Phillip Dean Gunden, 31, of Clare, passed away on Friday, April 18, 2014, in the comfort of his home. He was born in Clare, Michigan on February 13, 1983, to Lamar and Cathy (Irwin) Gunden of Clare. He graduated from Harrison High School with the class of 2001. He went on to attend college at Saginaw Valley State University where he graduated in 2005, with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Political Science. Phil then went on to get his certification in Secondary Education to teach Social Studies.
In 2006, he met his future wife, Lindsey (Manderbach), daughter of Michael and Suzanne (Berg) Manderbach, also of Clare. They were married on July 9, 2011, at the Clare United Methodist Church. They started their married life in Bluffton, South Carolina where they resided until they returned to Clare in the summer of 2013.
His competitive nature inspired his lifelong love of sports. He was particularly thrilled with any Wolverine victory. Go Blue! Phil was known for his sense of humor and quick wit. He could easily relate to all kinds of people and strike up a conversation with almost anyone he encountered. Phil was lovable and charismatic. He always made those around him feel valued. Phil had an entrepreneurial spirit and dreamed of one day owning his own restaurant. He was a founding partner and co-CEO of G & H Concessions. Phil was proud to bring culinary delight to venues throughout the State of Michigan! He had a spontaneous spirit and was always up for an adventure.
After almost 8 years of battling cancer, Phil never once lost his faith. In fact, Phil believed his struggle was actually a blessing because it led him to have a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. We can all have comfort in knowing that Phil is no longer held captive by the struggles of this earth. Because Phil was at peace with his circumstance, it was his desire that his friends and family be at peace also.
Phil is survived by his loving wife, Lindsey; his parents, Cathy and Lamar; his sister, Erin (Andrew) Heyboer and nephews, Jackson and Grady of Sault Ste. Marie; his sister, Alison Gunden of St. Johns; his parents-in-law, Michael and Suzanne; his brother-in-law, Jason (Lauren) Manderbach of Clare; and grandmother, Anita Irwin of Clare.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, April 24, 1 p.m. followed by a luncheon. Visitation will be Wednesday, April 23, 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Both will be held at Brown Corners Church in Clare, Michigan. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to express sympathy may consider making a contribution to the family for incurred medical expenses. Arrangements were handled by the Clare Chapel of Stephenson-Wyman Funeral Home. On-line condolences may be left at www.stephenson-wyman.com