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GENEVIEVE THUNDER

THUNDER, GENEVIEVE Oct. 10, 1917 to Dec. 1, 2012 Genevieve Donnersberger Thunder of El Cajon, CA, was surrounded by love when she passed away peacefully on December 1st at the age of 95. She lived a full, active and strong life. Gennie grew up in Highland Park, IL, spending joyous summers on her family's 28-acre farm with her loving parents, brother and five sisters. She attended Convent of the Sacred Heart and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Barat College. She pursued her master's degree in Horticulture at Lowthorpe School of Landscape Architecture. In 1943 Gennie married Joseph Augustus Thunder, a World War II Army Engineer. They later moved to Solana Beach, CA. In order to accommodate their growing family, they designed and built a beautiful adobe home, made from the soil on which it still stands, in El Cajon. Together they raised 14 children, five boys and nine girls, on the ranch they named Villa Joseph. In 1966 Gennie helped establish St. Madeleine Sophie's School for exceptional children. After Joseph lost his battle with cancer in 1970, Gennie continued raising her children and running the ranch, showing great personal strength to her family. Gennie was never known to be idle; she loved to swim, horseback ride and garden. Her artistic pursuits included bonsai, knitting and stained glass. She had a passion for reading and passed on her love of books to her grandchildren. Genevieve is predeceased by her brother Raymond Donnersberger, sisters Ella Laub, Wilhelmina Moore, Georgia Cretors, Antoinette Coles and Florence Bangs. She is survived by her 14 children, Joseph Thunder, Ella Thunder Stepp, Cecile Bagnulo, Philomena Thunder Wright, Theodora Thunder, Didi Thunder Coburn, Barbara Thunder Barnes, Stephanie Thunder, Claire Thunder, Kevin Thunder, Anne Thunder, Richard Thunder, Mark Thunder and Stephen Thunder, and their spouses; 29 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Gennie loved and was loved by all her family. Funeral Mass to be held 10 a.m. December 17th at St. Therese of Carmel, 4355 Del Mar Trails Rd, San Diego. Memorials may be made to St. Madeleine Sophie's Center, El Cajon CA.


Published in U-T San Diego on Dec. 11, 2012
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