Published in The Washington Post on Sep. 7, 2020.
Joan Brooks Gundling
August 11, 1936 - September 2, 2020
Joan Brooks Gundling, 84, passed away peacefully in her home
in Silver Spring, MD on September 2, 2020.
Joan was born in Washington, DC on August 11, 1936, and
raised on Appleton Street in Northwest DC. She attended Wilson
High School (1954), and married her high school sweetheart
and childhood neighbor, Jack Gundling, who attended St. John's
College High School (1954).
They raised their family of five on Kayson Street in Silver Spring, MD. Joan was a devoted
wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She loved God, her family, her many
friends, her dogs, her backyard birds, her plants and flowers, and her Christmas tree. Joan
was deeply religious and her faith in the Lord was a source of great comfort and strength to
Joan is survived by her sister, Alice Brooks Brown of Ft. Myers, FL (husband, Tom); her
daughters, Virginia C. Downs of Mine Run, VA, Deborah E. Grove of Silver Spring, MD; son
Richard L. Gundling of Rockville, MD (Lisa); daughter Tracey G. Cole of Huntingtown, MD
(David); and her grandchildren: Jason Downs (Melina); Jeffrey Downs, Catherine Gall (Max);
and Lauren Downs, Daniel Grove (Christian), Maxwell Gundling, Rachel Cole, Sarah Cole,
Olivia Cole; and great-grandchildren, Ava Downs, Evan Downs, Corina Downs, Landon Gall,
Nolan Gall, and Josephine Gall. She is also survived by her brothers-in-law, David Gundling
(Mary) and William Gundling (Chris), and her sisters-in-law, Eleanor Zuhowski, and C.J.
Brooks, and many nieces and nephews.
Joan was preceded in death by her husband, John L. Gundling; son, Michael "Fuzz" Gundling;
father, Dr. John S. Brooks; mother, Blonda L. Brooks; brothers, John S. Brooks, Jr. and David
A. Brooks; grandsons, Ryan Downs and Garrett Downs; and sons-in-law, Michael Downs and
A graveside service will be held on Wednesday, September 9 at 12:30 p.m. at Gate of
Heaven Cemetery in Silver Spring, MD (maximum of 50, due to Covid-19 restrictions).
Flowers may be sent to Francis J. Collins Funeral Home in Silver Spring.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Montgomery County Humane Society.