Michelle Catania Tribute

Thomas Gunther

Thomas GuntherThomas Austin Gunther, 89, of Dunnellon, FL, died peacefully Wednesday, Nov. 16 at his summer home in Birch River, WV. Born in 1922, he grew up during the great depression and was the second-oldest of six siblings Mary E. and Austin T. Gunther. 

Mr. Gunther was a United States Marine Corps combat veteran in the in the Pacific theater of World War II. He served from the years of 1942 to 1946 and was honorably discharged as a Corporal. He served as a mortar crewman and participated in the initial landing of the Third Marine Division at the Empress Augusta Bay area on then-Japanese held Island of Bougainville, British Solomon Islands on Nov. 1, 1943. Additional locations of service included Guadalcanal, British Solomon Islands; Efate, New Hebrides; Noumea, New Caledonia; Pago Pago, Tutuila, American Samoa; Upolu, Western Samoa and Auckland, New Zealand. 

Following the war, Mr. Gunther worked as a carpenter and real estate agent and later opened Gunther Real Estate brokerage in Freehold, NJ. He was a past President of the Freehold Lions Club and a Life Member of the VFW in New Jersey as well as Citrus Springs, FL. He was also a Life Member of the United States Marine Corps League, Life Member of the Elks Club and a member of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Citrus Springs. He was an avid football fan and enjoyed RV’ing, gardening, fixing things, and building everything from cabinets to homes. 

He is preceded in death by his son, William A. Gunther, of Staunton, Virginia and daughter Michelle Catania of Manalapan, NJ. Surviving are his wife, Angela Gunther, of Dunnellon, FL, son, Glenn J. Wilkins of Freehold, NJ, daughters Mary Lou Matthews of Liberty, PA, Gina Georgiano of Toms River, NJ, Angela Rose of Inverness, FL and Maggie L. Gunther of Fort Lauderdale, sister Doris Hayes of Howell, NJ, several nieces and nephews, 12 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. 

A gathering of family and friends will be held at his son Glenn and daughter-in-law Maria’s home at 847 Waterworks Rd. in Freehold Township on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011 from 1 to 4 p.m. Interment will be held at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

 At the request of the family, In lieu of flowers, tax-deductible donations may be made in Mr. Gunther’s honor payable to the Michelle Catania Children’s Theater Program, mailed care of Center Players, 35 South Street, Freehold, NJ 07728 or online at https://michellecatania.wordpress.com.

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