Norma Jean Gunby
1929 - 2021
Norma Jean Harden Gunby was born November 30, 1929 in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Velma Cunliffe (Kemp) and Arthur Richard Harden. When Norma was eleven years old, the family (including her older sister LaVon) moved to Vallejo, California, where Arthur found work in the foundry at Mare Island. Norma met the love of her life, Robert Gunby, at a high school football game and they were married in December of 1947. They were happily married for sixty-one years, until Robert passed away in 2008. In 1952, they moved to Napa, where they raised their family. When Bob retired from Mare Island, they fulfilled a lifelong dream and moved to the mountains. They lived in the Placerville area until Bob passed away, at which time Norma moved back to Napa to be near family
Norma had a beautiful soprano voice and very nearly had a singing career, but love, marriage, and family intervened. She was the consummate homemaker but sang every chance she got. She was very active in local community singing groups, as well as solos in church, and for weddings and funerals and family gatherings. She and Bob loved to dance and belonged to several ballroom and folk-dancing groups through the years. She enjoyed camping and traveling (their trip to Europe was a highlight), and table games of all sorts. For many, many years, she organized annual family reunions, first at their home in Placerville, then at the campgrounds at Jenkinson Lake.
Norma was predeceased by her husband Robert, her son Richard, and her sister LaVon McMullin. She is survived by daughter Constance (Carl) Shellhorn of Napa, son Curtis (Susan) Gunby of Alpine Utah, and daughter-in-law Laurie Gunby of Reno Nevada; by her grandchildren Adam Shellhorn, Nathan (Devon) Shellhorn, and Rebecca Cambigue, Heather (Brett) Vieau, Shara (Roger) Torres, Cavan Tornga, Matthew (Samantha) Gunby, Angela (Michael) Thomas, Carissa (Drew) Leatham, and Kristina (Logan) McNeil; fourteen great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren; numerous nieces, and her dear friend Ann Marie Green.
The family would like to thank the staff at Stayman Estates board and care home and Collabria Hospice for their care during Mom's final weeks.
A private graveside service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer's Association or Collabria Hospice.
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