By Bob Weaver
Vonda Gunn (1920--2002) was laid to rest beside the Mount Zion United Methodist
Church yesterday, where she was a member and faithful attendee for more years
than anyone could remember.
Faithfulness, in her case, also meant perseverance, being the church treasurer,
attending services, serving on hundreds of committees and helping prepare more
dinners than you can imagine, let alone her involvement with the community park and
the well-known ox roast.
My relationship with Vonda began as my 4th Grade teacher at Grantsville Grade
School, back in the late forties (Yes, I am that old). It was the vitality of a well-run
country store, operated by she and her husband at Mount Zion, I remember most.
They were good merchants.
Vonda became the heir of the political interests of the Gunn family, but she developed
her own style and approach, more often than not, feisty and forthright. She served for
many years as the chairperson of the Democrat Executive Committee.
Despite failing health, she managed to get to Democratic functions, after she
officially withdrew. "I really want to know what's going on," she told me at the
Democrat dinner a few weeks ago. "There is nothing like a good race."
In many ways her passing represents a further fading of Calhoun's old political
families, often criticized, but sometimes revered.
While her political life brought detractors, she had a resilient character and a certain
dignity that carried her through.
Rev. Rick Swearingen said it was ironic she died on Thanksgiving Day, her special
day of the year, always inviting family and friends to her house for the feast. He also
recalled her opening her swimming pool to church events, families and neighborhood
kids. "She even tried to teach me to swim," said Rev. Swearingen, "but I flunked."
It will be strange this spring to drive up Pine Creek Hill to Route 16 and not see Vonda
working in her flowers and plants.
Joining many of our generational citizens who died this year, we must say our final
good-bye to Vonda.