Cover photo for Bette Gunkel's Obituary
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Bette Gunkel

d. November 25, 2017

Bette Gunkel, 65, of Sherman, went peacefully to heaven on Saturday, November 25, 2017 at 4:21 P.M.

She was born on April 10th, 1952, the daughter of Orville and Mary Josephine Pieper. Bette married Neal Gunkel on October 24, 1975. She is survived by her husband, Neal; her children, Cory and David Dahlkamp and Adam and Angela Gunkel; and her grandchildren, Hunter and Ava Dahlkamp, and Zoey and Christian Gunkel. Bette was preceded in death by her son Brian Neal Gunkel, with whom she is now reunited.

Bette spent 33 years dedicated to teaching and advocating for special education students in Williamsville and Sherman through the Sangamon Area Special Education District. She was deeply loved by her students and the teachers she worked with and mentored.

Bette loved to read, travel, play euchre with friends, adventure with her children and grandchildren, eat amazing food all over the world and drink fantastic wine. She continued to teach after her retirement, just not in a classroom. She taught her grandchildren how to love reading, how to cook and and what the perfect love of a grandparent looks like and they will miss her terribly. She taught everyone else she encountered how to navigate life with a steady grace, witty humor and unflinching resolve. She was a Christian, wife, mother, best friend, confidante, comedian, card shark, amateur sommelier, lay therapist, educator, hostess, and beloved grandmother. Bette was a light to everyone who knew her and the hole that is in our hearts will be forever filled with thankfulness for the time we had with her.

A celebration of Bette will be held on Friday, December 1st from 5:30-7:30 pm, with a remembrance by the family at 6:30, at Poe’s On The Hill (295 E. Andrew Rd. Springfield, IL 62727

In lieu of flowers, Bette and her family request that donations be made to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance, to help combat the #1 cause of gynecologic cancer deaths.


  1. Neal and Families – words cannot even begin to express the sorrow we are feeling right now. We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to know and love Bette. She was truly a one-of-a-kind person – never to be duplicated! We’ve had several euchre games over the years…by which “the girls” (Bette and Cindy) were still reigning champions as early as this past fall. Bette always had the knack to pull out that final trump card and pull off a euchre…and then she’d giggle and smile that beautiful smile! Oh how we’ll miss her. Our hugs and prayers go out to you all.

  2. Neal, I am so sorry to see this. All my sympathy to you and your family. Barb

  3. Neal, I was sorry to hear this news. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Mike

  4. Neal, so sorry to hear of Bette’s passing. Will keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.As a Dept of Ag family we often shared memories of our families and know that she was loved and will be missed.

  5. My deepest sympathy to the Neal Gunkel family. As a first cousin I did not know Bette well. As a teacher I am sure she touched many people with her love to help educate those with special needs. May she rest in peace!

  6. We remember Betty with love and sadness for her passing. She helped my son a lot with her kindness and her skill and always made him feel special. We count her as a blessing in his life as well as our family’s. I know she will be missed by many. Mary Lue Gorsek

  7. Cory so sorry to read about your moms passing in the paper today. I just lost mine on the 11th this month. Thinking of you at this difficult time.

  8. Our thoughts are with you.

  9. She was a wonderful lady. So glad I had the privilege of knowing her. Sending much love and prayers.

  10. Neal, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. God is your refuge and strength to help you now and in the days ahead. Praying for our heavenly Father to comfort you and your family. Debbie Wakefield

  11. Neal, I am so sorry for your loss. Praying for peace and comfort for you and your family.

  12. Neal, Cory, and Adam we are very sorry for your loss. Our prayers go out to your family.

  13. Neal,
    I am so very sorry to hear of Bette’s passing. Prayers for you and your entire family as you go through this difficult time. Blessings to each of you! Marilyn

  14. Neal — There are so many cousins thinking of you and your family at this time. Our sympathies to all and may Bette Jean rest in peace.

  15. So sorry to hear of the death of my cousin Bette Jean. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. Bette Jean’s sister Margie was my close cousins as we were roommates during our high Shool years at Sacred Hearg Academy in Springfield.
    May Bette Rest In Peace and be free of pain and suffering. God Bless!
    Colleen Plebanek

  16. I’m so sorry for your loss. The pain and grief of loosing someone we love can seem unbearable. Something that can be comforting is God’s word. As 1 Corinthians 1:3&4 says; …the God of all comfort, who comforts all in our trials…The Bible helps us to understand how God feels about death. Isaiah 25:8 says God will defeat our enemy death, and it will be gone forever. -More comforting truths can be found in a book called “What Does the Bible Really Teach”. I hope you will look into this subject further. I know it will bring you comfort and peace as it did me. Sincerely Nora
    Book found on JW.ORG

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