Cover photo for Robert "Bob" Gunter's Obituary
Robert "Bob" Gunter Profile Photo
1929 Robert 2021

Robert "Bob" Gunter

July 11, 1929 — September 19, 2021

Robert Edwin Gunter

July 11, 1929 – September 19, 2021

At 92, Bob decided he’d had enough, and died peacefully in his sleep at dawn on the morning of Sunday, September 19. Dawn on a Sunday – that would have suited him just fine. At the time of his passing, Bob was Pocatello’s oldest living firefighter.
Bob was born on July 11, 1929 in the upstairs bedroom of a white frame house in Arimo, Idaho to Rufus M. and Laura Cole Gunter. He was the sixth of nine children.

The small farm town of Arimo, Idaho may not have offered much in the way of material luxuries during the Great Depression and the years that immediately followed, but to hear Bob describe it, there weren’t many places where a kid could have more fun, most of which involved running around in a pack of boys of the same age, and exercising imagination and inventiveness in creating your own entertainment. If you had a stick and a friend, you could make a game. And the friend was optional. That inventiveness born of necessity and the ability to make something out of nothing would serve Bob well for the rest of his life.

Bob grew up in a strong family environment and in close proximity to both sets of grandparents. When he was 15, in 1944, his father was killed in an accident at the Naval Ordnance Plant in Pocatello, Idaho, making him suddenly the oldest male in the house. That’s when the lessons he’d been taught about the value of hard work became a survival skill.

Bob was part of the last graduating class from Arimo High School, with a student body that year of 13 students.

After high school Bob worked at what was available, including one season as a sheepherder in the mountains above Arimo.
During the Korean War, he served in the Army and was trained as a medic. He was assigned to the Army hospital in Osaka, Japan, helping to care for wounded soldiers.

After his service in the Army, Bob returned to southeast Idaho, making his home in Pocatello.

Bob loved to dance, and it was at a dance that he met the woman with whom he’d build a life for the next 68 years. He and Pat Allred were married on September 12, 1953. The marriage was later solemnized in the Idaho Falls LDS temple. That marked the beginning of faithful service to his church throughout the remainder of his life.

10 months to the day after they were married their first child Greg was born, on July 12, 1954. Three more children would follow: their daughter Sydnie (September 9, 1956) and twin boys Mark and Clark (June 14, 1960).

Bob worked as a home delivery driver for Rowland’s Dairy in Pocatello until his truck was hit by a train. The doctors thought he’d never walk again, but Bob had other plans. After his recovery he started working as a carpenter for Rex Coffin Construction, where he learned every aspect of building homes, something that would serve him throughout his working life.

Not long after the birth of their first child, Bob went to work for the Pocatello Fire Department. He retired from the department after 26 years, but he couldn’t stay still, so he worked another 10 years as a property appraiser for Bannock County.

In his spare time, he continued to build homes in the Pocatello area, including the one in which he and Pat raised their family, and in which Pat lives today, 54 years later. The house is still beautiful and solid, a testament to his craftsmanship.

Bob was a doer and a goer. There were always projects to jump into, places to go, and fun to be shared with the people for whom he cared. That list of people was a long one.

Bob is survived by his wife of 68 years, Pat; his children – Greg (Doris) Gunter of Pocatello, Idaho; daughter Sydnie (Robert) Haislip of Pocatello, Idaho; Clark (Jodi) Gunter of West Point, Utah; and Mark (Shelly) Gunter of Ammon, Idaho; a sister Joyce Jensen of Plain City, Utah, and a brother Marv (Carol) Gunter of Plain City, Utah. He knew, loved and was part of the lives of 16 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.

Bob loved his family and friends deeply, and the definition of “family and friends” went wide and deep. He leaves this life loved by so many people for the good man and fun man he was.

He will be sorely missed.

A viewing will be held from 10:00 AM to 11:15 AM on Monday, September 27, 2021 at Wilks Funeral Home. A graveside service will be at 12:00 PM on Monday, September 27, 2021 at Mountain View Cemetery, 1520 South 5th Ave, Pocatello, Idaho, 83205.

Memories and condolences may be shared with the family under the "Tribute Wall" tab above.

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Service Schedule

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Monday, September 27, 2021

10:00 - 11:15 am (Mountain time)

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Graveside Service

Monday, September 27, 2021

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Mountain time)

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