302-478-7100 Wilmington & Hockessin, DE

Jay Gundel

Jay Gundel, advertising executive, avid cyclist, dogged amateur historian, self-taught musician and above all devoted family man, passed away on July 6, 2019.

For more than 40 years, Jay owned and operated Jay Gundel and Associates, a full-service Wilmington advertising and marketing firm with clients here and throughout the region.

He is survived by his loving wife, Susan Scofield Gundel, his daughter, Sara Holtz (James), son Shaun Gundel, granddaughter Haley Mae Gundel, brothers Ronald Gundel and Jeffrey Gundel and sister Mary Jo McKenzie. He was predeceased by his son, Jason Reading Gundel, and his parents, Charles John Gundel, Jr. and Helen Mae Reading. He also left behind loyal friends who knew him for many years as a kind and cheerful man and considered him part of their family

Charles John Gundel, III was born in Point Pleasant, NJ, and raised in the Philadelphia suburbs. He lived most of his adult life in North Wilmington. He also owned a lakeside house in the Poconos where he unwound whenever possible.

Before founding his agency, Jay attended Temple University and graduated from Charles Morris Price School of Advertising and Journalism in Philadelphia, where he was class president. After that he was a Marine (they wanted a few good men and they got one) and worked in advertising design and public relations at the Wilmington News Journal.

Jay oversaw and participated in every aspect of his own business, but managed to find time for his other interests.

As a cyclist, he rode many miles virtually every day and often took extended bike trips of several hundred miles in the Finger Lakes Region of New York, along the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal in Maryland, and elsewhere. As a young man he helped found a cycling group that named itself the FRoGs and made lasting relationships with many of its members. He was a faithful follower of the Tour de France, as well as the Eagles and Phillies.

As a historian, he specialized in the Revolutionary and Civil wars. He was well read in the subjects and wrote about them on occasion. He often traveled to historical sites. Even on vacation he made side trips to any monument or memorial nearby — as his family can tell you!

As a musician, Jay spent long hours teaching himself how to play guitar and sing the detailed lyrics he wrote, some of them influenced by Woody Guthrie. He recorded his music at home and at a nearby studio. A music fan since the “hippie days,” he enjoyed artists from Neil Young and Lou Reid to the Jayhawks and Dawes.

Jay lived life to his carefully constructed iTunes playlists. The night before he passed away, he grilled hamburgers as the music played. After dinner he, Susan and some friends sat on the back porch for conversation under the stars. It was the kind of evening Jay loved.

A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 am on July 19, 2019 at Church of The Holy Child, 2500 Naamans Road, Wilmington, DE. Visitation will be from 10:00-11:00AM at the church. Instead of flowers, donations may be made to Cycling for Heroes, Fisher House Foundation, 2 South Philadelphia Blvd., Aberdeen, Md. 21001 or to the Urban Bike Project of Wilmington, P.O. Box 729, Wilmington, DE 19899

