Randal Gene Gunden, 64, Fort Myers, Florida, formerly of Goshen, Indiana, died Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, at his home.
Randy was born May 16, 1952, in Pigeon, Michigan, to Glen and Pauline Gunden. He grew up in Michigan but spent the majority of his life in Indiana. In 1974, he graduated from Goshen College with a degree in economics. After graduation, Randy volunteered in Maseru, Lesotho, for Mennonite Central Committee. It is there that he started his teaching career. After returning to the United States, he spent a year studying economics at the University of Michigan, after which he continued his graduate work at the University of Notre Dame where he earned his masters degree.
After returning from Africa, he met his wife, Deborah Lederach, whom he married Dec. 27, 1980. They lived in Mishawaka, Indiana, while he attended graduate school. In 1982, Randy and Debby moved to Newton, Kansas, where he was an assistant professor for the Department of Business and Economics at Bethel College. In 1984, Randy and Debby moved to Goshen, where he became assistant professor of economics and business at Goshen College. While at Goshen College, he and Debby spent a year in Guadeloupe, French West Indies, as SST leaders. In 2004, he became vice president of the College of Professional Studies at the Indiana Institute of Technology in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He held both teaching and administrative positions at Bethel College from 2008-2011. He returned to Goshen College in 2011 as the executive director of adult and online programs. Most recently, he worked at the Labelle Campus of Florida Southwestern State College. He resigned April 2016 after his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. In April 2016, Randy became ill and on April 29 he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, forcing his retirement. He proceeded with chemotherapy with the hopes of shrinking the tumor, however, the tumor continued to grow. After much research, thought and discussion with his family, Randy made the decision to forego additional treatment and live the remainder of his life on his own terms. This past fall, he was able to live an almost normal life. Randy was able to attend his son, Matt's wedding, travel to Seattle to visit his son, Jacob, and visit family and friends. On Feb. 25, 2017, almost 10 months after receiving his diagnosis, Randy passed away.
He is survived by his wife, Debby; his son, Matthew, and his wife, Laura, of Chicago, Illinois, and Jacob of Seattle, Washington. He is also survived by his mother, Pauline and three brothers, Doug, Burdette and Tony.
He is preceded in death by his father Glen.
Randy was a kind, supportive and loving father and husband. He was a gifted teacher and a loyal friend.
A memorial service took place in Fort Myers, Florida, March 5. A second memorial will take place at College Mennonite Church, Goshen, Indiana, March 26 at 3 p.m. in the sanctuary.
Visitation will be from 1 to 2:30 p.m. There will be a meal and sharing at the south end of the fellowship hall.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Mennonite Central Committee, 21 S 12th St., Akron, PA 17501, call toll-free 1-888-563-4676 or contribute on line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Published on March 10, 2017