Dr. Kathy Gunkel, RN, DNP, APN-C, WHND-C, died unexpectedly on August 6, 2020. She was 64 years old. She leaves behind her beloved husband of 42 years, Robert F. Gunkel, Jr., and adored son, Robert F. Gunkel, III, his wife Natasha, and their two children, Benjamin and Jacob, her greatest joys. She is survived by her siblings and their families: Susan Gentry and daughter Sage; Robert Treible and his daughter Shannon and son Tyler; and Richard Treible and his sons Andrew and Patrick.
At the time of her death, Kathy was a Clinical Assistant Professor and Specialty Director of the Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Program, Division of Advanced Nursing Practice, at Rutgers University, where she pursued her passion for teaching, mentoring and training new generations of nurses. Before her professorship at Rutgers, she was the Director of Nursing and Quality Management at the New York University Student Health center, and prior to that she was the Executive Vice President at Planned Parenthood of Central New Jersey for 23 years. In each of these roles, Kathy was a dedicated advocate for women’s healthcare and whole-hearted believer in everyone’s right, regardless of income or circumstance, to good healthcare.
Bob and Kathy enjoyed travelling adventurously all over the world, including Alaska, the South Pacific, and most recently to Paris for Thanksgiving. Among her most memorable trips was a journey to South Africa where she—with an assist from Bob--provided clinical guidance in AIDs prevention and treatment in townships all around the country. She loved Tahiti, where her family will help her return.
Kathy was also a passionate and discerning collector of a wide array of human creations ranging from antiques, textiles, and artwork to sewing machines, Christmas ornaments, and copperware—most of which were joyously used at family parties, holidays and in her everyday life. She and Bob threw legendary dinner parties, creating everything from scratch on their well-worn Wolf stove. She also enjoyed designing and making clothing, crewel work and embroidery, crocheting and knitting, painting, and interior design. She was a breast cancer survivor.
Please consider celebrating Kathy’s rich life with a donation in her honor to;
the Dr. Susan Love Foundation for Breast Cancer Research at http://give.bcrf.org,
The Center for Reproductive Rights at https://beta.reproductiverights.org
or a charity of your choice.
Due to COVID-19, a memorial service will be held at a future date.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Kathy (Treible) Gunkel, please visit our floral store.