Elvis Lucille Gundy, 93, of Memphis died Sunday, October 27, 2013 at the Scotland County Care Center’s Residental Care Facility.
She was born the daughter of Glen and Lena Elvis (Arnold) Lancaster on Christmas Day, 1919, at the home of her grandparents, Core and Emerald Arnold. Elvis said she and the animals on her family farm became very close. Her kittens became accustomed to wearing doll clothes and resting on a blanket after she rocked them to sleep.
Elvis attended Friendship School for eight years and graduated from Memphis High School.
She traveled to Chicago following graduation and became a nanny. Jerry Gundy, an old friend whom Elvis had known since childhood, had moved to Chicago with his parents and met her at the train station. That is when their lives together began. They courted for nine months and married on July 12, 1939. When he preceded her in death on December 6, 2003, they had been married for 64 wonderful years.
Jerry served in the Navy during World War II and Elvis became “Rosie the Riveter” for Douglas Air Craft in Chicago and San Diego. After the war, Jerry was stationed at the CIA office in Warrenton, VA. Elvis was the manager of a department store and was elected as a member of the Chamber of Commerce in Warrenton.
The Gundys moved back to Memphis following Jerry’s retirement. They enjoyed gardening and working around the house together, but Elvis missed being with the public. She went to work at J.C. Penney for the next 9 ½ years.
After Jerry’s passing in 2003, Elvis moved to the Residential Terrace, where she enjoyed many activities and wonderful people. She could always round up a group to play a rousing game of cards.
When she turned 92, Elvis began a new and exciting part of her life as the “Ms. Missouri Nursing Home Queen”. She was chosen to go to Hannibal to represent the Terrace in competition. After winning there, she competed in St. Charles to represent her district. Unknown to Elvis, two of her nephews and their wives had come to cheer her on. Elvis, her daughter Linda, and Tammy Hammond from the Terrace went to the Lewis and Clark Restaurant to dine the evening before the pageant. She was surprised to see her nephews John and his wife Ann Avard from Surprise, AZ and Stephen and his wife Bonnie Avard from Sherman, TX, waiting at the table. Elvis’ son George Larry Gundy and his wife Linda along with her granddaughters Jennifer Gundy, and her fiance, Michael Rey all from Troy, MO, and Shannon Gundy, from Columbia, MO, and her friend Nick Abby from London, England were waiting too. The whole family was present the following day when Elvis was crowned Queen at the pageant. She had a wonderful time and was proud to represent Missouri.
She was preceded in death by her husband; parents; father and mother-in-law, Lewis and Alice (Ridge) Gundy; brother-in-law, Leland Gundy, sister-in-law, Helen Avard; several aunts, uncles and cousins.
She is survived by her children, Linda Larson and husband Wayne of Memphis and George Larry Gundy and wife Linda of Troy; granddaughters Jennifer and Shannon Gundy, Tamara Mathias and husband Jeff of Ocean City, MD; great grandchildren, James and Mary Clare Mathias of Ocean City and Jason Higbee of Delta, PA; several cousins and many friends.