo where her husband was in a Branch Presidency.
Mary Lois spent years of her life gathering and writing life histories of her parents and ancestors. She devoted a room in their home as an 'Ancestor Room' which held generations of ancestral portraits, old books, genealogy records, and many treasured artifacts belonging to her ancestors. She also lovingly created many books preserving the written and photographic history of the Leroy Gunnell family for a span of 60 years, as well as writing a volume of unique family stories and memories.
Leroy and Mary Lois loved to travel, had been to all 50 states, lived in Japan for 3 ½ years, and explored many places around the world. These two really loved each other and enjoyed being together and were an example of what a celestial marriage and an eternal family is all about.
Her family was the delight of her life, and she felt blessed to have all of her children and grandchildren living within a 30 mile radius of her home and the frequent family interaction that allowed. She is survived by her children, Anne Moss (John); Steven L. (Robin); Debi Wilcox (Brad); Douglas B. (Kristy); Robert V. (Jeanne); Mark L. (Michele); and Melanie; her 29 beloved grandchildren and their spouses and 26 great grandchildren; a brother Robert A. Bolingbroke (Marilyn) of Rancho Santa Fe, Ca., and sister-in-law Donna Bolingbroke (Vaun, deceased) of Fort Morgan, Co.
Mary Lois will be remembered for her friendliness, her faith, her sense of humor, her loving personality and service to others, and the many friends she had everywhere she lived. She was a wonderful mother to her children and grandchildren and they all loved her dearly not only as a mother but as a special friend.
Funeral services will be held Friday, July 11th at 12 noon at the Orem 7th Ward Chapel located at 365 South 900 East, in Orem. A viewing will be held at that same location at 10:00 a.m. Friday morning, preceding the funeral services. Interment will be in the Orem City Cemetery.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.SundbergOlpinMortuary.com.
Published in Deseret News on July 9, 2014
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