Mary Lavina Gundlach was born September 28, 1923 on a farm 5 miles west and 1 ½ miles south of Canton to Henry and Laura Seifried. She was the first of four children: Lavina, Clara, Chester, and Virginia. She was preceded in death by her husband Edwin, her parents, as well as Chester and Virginia. Clara Nelson remains a very active part of the Canton community.
Lavina is survived by her three children: Fred Gundlach, Garden City, Kansas: Sue Gerlach, Mulvane, Kansas and Jerry Gundlach of Loyal, Oklahoma as well as 9 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren, and 7 great-great-grandchildren and a host of relatives and friends. (She also viewed Susan and Vernon Sinclair as her adoptive children.)
Lavina attended the former Con 6 School completing the eighth grade. From there it was on to work. She left the home place at an early age, about 13, to become a housekeeper for the Pollock family, also of rural Canton, where she was employed until her marriage to Edwin Frederick Gundlach, July 5, 1940 at the ‘then’ mature age of 16.
To this union were born three children: Frederick, Sue and Jerry. The early years for Ed and Lavina were pretty challenging. Their first home was all of two rooms located immediately behind Edwin's parents, Gus and Minnie Gundlach, on the family farm, 5 miles west and ¼ mile south of Canton, where Edwin helped his dad with the farming. Eventually, after Gus' death, Edwin became the breadwinner for the family, but it was a joint effort. When Edwin worked the farm, Lavina worked the farm, sun-up to sun-down. It was not unusual for Lavina and the kids to have the responsibility for milking 20 to 25 cows.
In 1950 the Gundlach family moved to Southard as Edwin was able to obtain employment with United States Gypsum. Life quickly became better. The first TV; the first new car; some family vacations, and the purchase of an 80-acre farm west of Canton. In late 1959 came another change. They purchased the Conoco Station in Canton. As it was on the farm, Edwin and Lavina were a team, they jointly ran the station. Because of the fishermen and vacationers at the Canton Lake, they added the sale of block ice to their business. Then came the sale of cattle feed and dog food. It was also the local Mistletoe Depot. A large part of Lavina’s day was on the phone saying: “You have mistletoe.” The Conoco station lasted 23 years. Lavina would say that these were some of the best years because they were together as a team. Their retirement came in July, 1982 with the sale of the business.
Edwin went on to be with the Father in December of 2008. Since then, I believe Lavina has looked forward to this time, the time that she rejoins her husband and the Lord Jesus Christ in their heavenly home. She went home October 10, 2013 while a resident at the Cimarron Nursing Home in Kingfisher.
Viewing will be 9:00 a.m. through 8:00 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, October 13, 2013 at the Canton Christian Church with Steve Driskill officiating. Interment will follow in Fountain Cemetery under the direction of Haigler-Pierce Funeral Home, Canton. Memorials may be made to the Fountain Cemetery Association or the Canton Christian Church with the funeral home serving as custodian at P.O. Box 36, Canton, OK 73724. Condolences may be made online at Haigler-Pierce Funeral Home.
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