Gwendolyn Catherine (Brunk) McCurdy Slater Goodrich- Beloved & loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt, friend, missionary, & follower of Christ, passed away Tuesday, June 28, 2022, at Southeast Hospital, Cape Girardeau, MO. She was born October 7, 1929 in University City, MO. Gwen was a member of Covenant Bible Church in Farmington, MO and most recently attended Fruitland Community Church in Fruitland, MO.
Gwen was the oldest of 8 children and met the first love of her life, Donald Charles McCurdy at a Young Life gathering in St. Louis. They married in 1947, and shortly thereafter joined New Tribes Mission to serve as foreign missionaries. In the early 1950’s they headed to Papua New Guinea where they raised their 4 sons: Jonathan “Dale,” Mark, Bruce, and Richard “Rick.” Returning to Missouri in the mid 60’s, they later had 2 daughters: Grace and Lynne. After Don passed in 1985, Gwen married Richard “Dick” Harry Slater in 1990 and together they continued to serve in many mission trips and blessing others in very selfless ways. After Dick’s passing in 2015, when Gwen married Gerald Eugene Goodrich in 2016, the family continued to grow. Gerald’s health began to decline first so Gwen and Gerald moved to Cape Girardeau to be with Gwen’s daughter, Grace (& Mike) Parry. This season of aging brought some very unique struggles, yet we are all so thankful for the caregiving teams that served & loved our precious family.
Gwen led a remarkable life, in spite of significant hearing loss around age 2 due to measles, mumps, and whooping cough. She wore hearing aids from a young age, but was always able to compensate and never let it stop her from socializing and loving people. She competently homeschooled her sons in Papua New Guinea, and also successfully taught several indigenous men to read and write English, with one of them later going into public service as Premier of the Eastern Highland Province. Gwen corresponded with him throughout his career. Gwen served as Don’s caregiver through his battle with multiple myeloma and researched as many ways as possible to bring healing and nutrition into his journey during a time of more limited medical resources. Later she and Dick would take mission trips together with Gerald and his first wife, Darlene. She also found many other ways to serve locally, such as in a crisis pregnancy center, mentoring women at the state prison in Farmington, sharing in many ladies’ Bible study groups over the years, leading in children’s ministry, or her best role of all: being “mom” to many. Her nurturing, loving, and humble manners allowed her to shape many lives in the gospel of Jesus Christ and in many practical ways like gardening, cooking, sewing, bargain hunting, and always exemplifying a thankful and gracious heart. Gwen’s faith in the Lord shone as a bright light in whatever corner of the world she was in as she taught us to live and love like Jesus.
Gwen is survived by her children and their families: Dale (Debbie) McCurdy of House Springs, MO; Mark (Linda) McCurdy of Tucson, AZ; Pam (Hecker) McCurdy- Thompson; Rick McCurdy of Desloge, MO; Grace (Mike) Parry of Fruitland, MO; & Lynne McCurdy of Seville, Spain; as well as fourteen grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren, and three siblings: Tim (Diane) Brunk, Jan (Brunk) & Ed Toler, Jay (Jan) Brunk, & dear sisters-in-law Judy Brunk, & Vicki Brunk. Stepchildren include: Barbara (Slater) Pecoraro, Vicki (Slater) Brunk, Marcia (Slater) & Paul Van Camp, Donna (Goodrich) Premer, Alan Goodrich, & Robert (Pam) Goodrich. She was preceded in death by her parents: Joseph Wilbur Brunk & Edna Elizabeth (Chandler) Brunk, 3 loving husbands: Donald Charles McCurdy, Richard Harry Slater, and Gerald Eugene Goodrich, her son Bruce McCurdy, daughter-in-law Chris (Hughes) McCurdy, 5 stepchildren: Dennis Slater, Kay Slater, Connie (Goodrich) Stalhut, Sharon (Goodrich) Champa, Sam Goodrich and 4 brothers: Pat Brunk, Gary Brunk, David Brunk, & Steve Brunk.
Gwen’s wishes were to donate her body to science. Memorials can be made to ethnos360.org/give or mail to Ethnos 360 312 W. First St, Sanford, FL 32771-1231 in memory of Gwen Goodrich. Arrangements under the care of C. Z. Boyer and Son Funeral Home in Desloge, MO. A celebration of life will be held at Fruitland Community Church on July 16, 2022, at 11:30 am.