Obituary: Patricia Estelle Childs Gunther, 1924-2019 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Patricia Estelle Childs Gunther, 1924-2019 

Longtime Winooski resident spent active retirement working at Shelburne Museum and planting flower gardens

click to enlarge Patricia Estelle Childs Gunther
  • Patricia Estelle Childs Gunther

Patricia Estelle Childs Gunther died of complications from Alzheimer's disease at Mansfield Place in Essex Junction on December 9, 2019. She was 95 years old.

Pat was born in Waterville, Maine, on September 8, 1924. She was the eldest child of James and Dora (Raymond) Childs. She lived in Springfield, Mass., until age 12, when the family moved to Burlington, Vt. Her father abandoned the family and left her with the task of helping to raise four younger siblings. This she did admirably, with a great deal of help from her aunt, Anita Parizo, and her uncle, Jerome Childs. She graduated from Edmunds High School in 1942. At Edmunds, she was active in chorus and was selected to All State.

After high school, she went to work for Bell Telephone. She met Paul Gunther in 1944, and they were married on May 29, 1945, and settled into a house they loved on Lafountain Street in Winooski. They were married for 54 years, the union ending with the death of her husband in 2000. Pat was also predeceased by her mother and father; her brother Raymond, who was killed in the Korean war; her sisters Ailene and Evangilene; and her brother Bobby.

Pat spent many years as secretary for the superintendent of the Winooski School District. After she retired from that position, she spent summers working at the Shelburne Museum as a guide. Not content to be idle, she also worked at Champlain Kids in the Champlain Mill in Winooski.

After selling her house in 2002, she moved to McCauley Square on Mansfield Avenue in Burlington, where she lived until Alzheimer's required her move to memory care at Mansfield Place in 2016.

Both her and her husband were ardent gardeners and created multiple flower gardens on their property. They were spectacular.

Pat is survived by her son and daughter-in-law John and Wendy Gunther of Colchester, Vt.; her daughter and son-in-law Shirley and Mark Benjamin of Traverse City, Mich.; her daughter and son-in-law Kay and Greg Cromie of Winooski, Vt.; and her grandchildren Scott Benjamin and his wife, Amy, of Burlington, Mass., Katie Benjamin of Traverse City, Mich., Sarah Cromie of South Burlington, Vt., and Matt Cromie of Quincy, Mass. She is also survived by her three great-grandchildren, Ellie and Summer Benjamin and Carter Voity. She is further survived by her great and constant friend Connie Gill.

She loved travel. She had an inquisitive mind. She was meticulous, highly organized and always proper. She loved life. She will be sorely missed.

The family would also like to thank the kind and generous caregivers at Mansfield Place and Bayada Hospice Care. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked for donations in her memory to Bayada Hospice Care, 2517 Shelburne Rd., Shelburne, VT 05482.

Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, December 12, from 9 to 11 a.m. at LaVigne Funeral Home, 132 Main St., Winooski, VT, with a Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated at St. Stephens Catholic Church at 11:30 a.m. A burial will take place immediately following her mass at St. Stephens Catholic Cemetery on Gorge Rd., Winooski, VT. Arrangements are entrusted to LaVigne Funeral Home.

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