In Memoriam: John Gunzler

November 16, 2017
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference


In Memoriam: John Gunzler
The Gunzlers hiking.


John Gunzler, a tireless champion of the Trail Conference for 37 years, passed away on November 10. He was 82.

John was a mentor and friend to many at the Trail Conference. He brought solid business and common sense to the finances and fund development when it was needed, and undoubtedly helped launch the Trail Conference to today's standard.

In 2011, John and his wife Marianne inaugurated the Trail Conference’s Legacy Fund with a very generous gift of $100,000. Trails were a life-long passion for John and Marianne; in fact, it was on a hike in Harriman State Park that they first met 58 years ago. On their frequent hikes together, they would see first-hand the positive impact Trail Conference volunteers make on trails.

John generously gave back to the trails he loved through volunteer service and financial gifts to the Trail Conference for decades. John was a very active member of the board of directors, serving from 1999 to 2008, and continued to be a leading member of various committees, including the Membership and Development, Nominating, Darlington Schoolhouse, Finance, and Investment committees.

A Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor, John recently published a memoir about his life, Happily Ever After: A Journey of Survival, written by his granddaughter. John was a family man, an adoring husband, a business man, a country man, and a volunteer.  But in all of his guises, he always seemed to be a happy man. He will be greatly missed.

Friends and family will honor John’s extraordinary life and service at a memorial service on Sunday, November 19, at the Pearl River Hilton. The service begins at 1:30 p.m. Coffee and dessert will be served.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that contributions be made to the Trail Conference. Donations will go to the Legacy Fund in John's honor. This can be done online or may be sent to:

New York-New Jersey Trail Conference
600 Ramapo Valley Road
Mahwah, NJ  07430

Please write “John Gunzler” in the memo or special instructions field.