Funeral Service for Leland Gundlach, 92, of Baker, MT, will be 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 1, 2019 at the American Lutheran Church, Baker, with Pastor Scott Kiehn officiating. Burial will follow at Beaverlodge Cemetery, Ekalaka, MT. Visitation for Leland will be from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019 at Stevenson Funeral Home, Baker, with a prayer service taking place at 5:30 p.m. Visitation will continue on Friday at the church from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
In the early morning hours on the 26th of October, 2019, our beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle, in-law and friend, rose tall, humble, faithful and free from pain to walk hand in hand with Jesus and his adoring wife to enter the promised land through heavens gates. Our hearts break for our loss, but rejoice that he is now home with his Loving Savior, wife, family and friends that he has sorely missed for so long.
Leland Earl Gundlach was born March 18, 1927, in Ekalaka, MT, to George and Frances (Garcia) Gundlach, the fifth of 14 children. He grew up on the family homestead in Opeechee Park, attending high school in Ekalaka. At 17 he left school to enter the war effort, joining the Navy. He was honorably discharged in 1946 and returned to Ekalaka and high school, graduating in 1948.
Later that same year, he married the love of his life and prettiest girl in Montana, Virginia Schweigert. Together they raised a family of six.
Through the years he worked at both grain elevators in Baker, Herbst Construction, including foreman for the new Fallon County courthouse and manager at Cenex in Ekalaka. In 1982 he was elected Sheriff of Fallon County and served for three terms before retiring. Leland loved southeast Montana and could never figure out why anyone would want to live anywhere else.
A true gentle man and genuine cowboy to the core, he loved raising and owning horses, the most recent being his prized draft teams. He rebuilt his own covered wagon and drove his team on several cattle drives, including the Montana Centennial Cattle Drive in 1989.
Leland will be sorely missed by his family and all who knew him, remembering his signature smile, encouraging words and sincere hugs. He truly loved people and helping others. He enjoyed visiting about horses, farming and news about town. Spending time with friends was like a ray of sunshine for him. His love of God, country and family never faltered. He was the foundation and rock of his family and we will be eternally thankful for his exemplary integrity, honesty and loyalty. He will be forever known for his unique sense of humor, kindness and generosity.
Leland is survived by his children, Karin (Ed) Renner – Pete and Judi Renner, Stephanie (Dillon) Smith, Melanie (Ethan) White and Tyler Renner (Alyssa), Riley and Dylan; Matt (Laura) Renner, MacKenzie and Trenton; Jayne Gilmore (Bill) – Shawn (Jade) Gilmore, Coby and Kayla; Eric (Ann) Gilmore, Dennis and Josh; Chris Gilmore – Logan and Kya; Robin (Richard) Menger – Jill Gundlach; Brook (Justin) Hadley – Baylee, Jacob, Avery, Travis and Ryen; Dustin (Carrie) Gundlach – Ethan, Carlee and Lucas; Scott Gundlach – Parker, Atlas, and Dalton; Cory (Alissa) Wang – Jacob, Trevor, and Rylee; Tifhany (John) Rex – Paysha and Vann; Shane (Stephanie) Gundlach – Sarah and Katherine; Lorri (Steve) Madler – Marissa (Ben) Schreiner – Carlen, Gracen and Fallon, Steffany (Ian) Cox, Emett, Eivin, and Ezra. Also special niece, Lisa Cordell (Eddie) – and her sons, Chad (Amanda) Cordell, Lee (Alex) Cordell, Gavin (Kara) Cordell and Paisley. His sisters, Shirley Meyer, Beverly Heckman and Darlene Gundlach. His brothers, Jack, Doug and Don. He is also survived by special friends Lowell and Betty Johnson, Morris Tunby, Rose Crawford and Joy Hayden, who filled his life with companionship, laughter and lots of cards. Thank you.
He was preceded in death by his parents; George and Frances Gundlach. Brothers; Harold and George. Sisters: Mavis, Betty, Gloria, Virginia and Barbara. His loving wife, Virginia, daughter Mary, and grandson, Joel Renner.
In lieu of flowers, Leland’s family suggests memorials to the American Lutheran Church.
Remembrances and condolences may be shared with the family at www.stevensonfuneralhome.com.