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Donald Gunnerson

1925 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Donald Gunnerson Obituary
Gunnerson, Donald 1925 - 2017
Donald E. Gunnerson, age 92, of Granville, OH, passed away October 21, 2017. He was born April 25, 1925 in Morris, IL to Lester E. and Lucile (Hoenshell) Gunnerson. Don served in the Army Air Corps. After the War Don attended the University of Illinois, receiving his B.S. with honors in Architecture in 1951. Don began his 50 year career as an Architect with Joseph Baker in Newark, OH as the Director of Design. The firm later changed its name to JBA Architects and Don served as President and CEO for 15 years. Don's architectural design influence can be seen locally at the YWCA, Dow Chemical Research Center, Slayter Hall at Denison University, Newark High School Auditorium, and in the office redesign at the main office of Park National Bank in downtown Newark. His designs also shaped the Reese Bell Tower and amphitheater and Hopewell Hall on the Newark Campus of The Ohio State University. Beyond these local projects, Don's designs also include the Dow Elanco Corporation Center in Indianapolis; Merrill Dow Pharmaceuticals and Quantum Chemicals in Cincinnati; Nestle USA facilities in Ohio, Maryland and Connecticut; and Lubrizol Chemical Corporation in Cleveland. Don was a member of the American Institute of Architects, the Architects Society of Ohio, and Alpha Rho Chi Fraternity. He was also active on the North American Conference and Campus Planning and Design Committee of the AIA. After retiring from JBA in 1995, Don focused on another form of art, using watercolors and other media to create hundreds of beautiful paintings, many of which he donated to support worthy causes and fundraising events in the community. Throughout a long, active and varied career Don received widespread acclaim for his work as both architect and artist. Don was also passionate about community service. He served as a President of the Newark Rotary Club, the Licking County Art Association and the Celebrity Speakers Series. He was also active on the Boards of Big Brothers, the Licking County Historical Society, the YMCA Park and Pool, the Newark Alliance, Leave a Legacy, and the Licking County Concert Association. He was a trustee of Dawes Arboretum and the Board of Governors of the Robbins Hunter Museum and a recipient of the Bravo Award from the Newark Rotary Club. Don is survived by his wife, Betty (Evans) Schaller; a son, Jon Erik (Irene) Gunnerson of Hudson, OH; two grandchildren, Jessica Irene Gunnerson of Cincinnati and Alexander Jon Gunnerson of Hudson, OH; two step-sons, Stephen (Kim) Schaller and Mark (Teri) Schaller; a step-daughter, Kathie (David) Johnson, all of Newark; and five step-grandchildren; 11 step-great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, Don was preceded in death by his first wife of 52 years, Betty (Thompson) Gunnerson. Family and friends may call prior to the service at First United Methodist Church, 88 North Fifth Street, Newark, from 10-11 a.m. Memorial service at 11 a.m. Friday, October 27. Inurnment will take place at a later date in Evergreen Cemetery, Morris, IL. Memorial contributions may be made The Foundation for Hospice of Central Ohio, P.O. Box 430, Newark, OH 43058 or First United Methodist Church, 88 N. Fifth Street, Newark, OH 43055, or The Works, 55 S. First Street, Newark OH 43055. www.hendersonvanatta.com
Published in The Columbus Dispatch on Oct. 25, 2017
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