GUNDLING, George Franklin, 82, passed away on December 25 at his home in Wellsburg, surrounded by family with his wife Sara at his side, after succumbing to complications of Alzheimer's disease.
He was born October 29, 1930. He leaves his wife of sixty years, Sara (Finley) Gundling, originally of New Martinsville, and was preceded by a twin brother, Joseph Verner Gundling, who died as an infant; a sister, Pauline Rice; and a daughter, Cheryl, who died in 1972 after a lengthy illness.
Mr. Gundling leaves 6 children: his son George Gundling and wife Bonnie of Plano, Texas; his daughter Diane Gundling Cadenhead and husband Milton of Darnestown, MD; his son Mark Gundling and Debi of Wellsburg, WV; his daughter Becky Gundling Cheripko and husband Darrell of Darnestown, MD; his daughter Lori Gundling Feola and husband Dennis of Towson, MD and his son Mike Gundling and wife Jen of Yorktown, VA. 20 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.
Born and raised in Wellsburg, WV, the son of George and Annie Headington Gundling, Mr. Gundling attended Wellsburg High School and graduated from West Liberty State College, before embarking on a career as a high school Mathematics teacher and football coach at Wintersville and Toronto High Schools, while raising his family in Wellsburg.
A three-sport standout at Wellsburg High, Mr. Gundling was recruited for college athletics, but declined an opportunity to attend Mississippi State, after deciding his place was at home following the death of his father during his senior year. After working his way through college and graduating from West Liberty, Mr. Gundling accepted a teaching position at Wintersville and joined the football coaching staff. In his early years while teaching, coaching and raising a family, Mr. Gundling also played semi-professional baseball for teams in the Tri-State area and the Coal Miner's League, where he pitched multiple no-hitters and attracted the attention of pro scouts.
Mr. Gundling's coaching career spanned over 20 years at Wintersville and Toronto, including his final stint as the head coach at Toronto High School where his last two teams in 1980 and 1981 finished 8-1-1 and 9-1, narrowly missing the state playoffs each time. In over 20 years, the teams he coached lost more than two games in only 2 seasons. Mr. Gundling was the recipient of the OVAC Carl Hamill Award for leadership in 1989.
Mr. Gundling was an avid mathematician and taught advanced math and calculus courses, while also serving as the head of the Math department at Toronto. Combining his two passions, Mr. Gundling also formulated the official Ohio Valley Athletic Conference football scoring system to rank teams based on performance and strength of schedule.
In addition to his teaching and coaching profession, Mr. Gundling also owned and operated a store, Partyland, in downtown Wellsburg for over 45 years, and owned racehorses based at Mountaineer and Cleveland Thistledown race tracks. Mr. Gundling was an active part of the Wellsburg community and member of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Wellsburg.
Mr. Gundling served as a member of the St. John School Board and Parish Council, and was a regular lector for decades at Catholic Mass. George Gundling will be missed, but forever remembered as a devoted husband, loving father and grandfather, inspirational coach, mentoring teacher and generous, beloved fixture of the Wellsburg community and St. John Church.
Visitation will be held on Thursday December 27, 2012 from 2-4 & 6-8 p.m. at Reasner Funeral Home, 1515 Charles St., Wellsburg. Funeral Liturgy with Mass will be celebrated on Friday December, 28 at 11 a.m. at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Wellsburg with Rev. Father Dan Pisano as celebrant.
Interment will be at Franklin Cemetery Wellsburg. A Christian Wake service will be held Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
Online condolences may be left at reasnerofwellsburg.com.