Helen M. Gundrum (nee Bly) age 92 of West Bend died Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at the Waterford Assisted Living, West Bend. She was born February 14, 1924 in Fairmont, West Virginia, the fourth child of Clarence and Caroline (nee Brown) Bly. Helen grew up in Monessen, PA where she was a member of the Monessen High School debate and cheerleading teams before graduating in 1941, at 17, the first of her siblings to do so. After working for a short time in an ice cream shop and a factory, Helen moved to Baltimore in 1942 for better employment opportunity. Helen enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps, beginning basic training in Georgia, September 27, 1944. On August 9, 1946, she shipped out to serve first in the European Theater before serving in the Occupational Forces in Germany. There she met Walter C. Gundrum, who was serving as an Army MP. They married on June 21, 1947 in Heidelberg, Germany. During her service she began as a Supply Clerk and was promoted numerous times to reach the rank of Active 1st Sergeant. Following their discharge they settled in West Bend, WI, Wally’s home state.
After moving to WI, Helen and Walter joined St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Barton and she became a member of the Christian Mothers. In 1962, they became members of St. Francis Cabrini Catholic Church when they moved to the south side of West Bend and later, in retirement, Holy Angels Catholic Church. She was a Boy Scout troop leader, when her family was small. Later in life, she relished her role as a costume designer and seamstress for two West Bend Community theaters, the Stage Door Players and Spotlight Productions. Helen and Wally were members of the Wieland’s Sunday night couples bowling league for years. Helen was especially known for her sense of humor and dry wit among family and friends.
Helen was the loving and dedicated mother of 8 children, six of whom survive her: Clint (fiancée Cheryl) Gundrum, West Bend, Judy Monday, Carlsbad, CA, Diane (Terry) Kannass, Fond du Lac, Peter Gundrum, Jackson, Garry (Donna) Gundrum, Sun Prairie and Linda (Stewart) Felix, West Bend. She is also survived by13 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren, whom she adored. She is further survived by daughter-in-law Donna Gundrum, brothers-in-law Arthur Trilli of Belle Vernon, PA, Paul (Carol) Gundrum, West Bend, sister-in-law Ruth Nennig, West Bend, as well as many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Walter on March 11, 2005, 2 sons, Edward and Walter Jr. in 2013, daughter-in- law Mary Gundrum, all of her siblings, Clint, Bernard, Lee, Caroline (Sis), Patty and Nancy, and her parents.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Monday, March 14, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. at Holy Angels Catholic Church in West Bend with Rev. Jerome Repenshek presiding. Burial will be Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. in Holy Angels Cemetery. The family will greet relatives and friends on Monday, at the church from 5:00 p.m. until 6:45 p.m. Memorials to the Holy Angels School Trust Fund or the West Bend Food Pantry would be appreciated.
The Schmidt Funeral Home in West Bend is serving the family. Online guestbook and condolences are available at www.schmidtfuneralhome.com