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Mary “Joan” Gunther. 91, passed away Sunday October 7, 2018 at Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital.

The daughter of William & Agnes (Nostvick) Johnson, she was born May 29, 1927 in Thompsonville, Michigan.

Joan was a graduate of MSU and taught high school English for 36 years, teaching in Battle Creek, Benzonia, and Greenville but almost exclusively in Carson City for 30 years.  

Joan aka “Mrs. Gunther” loved teaching and loved her students.  She retired and spent almost 30 years doing what she loved best, visiting with her friends, baking and enjoying her home. Christmas was her favorite holiday and decorating her home was always the highpoint of her year. She always had a smile, a coffee pot and something to eat for all that stopped by. She loved her students and friends. If you had Mrs. Gunther for English, you were always welcome in her home.

Joan is survived by her son, Al & Debbie; granddaughters, Bridget & Ben Williams, and Brittany & Jason Johnson;  and 3 great grandchildren, Max, River, and Finn.

The family would like to give a special thank you to all the people that supported and loved Joan in the final years of her life.  Terri Cheseboro (the daughter she never had), Sheila Fields, Nancy Teed, Betty Wing, Mary Curry , Darlene Sherman, and Shawn Montague.

In addition, thank you to Grace and all of the staff of Country Friends that helped us so much in the last month of her life. She had a good run and touched the lives of thousands of people and we all will miss her dearly.  

A celebration of life will be held December 1, at 11 AM at St. Mary’s Hall, 404 N Division St, Carson City,

In lieu of flowers please consider a contribution to the Humane Society of Mid Michigan.

 To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Joan’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:

Arrangements are entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids, MI.


Let the family know you care by sharing this tribute.

10 Condolences

  1. Nancy Malinowski on October 15, 2018 at 11:29 pm

    Al and family, Your Mom was always a light in everyone’s life. I treasured her as my friend. Thinking of you all, Nancy (Ms. Mal.)

  2. Cathy Allen Fraser on October 16, 2018 at 1:11 am

    Everyone’s favorite teacher, Mrs. Gunther’s love of teaching and her students was ever apparent. A true caretaker. Al – you were blessed with an amazing woman for a mother. Her kindness made a lasting impression on my life. My thoughts and prayers are with the family. Cathy Allen Fraser / Class of ’73

  3. SUSAN M McKenna on October 16, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    Your Mom was a wonderful person, students of CCCHS were very lucky to have had her for their teacher. Condolences to her family.

  4. Tracey W on October 23, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    It was my absolute pleasure to get to know and spend time with Joan this year in her stays at Blodgett Hospital. I was a regular care-giver for her, and always made it a priority to spend time in her room. There was an immediate fondness, as more time went on and she would tell me about Al, her cats and the special students she had throughout the years. I am honored to have spent precious time with her. My heart goes out to the family, and all who love her. I am a better person for having known her this year, and as she reminded me to do so, am taking time to read poetry and think about the things that make me happy. I will truly miss her.

  5. Kathy A Finkler on November 29, 2018 at 11:40 am

    Al, Your Mom could not have had a better son than you. You took such great care of her which is why she had such a long and happy life. She was so proud of you and I loved having lunch with her and hearing all her stories about you growing up! She was loved and will be missed by many people who’s lives she touched.

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