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Marianne Hart Gunsolus

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Marianne Hart Gunsolus Obituary
Marianne Hart Gunsolus

Born Aug 23, 1925, in Fairfield, Nebraska, to M.L and Lola Hart, Marianne passed away on September 23, 2013, at her home on Mercer Island, Washington. She touched many lives with her ever-positive outlook on life, rich sense of humor, unfailing love and incredible generosity. She treasured her family and friends, and has left us all with fond memories.

She is survived by her loving husband C.V. (Vern) Gunsolus; children Sherry (Gunsolus) Landrum, James V. Gunsolus (Susan Anderson), Philip H. Gunsolus (Lonni Gunsolus) and Jeanne Gunsolus (Don Paterson); nine grandchildren and ten great grandchildren; and her siblings, brother Lee Hart and sisters Judy Christensen, Melanie Palluck and Sarah Trowbridge along with numerous nieces and nephews.

Marianne was an extraordinary woman who enjoyed a very full life. She studied to become a Registered Nurse with the Nursing Cadet Corp, receiving her diploma in 1947 from Billings Deaconess Hospital in Billings, MT. She met her husband, Vern, in 1945, while they were both living in Bozeman, MT. Marianne was on a rotation for nursing school and Vern was there for Army Air Corps training. It was her beautiful, long dark hair and the twinkle in her eye that caught Vern's attention. Typically shy, Vern was so taken that he got up the nerve to cut in on a dance at the student union and, as they say, the rest is history. They were married in Billings on December 28, 1947, and celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary this past year.

A loyal and supportive wife, she went with Vern to Denver, Colorado where he attended college and she worked as a nurse. They also lived in Gary, Indiana, Mount Prospect, Illinois, and Dallas, Texas before finally settling on Mercer Island, Washington, in 1970. Always one who made the best of any situation, Marianne made lifelong friends wherever they lived or travelled. Those travels included many a grand (and sometimes not so grand) adventure in the U.S. and abroad. More recently, they enjoyed the snow-bird lifestyle with long stays in Palm Springs every winter.

Marianne loved to cook and often hosted dinner parties. Her dinners were always a great success, whether hosting Vern's co-workers, the neighborhood potluck group or gourmet club. Always looking to surprise her guests, she spent many hours at the Mercer Island library researching recipes. She also loved celebrating her birthdays, from throwing herself a wake for her 50th to hosting her friends on a brunch cruise of Lake Washington for her 70th, renting a suite at a Mariner's game for her 75th, and taking her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren on a cruise to Alaska for her 80th! She was so used to planning her own birthday parties that she was truly surprised when her best friends threw a bash for her 60th.

She was a very loving, engaged and proud mother, supporting her children in all their activities and never missing a sports game. She camped in the rain, shot baskets in the driveway, rode horses, waited patiently in Crystal's ski lodge, and was happy to head to the go-cart track on a weekend morning. Besides cheering on her children, she also was a big fan of the Mariners and Seahawks and loved her photo with Steve Largent - even though it was just a cardboard cutout!

From her first child to her last, she volunteered for many of their activities as well, including stints on the PTA, and as a room parent and served as Vice President of the Mercer Island Saddle Club. She also was a volunteer nurse for Blue Bird and Campfire Girls day camp, as well as, at the Mercer Island public schools. Despite her many commitments, she somehow was still always there to drive carpool, prepare a snack, play a game or just listen. Marianne also supported the community as a member of the Mercer Island Welcome Wagon in the 1970s, helping run the cheese co-op, signing up for numerous activities, playing in many of the bridge groups, and volunteering at the Virginia Mason Hospital breast cancer clinic.

Marianne loved all music, and she could be found easily in the house by just following her whistle. No matter where they lived, Marianne enjoyed bringing a little scare to the neighborhood children for Halloween. She greeted trick - or- treaters dressed as a mad doctor complete with spooky sound effects and ghostly lighting. Her tremendous sense of humor was also evident in her annual Christmas letter, which often featured silly poems and songs documenting many comedic family adventures. This annual correspondence will no doubt be missed by many this holiday.

We will long remember her positive outlook on life, laughter, generous spirit, intelligence and big heart.

A graveside service will be held at a later date in Cody, Wyoming. Donations in her name may be made to a .
Published in The Seattle Times on Oct. 13, 2013
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