Lee Oliver Gunnels
HEATH: Lee Oliver Gunnels, charming gentleman, connoisseur, dapper dresser, and proficient traveler, died on Monday, March 3, 2014 peacefully while holding the hands of his daughters.
He lived his life surrounded by the women in his family. He loved his mom, who raised Lee on their cattle ranch in California. He worshipped his older sister JoAnn Gunnels Ambrossini, a personality of her own. He married the love of his life and intellectual provocateur Laura Stanley, a beautiful and curvy graduate student he met in Hawaii while finishing his Bachelor of Arts degree, almost 56 years ago, with whom they had three girls: Cornelia (or Corkie, as he preferred) Brown (Jay) of Granville, OH; Amelia Lambert (Zane) of Nashport, OH and Sarah Gunnels Porter (Doug) of Cheltenham, England. He taught them to be honest and proud, how to drive a manual stick shift, how to vote, to love nature, to value education and knowledge above almost all else and to just be thankful. He took great pride in their accomplishments and in directing them when he thought they had gone astray.
He had a life-long love affair with food, especially sardines and smoked oysters in a can, dessert of any kind, ice cream, Vienna sausage with sauerkraut, his hidden stash of chocolate in his bedside table drawer, breakfast, lamb chops, and Bushmill's scotch straight up.
He excelled at always being on time - if not early - much to the dismay of his lovely bride, financing the education of those around him, computation, knowing something about almost everything, being kind to the earth, living within his means, loving his spaniels, never losing a game of competitive sickness, and reading any enriching book he could get his hands on. He loved to use his multiple remote controls and could out-DVR anyone in the family and to flip between watching The Mentalist and anything on The History Channel. He took extreme pride in his eight grandchildren Paul (Jake) (22), Laura (Becca) 20, Hannah (18) and Andrew (16) Bubnar; Austin Brown (20); Allison (16) and Clayton (13) Lambert and Emeline Gunnels Porter (6 months) and his great-grand daughter Ryleigh Bubnar (15 months) for whom he would often call to tell them another thing they should be doing, reading, joining and possibly researching. As a former Finance and Real Estate Appraisal professor at the Central Ohio Technical College, after receiving his M.B.A. from Xavier University, Lee was thoroughly interested in politics and the investment future. He regularly exercised his mathematical mind with word games and puzzles while sending the easier ones he found to his grandchildren to contemplate. He also took pride in his service during the Korean conflict
while stationed in Berlin, serving the rank of private in the intelligence division—the story of hopping the Berlin Wall for an ice cream is true.
Lee took fashion cues from no one. His signature look was all his: a plain pair of khaki pants, even in the middle of August in Florida, a pocketed "casual" dress shirt from L.L. Bean or an actual dress shirt with French cuffs and any assortment of valuable or costume links, his comfortable blue or gray wool cardigan, and a pair of well-worn loafers that were almost always paired with any number of his signature hats. At the post breakfast of his youngest daughter's wedding it was heard he was very kindly compared to the Gorton's Fisherman due to his unique headgear.
Lee traveled extensively and made friends everywhere he went. And when one says everywhere, they mean everywhere. Any person with a unique accent was drawn into pleasant conversation about their heritage, be it the cabbie, a mayoral candidate, or the camel driver in Egypt. Should one have a lovely piece of jewelry or a shade of hair he thought distinctive, he would bring it up right away and the two would be lost in conversation for minutes and sometimes hours. His out-going personality drew folks in but humiliated his daughters - which, of course, was his goal all along, that and to teach them to know everything and everyone.
He despised fakes, having to wait in line, practically every sport (though he attended almost every home OSU football game from 1970 through 2011), liars, those who wasted the opportunities given them, kiwi fruit, home improvement television of any kind, cats, and those that believed what they took with them from this world was more important than what they left behind.
Because of his unfounded fear that his family would throw him a party-themed funeral despite his genteel and educated character, his family will hold a private service free of any type of "theme". A celebration of his life and a time to visit with the family will be held at 101 Redstone Court, Granville, Ohio on Saturday, March 15 from 5-8pm.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to any educational institution which you hold dear. Lee retired as a Management, Consumer Finance and Computer Science professor from Muskingum Area Technical College, now Zane State, in Zanesville, Ohio and was proud of his friends and the faculty. He taught hundreds of Ohioans during his life and would feel proud to help continue doing so through your kindness.