Bernie Gundel, 91, of Fontanelle, and formerly of Le Mars, passed on to be with his Lord Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2022, after medical issues causing a brief stay at the Greenfield Rehabilitation and Health Care Center. He was just nine days short of his 92nd birthday.
Bernie was born Dec. 29, 1930, to George and Frieda Gundel in Carroll. He was a bright spot in the trying 30ís and in the lives of his family and friends through the years. Bernie was raised in the Carroll/Glidden area where his father served as a Lutheran pastor.
Bernie was known as Grandpa or Gunny to his 17 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren. He was known as Bernard or Uncle Bernard to some and as Gunner to his military counterparts. He served initially in the Navy and then the Air Force. The Navy stint was during the Korean War and in the Air Force he served in Viet Nam 1968-1969. He was an extremely proud veteran serving 35 years until his retirement in 1985.
Bernie was a member of the Olesen-Halweg Legion Post 125 of Merrill, where he served in leadership roles. VFW, Voiture 865, 40 and 8, Fraternal Order of the Eagles 1381 Le Mars were other memberships.
Employment included the Iowa Air National Guard until retirement in 1985. At the 185th Tactical Fighter Group in Sioux City, he was assigned to the 319 FMS Hydraulic Shop performing maintenance on aircraft hydraulic units. He then went to work at the Eagles in Le Mars until 1994. During those years he lived in Sioux City, Merrill, and Le Mars. Bernie then returned to Carroll and lived in Lidderdale.
He married Myrna Erb on Nov. 28, 1998. This union moved him to Adair County and Fontanelle. He then drove for Southern Iowa Trolley for seven years. Their personal lives revolved around his children, Connie Mueller and Teresa (Steve) Schilmoeller, and Myrnaís children Rhonda, Brian, and Kevin Erb and their families.
Bernie was an active member of Emmanuel Lutheran Church where he served on the council. Thrivent was another opportunity for him to serve in a leadership capacity.
He left a note to tell everyone that he was an avid fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes, Chicago Cubs, and the Chicago Bears. This presented much fun as he sparred with supporters of opposing teams. Lake Wabedo in Minnesota held a special place in his heart, and he loved to use the chain saw, boat, fish and occasionally catch enough for a fish fry. Several grandchildren also enjoyed this experience and may have caught some fish as well when logging wasnít the priority. His greatest love though was all his grandchildren, and he always sent them a birthday card. This man will be missed.
He is survived by his wife, Myrna Erb-Gundel of Fontanelle; children Connie Mueller of Le Mars, Teresa (Steve) Schilmoeller of Remsen, Rhonda Erb of Greenfield, Brian Erb of Manilla, and Kevin Erb of Manning. He is also survived by honorary daughters Karin (Kevin) Eischeid and Kim (Ross) Hein of Glidden as well as sister-in-law Carole Gaer of Pierre, South Dakota; brother-in-law Arlo Petersen of Harlan; his beloved grandchildren, nieces, nephews, other family, and friends.
Bernie was preceded in death by brother Lawrence (Pat) Gundel; sister Mildred (Mike) Chute, infant brother Donald; an infant sister; sweet grandson Bryland Erb; Kevinís wife, Jennifer Erb and son, Ron Schell. He was married to Stella (Stevens) Gundel and Donna (Schell) Gundel who proceeded him in death.
Graveside services will be held Friday, Jan. 27, at 10 a.m., at the Resthaven Cemetery in Le Mars. Full military graveside rites will be conducted by the Oleson-Halweg Legion of Merrill.
Memorials may be directed to the Emmanuel Lutheran Church, in Fontanelle, or to St. Judeís.
The Lamb Funeral Home in Fontanelle is in charge of the professional arrangements. Online condolences may be left to the family at to be www.lambfuneralhomes.com.