Byron 'Guns' A. Gundaker


Beloved husband, father and son, Byron A. "Guns" Gundaker, 61, died Thursday, May 24, 2018, at Walter Reed National Military Hospital with his family by his side from complications of a stroke.
Born Feb. 28, 1957, in Latrobe, he leaves behind his mother, the former Katherine Mayger, and his father, William Gundaker. Byron enjoyed spending time with his family and friends and riding his motorcycle.
After graduating from Reynolds High School in 1976, Byron joined the U.S. Navy as an air-launched weapons technician.
He was a plank owner on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and was the driver for Mrs. Mamie Eisenhower for the ship's commissioning. He also served aboard the USS America and the USS Guam during the waning stages of the Cold War, the Liberation of Kuwait and various other missions, earning the Navy Expeditionary Medal, the Good Conduct Medal and other commendations.
On Aug. 13, 1994, while serving on the USS Guam during high winds and heavy seas in a combat rubber raiding craft, he assisted in the rescue of eight British citizens, including several children, whose sailboat had capsized.
He briefly left the service, married his wife, then returned to active military service in 1982 retiring as an Aviation Ordnanceman First Class in 1998 after more than 23 years of service.
After retiring from military service, Byron worked as a contractor for Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, as a technician and later worked for the Department of Defense as a Government Ground Flight Representative (GGFR).
He was a past member of American Legion Post 255, the Southern Maryland Corvette Club and the National Rifle Association.
Byron volunteered with the local Habitat for Humanity and Special Olympics. He was quick to help in any way possible but most of his efforts went unheralded and unknown, just the way he wanted it. His mission in life was to do his very best to make everyone else's lives better in any way that he could.
Besides his wife, the former Shendandoah Kendall, whom he married Aug. 21, 1982, in Jacksonville, Fla., he also leaves four children, Lee (Tonya) Eckelberger, Amanda (Terrrence) Thomas, Joshua (Danee) Gundaker and Danielle (Richard) Smith; 12 grandchildren, Lauren, Taylor, David, Trent, Maya, Mason, Aubrey, Angelina, Devin, Arabella, Dayton and one more on the way due in December.
He also leaves three siblings, Judy Gory of Pennsylvania, Lynn (Doug) Winner of Pennsylvania and Kenneth (Tammy) Gundaker of Pennsylvania.
He was preceded in death by his mother-in-law and father-in-law, Wanda and George Kendall.

Byron A. "Guns," 61, of Bethesda, Md.
Calling hours: From 4 to 7 p.m. Friday (6-1-18) and from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday (6-2-18) at STEWART-KYLE FUNERAL HOME, 407 W. Liberty St., Hubbard, Ohio. Family and friends are invited to visit the funeral home's website at to share memories and condolences.
Service: Funeral at 11:30 a.m. Saturday (6-2-18) at the funeral home.
Interment: Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors at a date yet to be determined.
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Published on May 30, 2018
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