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May 6, 1949 ~ September 9, 2023 (age 74) 74 Years Old
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Wanda Gay Fuhrman Gundermann passed away peacefully in the early morning of Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, in Billings, at the age of 74. During her long medical battle, her daughters and grandchildren were by her side.
On Friday, May 6, 1949, Wanda Gay was born to Walter P Fuhrman and Roxanna Wilma Russell Fuhrman in Glasgow. She was the fourth born of five children and grew up on their family farm off the Fuhrman Road. Wanda attended the Fuhrman Country Schoolhouse through sixth grade. Many of her classmates were part of the large Fuhrman cousin clan and were best of friends. In seventh grade, the one-room schoolhouse closed, and she began attending the Opheim School, where she graduated in 1967. After high school, she attended the Denver Airline Training School.
In September 1969, Wanda married her high school sweetheart, Dennis Gundermann, in Glasgow. They resided in Great Falls while Dennis finished college and their first child, Arliss, was born in 1970. After college graduation, the family of three moved back to Valley County and settled on the Gundermann family farm. Their second child, Neal, was born in 1972 and their last child, Mara, was born in 1977. After Wanda’s three children were grown, she moved into Opheim and lived there the rest of her life.
Over Wanda’s lifetime, she had worn many hats … farmwife, mother, cake maker extraordinaire, elder caregiver and coffee shop owner. She made hundreds of decorated cakes, from birthdays to anniversaries to tiered wedding cakes. Her final job was a cook at the Opheim School for 20-plus years. She enjoyed working there and loved watching the kids grow up. She was known for her bread, buns and caramel rolls, the smells permeating the school halls.
Wanda was a wonderful mom who made every holiday extra special. She went all out on decorating her home, wrapping presents and making special treats. At every holiday, there were always decorated sugar cookies! She hosted many holiday gatherings and the food was always delicious! At Halloween, Wanda created whatever costume her kids requested. Same went for her children’s birthday parties … whatever theme they asked for, she would follow with a cake and often hand-drawn party decorations.
A believer in the Lord, Wanda was always involved in the church. She also volunteered in the community over the years. Some of her service included: assisting planning the last five Opheim All Class School Reunions, attendant in the floral department at The Glasgow Fairs, working the Opheim voting polls, and FHA school advisor. Her hobbies included: cake decorating, baking, candy making, sewing, cross stitch, crafts, silhouette paper cutting, calligraphy, jigsaw puzzles, playing cards and bunco, crossword puzzles and reading. She was famous not only for her decorated White Wanda Cakes, but also for her cream cheese mints and cinnamon candy.
Wanda had a very generous and caring heart. She sent cards to close family and friends and did not forget a birthday or special day! A true friend, always willing to lend a hand or help in any way that she could. She was authentic … the polite and considerate person you saw in public, was the same person at home. A lover of God, her country and her family, she was as faithful as they come.
Wanda was preceded in death by her son, Neal Jay Gundermann; parents, Walter and Roxanna Fuhrman; sister, Joyce Fuhrman; son-in-law, Ryan Murphy; and mother-in-law, Lorraine Gundermann.
Survivors include her two daughters, Arliss (Dan) Benz and Mara Murphy; two grandchildren, Tyler Benz and Tova Murphy; siblings, Lois (Dean) Musgjerd, Floyd (Sally) Fuhrman and Darrel (Twila) Fuhrman; uncle, Stanley Russell; aunt, Barbara Bales; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and special friends.
A memorial service is being planned for early Summer 2024 in Valley County.