Influential activist was 73

Patricia Gunn was instrumental with programs that helped raise funds for those in need.

July 09, 2008|By Nicole Charky

Patricia Gunn, a longtime community activist for children and families in Burbank, died Sunday at Glendale Memorial Hospital from natural causes. She was 73.

Gunn was instrumental in the annual Holiday Basket Program that provides food and gifts for the less fortunate in Burbank. She also helped raise funds to send disadvantaged youth in Burbank to summer camp.

Born June 13, 1935, in Kansas City, Mo., Gunn moved to Burbank with her family in 1938 after her father began working for Trans World Airlines.


Gunn began volunteering in the early 1970s when she worked with the school district as a volunteer in classrooms, which led to her involvement in PTA and Girl Scouts.

Later on, she became involved with Tournament of Roses Assn. and the Burbank Coordinating Council.

She married Harry Gunn, who was a machinist at Hawker Pacific Aerospace, in 1965.

For years, she was a past president of the Burbank Coordinating Council — an organization that collected and organized donations of food items and gifts made by individuals, groups and businesses — that were provided to more than 500 families during the holidays. The event was a collaboration between the Coordinating Council, Burbank Salvation Army and Burbank Temporary Aid Center.

Gunn gave the community an opportunity to help through the Coordinating Council event, he said.

“We will miss her and her great work,” Golonski said.

Gunn made sure children from low-income families in the community could attend camp for minimal cost by working with the Burbank Community YMCA and several other camp programs in the city.

Gunn saw the importance of providing resources for children in Burbank, said Greg Bowman, Burbank Unified School District superintendent of schools.

“Certainly no one had the best interest of children any more than she did, particularly those children who are from less-affluent families,” he said. Gunn was someone who cared for families without seeking attention, especially during the holidays, Bowman said.

“One of the true gifts that she gave to these families was to provide and make sure they were taken care of during the holiday season,” he said. “She did this without seeking creditCity Manager Mary Alvord said Gunn was a tireless volunteer, especially with the Burbank Rose Parade floats.

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