Funeral Services

Friday July 19, 2019

10:00 am to 11:00 am                Visitation

11:00 am                                       Memorial Mass

Church of the Holy Child

2500 Naamans Rd., Wilmington, Delaware


    Sheila Berger writes,
    There are no words to describe the loss I know you all are feeling. As Dean and I always say life is a blessing and we must cherish each day we have with each other. Jay is a true loss and will be more than missed by us all and he sure knew how to pick the perfect wife who has been by his side and helped him fulfill his life’s dreams! May he Rest In Peace always.
    07/13/2019 11:38 am
    mark "Shark" White writes,
    There are so many fond memories with Jay. I met Jay about 20 years ago while cycling one morning in North Wilmington and Jay quickly welcomed me to cycle with him and fellow FRogs during the early morning week days. I was later invited to become a fellow FRog. Jay was thoughtful in every aspect of life and we exchanged many conversations on many topics outside of cycling. Jay will truly be missed by the cycling community. Rest in peace my fellow Vet!
    07/13/2019 12:48 pm
    Josie Kurz lit a candle and writes,
    Susan, Shaun and family, My heart is breaking for you and as you know we all love jay very much! Such a kind, selfless man always pleasant and cheerful. He is the founding father of our Cycling group I’m so grateful for the lasting friendships he’s helped us all establish. ❤️❤️❤️ Josie
    07/14/2019 09:28 am
    Carol Kraft writes,
    Paul and I send our deepest sympathy to you and the family. We only have the fondest memories of Jay and enjoyed our travels with the you both to Jamaica and Dominion Republic. Great time with great friends. Jay will be missed by so many. Thinking of you and may you find solace in your memories of the times you spent together without the years.
    07/14/2019 09:37 am
    Neil Hickey writes,
    I road the Jay Gundel loop yesterday AM. It’s a 16 mile loop of local roads that snake between the Delaware and Penn state lines. Still coming to terms with his passing. I will miss the rides with him and our long talks about history, bikes and music. Jay was an early AM rider and loved the Dawn patrol, the cooler temps and light traffic. Where ever Jay went he made an impression... my two teenagers knew him well as “the cycling friend who shares the history stories”. He will be sorely missed.
    07/14/2019 12:19 pm
    Jennifer Colantuono lit a candle and writes,
    Sara, we are all thinking about you and sending prayers your way during this difficult time. We all love and miss you. Love your WIC Crew.
    07/15/2019 10:56 am
    Janice a. marshall lit a candle and writes,
    I was deeply saddened by the news of Jay’s passing. My heart and prayers are with you and your family. Janice Marshall
    07/16/2019 09:17 am
    Robert Dean Crawford lit a candle and writes,
    Condolences to my best friend and his whole family! Jay was a great man and will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him.
    07/16/2019 03:34 pm
    Jeffrey Smith lit a candle and writes,
    Jay was a pillar in the Wilmington advertising community for countless years. His creative talents and incredible business ethics will be sorely missed, by all those who’s lives he touched. My heart goes out to his family.
    07/18/2019 01:25 pm
    Karl Richeson writes,
    Jay Gundel was a Renaissance Man, He was an inspirational leader in the creative community.
    07/18/2019 07:51 pm
    Catherine and Gregory Coin lit a candle and writes,
    Susan, our thoughts are with you. We'll all miss Kay's smiling face!
    07/19/2019 08:28 am
    Bill Tavani writes,
    Jay and I attended high school and worked on the school newspaper together. We reconnected at our 40-year reunion, after which I was always delighted when I spotted him in the crowd at Phillies games on TV. Great guy! I am glad he lived life to the full. Susan and family, my condolences.
    07/19/2019 09:51 am
    Nancy Gundel lit a candle
    07/19/2019 07:57 pm
    Crystal Gundel lit a candle and writes,
    Jay was as I know his spirit remains a happy positive friendly creative and professional man with a passion for his wife and family. He played a huge roll in my life for stepping in and taking on such a roll in helping to form and raise my daughter Haley and for that I am forever grateful you were and will always be loved by me and by so so many my deepest sympathies go out to all your family and friends Crystal
    07/23/2019 03:37 pm
    Deborah H Babbitt lit a candle and writes,
    Although it’s been many years since seeing Jay and Susan, I will always remember his wonderful personality and the sparkle in his eyes! I had such a delightful time on a trip we took to Jamaica. Best wishes for peace and surrounding joy Susan I am so so saddened by his passing so early in his life Much love, Debbie
    07/25/2019 12:21 pm
    Bill Cleary lit a candle and writes,
    I was shocked to learn of Jay’s sudden passing. I was glad to have Jay as my good friend during high school and early college years. I regret now that I never picked up the phone to remind him of shared right-of-passage events like the time that he trusted me enough with the family’s Rambler to teach me stick shift, a gear crunching experience for the car and for us. Was there ever a better start to a weekend than Jay, whose persuasive abilities with his parents were unsurpassed, driving the family’s new Ford convertible to school senior year, top down despite the March chill on a Friday morning, while blasting the Dave Clark Five’s “Glad all over”? I think still think of that day, that moment when the future was waiting for both of us. I think that is loss, when only one of the two friends is left to remember life's events. My deepest sympathy to Susan and family.
    08/09/2019 02:53 pm

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