Verona Etrulia Gunn, 84, died over the last Memorial Day weekend, succumbing to injuries sustained in a tragic motor vehicle crash on May 25. A Chicago Police Department transport van and an unmarked police SUV both crashed into the car Gunn was in, waiting at an intersection. Gunn succumbed to her injuries following the traffic accident.
“Duke” as Gunn was called, was born August 16, 1934 in Danville, VA, the youngest child of John J. Price and Patsy Scales Price.
She attended Virginia State University in Petersburg, VA, earning a bachelor’s degree in home economics in 1957. Notably, she was the first person in her immediate family to earn a college degree. Gunn relocated to the Chicago area shortly after graduating from college.
Gunn sang in a popular quartet, the Gospel Corvettes, and met her husband-to-be Joseph Gunn, during this time. They married in July 1964 and together raised a daughter and two sons.
While working at the Chicago Book Bindery, Gunn was encouraged by friends and family to pursue her teaching credentials. She did so and began teaching at Helen M. Hefferan elementary school in West Garfield Park in 1967. She remained at Hefferan throughout her career, teaching countless 2nd and 3rd grade students for over 25 years. She retired in 1993.
Shortly after arriving in Chicago she attended services at Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church, but later claimed Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, as her church home, and served the church in several capacities over the years. She also served the Christian community with her sisters through the Emcee’s & Royalette’s prayer band.
Gunn’s son, Bishop Dwight Gunn, assumed the leadership of Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church after the passing of Reverend Milton Brunson. She followed her son when he established his own church, Heritage International Christian Church, in 2003. She remained a faithful member there until her health declined.
As the family matriarch, Gunn was a constant reflection of the fruits of the spirit. She exhibited generosity, kindness, patience and humility and was supportive of the spiritual and physical needs of family. In her downtime, she enjoyed various crosswords, word searches, complex puzzles and playing solitaire. She also enjoyed traveling.
Verona Etrulia Gunn is survived by her daughter Vicki Steverson and sons Derrick and Dwight; nine grandchildren and a dozen great grandchildren, and a great great granddaughter.
Services for Gunn were held at Heritage International Christian Church on June 6.