Friends & Family Pay Tribute To Kansas Broadcast Legend

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)__Family, friends and co-workers paid their last respects to a Kansas broadcasting legend Friday morning.

Elmer Gunderson was WIBW-TV's longest tenured employee at almost 58 years. His funeral service was held Friday at Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home in Topeka.

Elmer may have never married or had a traditional family of his own, but he touched many lives and that impact was felt by everyone.

The trucks Elmer Gunderson spent so much of his time working on, lined the outside of Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home as tribute to a true pioneer in broadcasting.

Elmer was recognized by Governor Sam Bownback through a letter of recognition. He also received a commendation from Topeka Mayor Larry Wolgast.

The family of Elmer's closest friend Charlaine Milliken joined a number of current WIBW Television employees and past employees of WIBW-TV and WIBW-Radio.

She said, "We've all been touched by Elmer in many ways, I've lost my best friend and will forever be greatful for the time I had him in my life."

Elmer served the United States of America in the US Navy during the Korean War. A Navy color guard removed the flag draping Elmer's casket and presented it to Charlaine.

He dedicated nearly 60 years to WIBW_TV and saw numerous changes in broadcasting advancements. Through it all, one thing remained the same, Elmer.

Preston Sereg, a close friend of Elmer's spoke about Elmer's faithful mentality. "Through thick and thin, good days and bad, Elmer was always there. I know I speak for more than just my family when I say he will be greatly missed. Thank you Elmer for imprinting your story on our hearts."

Elmer was first hired by WIBW-TV in November of 1955. In 2004 he was inducted into the Kansas Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.


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