July 29, 2014

A. Robert Gunning

The MBL flag has been lowered in memory of Robert Gunning, a long-time employee of the Marine Biological Laboratory and member of the MBL Corporation. The following is an obituary that appeared in the Falmouth Enterprise. We reprint it here with permission.

A. Robert Gunning of Falmouth died New Year’s day at Falmouth Hospital after a lengthy illness. He was 83.

He was the husband of Anita H. (LaBonte) Gunning.

Born and raised in New Bedford, he was a 1938 graduate of New Bedford High School.

During World War II, Mr. Gunning was a post engineer at Camp Edwards. In 1948, he began working at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole where he worked for 35 years until retiring in 1983 as superintendent of buildings and grounds.

During his three-decade tenure, he had a role in overseeing numerous construction and renovation projects.

Mr. Gunning was an active member of the community and was a Precinct Six town meeting member for many years. While serving as a town meeting member, he was appointed to the Falmouth Finance Committee.

He pursued an interest in conservation, and in 1979, he was elected supervisor of the Cape Cod Conservation District for a five-year tenure. During this period he was also a member of the Falmouth Conservation Commission.

A Hatchville resident since his marriage in 1941, Mr. Gunning served as president of the Hatchville Association and was a contributing editor for the chapter on Hatchville for The Book Of Falmouth, published in 1986 for the Falmouth tercentennial celebration.

A Mason, he belonged to the Marine Lodge and was a Shriner with the Aleppo Temple in Boston.

Mr. Gunning enjoyed cooking, sailing, fishing, and painting marine scenes in oils.

In addition to his wife, he leaves a son, Robert W. Gunning of Singapore; a daughter, Anita Gunning of Brighton; a brother, Jack Gunning of New Bedford; a sister, Agnes Williamson of Fairhaven; and several nieces and nephews.

A celebration of Mr. Gunning’s life will be held at a later date.

Memorial donations may be made to the Visiting Nurse Association of Cape Cod, 67 Ter Heun Drive, Falmouth, MA 02540.