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