Jean L. Gumnick

January 30, 1932 ~ March 1, 2021 (age 89)


Jean Gumnick, 89, died March 1, 2021, at CHI Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga after a brief illness. Born on the last day of January 1932, in Baltimore, Maryland, to Anna Madeline (Penning) and Thomas Joseph Lawler, an only child and the center of their universe. Jean grew up on Sheldon Avenue in a handsome brick row house. After graduating from The Catholic High School of Baltimore in 1949, she earned a bachelor’s degree in History from Mount St. Agnes College in 1953. Jean was a beauty, and her lovely soprano singing voice brought joy to many when she sang in choirs, for special occasions, and at parties. For a time she worked as a medical secretary for a doctor in Baltimore. In 1951 she met the love of her life, James Louis Gumnick. They were married in 1959 at St. Ignatius Church in Baltimore, Maryland. Throughout their 61 years of marriage, the Gumnicks moved around the country and made friends wherever they went, from Baltimore, Maryland, to Fort Wayne, Indiana, to Broomall, Pennsylvania, then on to Houston, Texas. After Houston, they decamped to Oak Ridge, TN, then again on to Wichita, KS. One family member remarked that Jean had married a “migrant physicist.” Jean and Jim finally settled down to retire in Chattanooga, near several of their children. They enjoyed a very busy and fulfilling social life there. Our family often referred to them as the “Energizer Bunnies”. A voracious reader, Jean was often seen with her beautiful straight nose in a mystery, biography, or any other book that captured her wide-ranging curiosity. She loved British TV series and public television programs. She loved the many choirs, volunteer organizations, and societies to which she generously dedicated her time and efforts, including most recently, Chattanooga Theatre Center, PEO, Garden Club, Friday Study Club, and Herbies. Loving learning and people made her a friend to many. Jean could always be counted on to offer a heartfelt prayer, song, or blessing appropriate for any occasion. Jean practiced a rich spiritual life, and was a devout Catholic her entire life. She prayed the rosary and had a deep abiding faith in God. When Jean prayed, God listened. We are grateful that our family was left with a legacy of devotion and faith. After making her confession and receiving anointing in the morning, she died at peace with her husband at her side. Because they didn’t want their children to be lonely, Jean and Jim decided they would like a large family. She was proud of her children and was always delighted when they were able to visit for holidays, or anytime. She is survived by her six children: John (Lori) Gumnick, Anne (Bob) Swanson, Edward (Jaime Lara) Gumnick, Mary (John) Malmberg, Jane (Rodney Johnson) Gumnick, and Beth (Richard Jones) Gumnick. Also cherished and loved were her seven grandchildren: Joan and Kenneth Swanson; Sarah, Em, and Rebecca Gumnick; and Robert and Johnny Malmberg. The family requests that in lieu of flowers or gift that memorials be made to:
· Loyola University, Baltimore, Maryland-Thomas J. Lawler Scholarship Fund
.St. Jude’s Catholic Church
.Alexian Village Scholarship Fund
.Humane Education Society
Arrangements entrusted to Lane Funeral Home, 601 Ashland Terrace, Chattanooga, TN 37415 (423)877-3524

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