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David Gunter, a longtime resident of San Juan Capistrano, passed away Wednesday, June 23. He was 89.
Born in Arlington, CA on April 12, 1922, Gunter spent his childhood in Redondo Beach. He lived in San Onofre and San Juan Capistrano prior to entering Capistrano Union High School, where he graduated in 1940 as Student Body President. In 1943, he married Marie Stroschein, who died in 1994.
Gunter enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1940, serving in both World War II and the Korean Conflict. He remained in the Navy as a Reserve Officer, having achieved the rank of lieutenant. He saw duty on the USS Salt Lake City, the USS Bangust, the USS Cabildo and the USS Pittsburgh. He was still active in the USS Salt Lake City Association.
Returning to San Juan Capistrano, he was briefly in charge of the local County Sanitation District before moving to Corona to enter the produce marketing business, working over the years for a number of companies in Corona, Yuma, AZ, Upland, Saticoy and San Francisco. He began his career at the Blue Goose packing house operated by American Fruit Growers on Verdugo Street (where the parking structure is today.)
A strong believer in giving back to one’s community, Gunter was an early member of the Capistrano Rotary Club and a volunteer fireman. He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce in Corona and also served on the Planning Commission. Returning to live in San Juan around 1990, he became an active member of American Legion Post 721, where he was an original member, the San Juan Capistrano Historical Society, the Estrella Senior Men’s Golf Club, the Temescal Palms Masonic Lodge of Corona and the San Juan Capistrano Senior Citizens group.
He is survived by his beloved partner, Charlotte Brown of San Juan Capistrano, two daughters, Deborah Ereth of Chandler, AZ, and Pamela Gibson of Sonoma, grandchildren Maria Dicken of Orange, Meredith Krauss of Grants Pass, Ore., David Hallan of Birmingham, Ala, Shelley Hallan of Sonoma and four great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his partner’s children, Andy Myers of San Clemente and Jeff Myers of Monmouth, Ore., and three grandchildren.
His daughter, Pamela Gibson, was a longtime Assistant to the City Manager in San Juan Capistrano and began her career as a City Manager in the historic city.
No services are planned at this time.