Issue:  Vol. 44 / No. 38 / 18 September 2014

William Robert Gundel


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1939 – 2014

William Robert Gundel passed away peacefully and with dignity on Friday, September 5, 2014.

Bill was born and raised in New York City where he majored in journalism at Queens College and studied playwriting at the New School. He was admitted to the prestigious Circle-in-the-Square workshop for his one-act play, Does Anybody Know I'm Here?

After moving to San Francisco in the early 1970s, Bill became active in the burgeoning cabaret-theatre movement, writing and/or producing musicals such as the well-received A Traveling Carnival Show and the Gershwin revue, By George , plus benefits and special entertainment events. He also co-wrote the long-running, award-winning Noel Coward revue, Champagne! In a Cardboard Cup, and he produced a successful revival of Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris.

Bill was a founding member of the San Francisco Council on Entertainment and wrote scripts for the annual Cabaret Gold Awards. He executive-produced the awards at Bimbo's in 1982.

Bill loved music above all the arts and subscribed to the saying "without music, life would be a mistake." He was an ardent Tchaikovsky scholar, and gave talks on the Russian composer on both sides of the bay.

Beginning in 1988, he spent five years as a volunteer for Shanti, providing support services for persons with AIDS. He also was a tutor for the adult literacy program, Project Read.

In Bill's non-theatrical life, he worked in the finance fields of banks and credit unions, most recently at Spectrum Federal Credit Union from which he retired in 2002. He spent the last years traveling to Mexico, Costa Rica, Italy, and Egypt, and expanding his interest in opera.

There will be no memorial service.



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