Robert Mark Gunville died Monday, July 29, 2019 at the age of 91. He was born March 6, 1928 in Menominee, Michigan. He grew up in Duluth, where he made lifelong friends and developed a love of the outdoors.
At the age of 19, Bob began an army tour of duty in Okinawa after World War II. His work with medical teams there was the start of his career in bioscience. Exposure to the world beyond the U.S. sparked an enduring love of travel.
Returning from overseas, Bob attended the University of Minnesota, where he studied philosophy and science. There, he met Marcia Mangney, a smart young lady who shared his inquisitive nature and love of adventure. They were married in 1952 and their first daughter, Ginny, came along in 1954. Gloria was born in 1956, and Barb in 1958.
Bob was a chemist for the Rayette shampoo company but was soon hired as a biochemist at the University of Minnesota Department of Medicine, where he spent the rest of his career.
Before the wilderness was on most people’s minds, Bob and Marcia took numerous canoe and backpacking trips — kids always in tow. Bob and Marcia shared a love of geology. Both were active in the Minnesota Geological Society, and gave lectures to many, near and far — including their kids (whether they liked it or not). The car was heavier coming back from road trips due to their habit of gathering interesting rocks. Among their favorite places were the Grand Canyon, Glacier and Yellowstone national parks. Marcia died in 1984 from complications of diabetes.
New opportunities arose when Bob met Macy Wu, a Chinese artist and film translator, through her daughter Ada who was an assistant in his lab. Macy and Bob were married in 1985 and traveled the world together, particularly after Bob’s retirement in 1990. He enjoyed visiting their many friends in China and around the world. They moved to the Bay Area in the mid-‘90s and pursued art, and enjoyed painting some of California’s beautiful landscapes. Sharing a keen sense of humor, they teased each other mercilessly. A favorite telephone sign-off was “Okey-DOPE!”
Bob enjoyed spreading their joie de vivre through his Christmas newsletters, which were sent around the world and included stories from travels, anecdotes and pictures of his and Macy’s art.
In his last years, Bob relocated to Minnesota and lived at Cerenity Marian and Cerenity White Bear Lake, where he was visited often by his daughters and their families. To the end, he and Macy kept in touch with a daily 6pm phone call.
We can all honor Bob’s spirit by going for a hike in a beautiful place, savoring a good hot and sour soup, learning something every day, taking a moment to be a “be-er, not a do-er,” and appreciating life’s absurdities.
AS PUBLISHED IN THE PAPER:
Passed away July 29, 2019 at the age of 91 years. Preceded in death by his first wife Marcia Gunville and sister & brother-in-law Marilyn Blair (David). Survived by wife Macy; daughters Virginia Bach (Earl), Gloria Gunville (John), Barb Bogenschultz (David); step-daughter Ada (Vincent) and grandchildren Eva, Marta, Matthew, Rachel, Greta & Tom. Bob retired after a long career as a biochemist at the University of Minnesota Department of Medicine. A gathering of family & friends to celebrate Bob’s life will be Thursday, August 8th from 5:00-8:00 pm at MUELLER MEMORIAL, 4738 Bald Eagle Avenue, White Bear Lake with a time of sharing at 6:30 pm.