MESA, AZ-Richard Herbert Gunning, 92, of Mesa, AZ and a long-time Wilmington resident, passed away peacefully Feb. 23, 2017 at the Fellowship Square Independent Living Center in Mesa, AZ. He was born Dec. 23, 1924 in Wilmington, IL to Thaddeus John and Wanda Riess Gunning.
Richard graduated from Wilmington High School in 1942, was inducted on May 24, 1943 into the Army Field Artillery and served during World War II in the European Theater of Operations. He was honorably discharged on Dec. 21, 1945. He furthered his education under the GI-bill, studying diesel engines in Memphis, TN before going to work for the Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America in Joliet, IL where he stayed until his retirement in 1986. On July 30, 1947, he married Marianna Jean Lockwood. Richard and Marianna moved from Wilmington to Mesa, AZ in 1995.
He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Wilmington since childhood. He also served for years as an elder and volunteered his time and labor when the manse or the church needed renovation. He was active in the Wilmington Little League both as a coach of the team that was sponsored by the American Legion as well as serving as the Little League vice president for several seasons. Richard enjoyed doing all kinds of home improvement projects whether they were his own or those of family or neighbors. He also enjoyed boating, golfing, traveling and attending his children's and grandchildren's sporting events.
Richard is survived by a daughter, Gail (David) Williams of Queen Creek, AZ; two sons, Gary (Dana) of San Diego, CA and Thad (Anne) of Houston, TX; six grandchildren: Dr. Sarah (Matthew Bonnitt) Gunning of Towson, MD; David Gunning of Houston, TX; Kaylee Gunning of San Diego, CA and Collin, Alyse and Cory Williams of Queen Creek, AZ; brother-in-law, Keith (Lila) Lockwood of Wilmington; sister-in law, Deloris Lockwood of Plainfield, IL and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Marianna on Jan. 12, 2017; a sister, Mary Louise who died in infancy and a brother and sister-in-law, Dr. John and Jean Gunning.
Internment of his ashes and memorial services will be held at The Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery. The date has not yet been determined.
Memorial gifts in Richard's name may be made to The First Presbyterian Church of Wilmington, 301 N. Kankakee St., Wilmington, IL 60481, or to a charity of the donor's choosing.