October 31, 2013
ELVIS LUCILLE GUNDY
Elvis Lucille (Lancaster) Gundy passed away peacefully on October 27, 2013, in her room at the Residential Care Facility in Memphis, MO. Elvis was born in Memphis on Christmas Day, 1919, at the home of her grandparents, Core and Emerald Arnold.
As the only child of Glen and Lena Elvis (Arnold) Lancaster, Elvis said she and the farm animals became very close. Her kittens became accustomed to wearing doll clothes and resting on a blanket after she rocked them to sleep. Elvis attended Friendship School for eight years and graduated from Memphis High School.
After high school, Elvis traveled to Chicago, IL and became a nanny. Jerry Gundy, an old friend who Elvis had known since childhood, had moved to Chicago with his folks and met her at the train station. That is when their lives together began. They courted for nine months and married on July 12, 1939. Jerry was in the Navy during WWII and Elvis became "Rosie the Riveter" for Douglas Air Craft in Chicago and San Diego, CA. After the war, Jerry finished college and went to work in Virginia for the CIA. By this time they had two children, Linda and Larry, who had been born in Chicago. Later Jerry was stationed in the CIA office in Warrenton, VA, and the family followed. While there, Elvis became the manager of a department store and was elected a member of the Chamber of Commerce.
After Jerry retired from the government, they moved back home to Memphis. At the beginning of their retirement, they enjoyed gardening and working around the house, but Elvis found that she missed being with the public, so she started working at J.C. Penney, and she continued for nine and a half years.
Elvis lost Jerry on December 6, 2003, and they had been married for 64 wonderful years. She said the "Terrace," with its many activities and wonderful people who worked and resided there, kept her busy and happy. She could always round up a group of people to play a rousing game of cards.
At the age of 92, Elvis began a new and exciting part of her life as "Ms. Missouri Nursing Home Queen." First, she was chosen to go to Hannibal to represent the Terrace in competition with several other residential facilities. After winning there she later went to St. Charles to represent her district. Unbeknownst to Elvis, her two nephews and their wives had traveled to St. Charles to cheer her on. The night before the contest, Elvis, her daughter, and Tammy Hammond from the RCF, went to The Lewis and Clark Restaurant. She was totally surprised to see nephew John Avard and his wife Ann of Surprise, AZ, and Stephen Avard and his wife Bonnie of Sherman, TX, sitting at the table reserved for her. Also sitting there she saw son George Larry Gundy and his wife Linda from Troy, MO, granddaughter Jennifer Gundy and fiancÚ Michael Rey of Troy, MO, granddaughter Shannon Gundy of Columbia, MO and her friend Nick Abby of London, England. Elvis' whole family was at the contest the next day and saw her crowned queen. She had a wonderful time and felt very proud to represent her state.
Elvis was preceded in death by her husband, Gerald L. Gundy; her parents Glen and Lena (Arnold) Lancaster; Jerry's parents, Lewis and Alice Ridge Gundy; Jerry's brother Leland Gundy and sister Helen Avard; and several aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Surviving are two children, Linda (Wayne) Larsen of Memphis, George Larry Gundy and wife Linda of Troy, MO; granddaughters Jennifer and Shannon Gundy; granddaughter Tamara Mathias of Ocean City, MD; two great-grandchildren, James and Mary Clare Mathias of Ocean City; grandson Jason Higbee of Delta, PA, several cousins and many friends.
Per her wishes, Elvis was cremated and a brief, graveside service will be conducted on November 9, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. in the Memphis Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Scotland County Care Center or Scotland County Hospital.
Condolences to Mrs. Gundy's family can be sent by signing the guestbook at gerthfuneralservice.com.
Arrangements are under direction of the Gerth Funeral Service.