September 19, 1948 - July 14, 2021
Dr. Mary E. Gunther, Knoxville, Tennessee, passed away July 14, 2021. Mary ‘s family members preceded her in death, but she was a dearly loved member of the College of Nursing family at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. At the time of her passing, she had returned to a faculty position after serving for many years in administrative roles as Chair of the MSN Program, Director of Graduate Studies, and Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Mary’s early education took place in Catholic schools in Chicago, and she graduated from St. Mary of Nazareth School of Nursing there, followed by staff nurse positions in pediatrics at Cook County Hospital, Chicago; University of Wisconsin, Madison; and UT Medical Center, Knoxville. She rose to administrative positions as Director of Pediatrics, and Director of Nursing Resources at UT Medical Center, prior to joining the faculty at UT College of Nursing in 2001. She earned BSN, MSN, and PhD degrees at UT, Knoxville. She was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Honor Societies. She was active for many years in the Society of Rogerian Scholars, the King International Nursing Group, the Southern Nursing Research Society, and the American Nurses Association. Among her honors and awards were Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award (UT College of Nursing) and awards from Gamma Chi Chapter, STTI, for Outstanding Dissertation and Excellence in Research. Dr. Gunther contributed to the scholarly literature of nursing through her writings about the theories of Martha Rogers and Imogene King, as well as explorations of empathy, deferred empathy, and empathic distress in first year student nurses. She also studied distressful aspects of the work life of hospital nurses. She was a long-time member of the Transdisciplinary Phenomenology Research Group at the University of Tennessee, and the chairperson or committee member for many phenomenological dissertations. She presented her research at conferences in Belgium, Netherlands, and Botswana as well as numerous local, regional, and national professional conferences. Students and colleagues greatly appreciated Dr. Gunther’s intellect, fairness, pragmatic decision-making, and unique sense of humor. First year PhD students especially appreciated her ability to guide them through the courses in philosophy of science, theory analysis, and middle-range theory. MSN and DNP students valued her expertise in nursing administration and leadership of complex systems. Both students and faculty valued Dr. Gunther as a wise advisor and mentor. After many years of apartment dwelling, Mary became a homeowner and delighted in decorating (and redecorating) her charming home in North Knoxville, where she had a great talent for choosing complementary colors of paint and artfully arranging the furnishings. She became a member of the North Hills Garden Club and was particularly proud of a rose bush that produced large blooms almost the same shade as UT orange. She shared her home with her family of beloved cats, some of whom were glimpsed on the Zoom meetings held during the pandemic year. A memorial service for Dr. Gunther is planned for a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the UT College of Nursing, memo: Dr. Mary Gunther Scholarship for PhD Students. (UT College of Nursing Attn: Advancement Office 1200 Volunteer Boulevard Knoxville, TN 37996). Rose Funeral & Cremation in charge of arrangements. Online obituary may be viewed and condolences extended at www.rosefuneraltn.com.
Dr. Mary E. Gunther, Knoxville, Tennessee, passed away July 14, 2021. Mary ‘s family members preceded her in death, but she was a dearly loved member of the College of Nursing family at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. At the time... View Obituary & Service Information
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