“We’ve tried to carry on the way he wanted it and the way he was doing it,” she said. “That’s what the business was built on — honesty and integrity.”
Gunter died on Aug. 8 after a long-term illness.
Gunter’s widow, Nelda Gunter, said it was his dedication that made Gunter’s Body Shop so successful.
“Harold put his all into this business,” she said.
She said Harold performed practically every job at the body shop, even writing the invoices and driving the wrecker.
“He knew what to look for, and he didn’t hesitate to tell someone when it needed to be done over,” she said.
According to Nelda, Harold suffered from dementia and had not headed up the business for more than a year. However, she said the employees asked about him and visited him at home up until the day he died.
“They all loved him,” she said.
Harold Gunter started doing body work at age 15. In the early 1960s, he opened up a service station in the Boldo community, where he was raised. He then did body work for Jasper’s Eastside Motors. He also worked for James Gordon Body Shop, Johnny Barton Body Shop and Jim Trice Honda.
Harold opened Gunter Body Shop in the early 80s. Though it started as a body shop, the business has grown to include a wrecker service, a glass shop and the installation of trim and bed liners.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Olean Rushing Gunter, who passed away in 1999. Also preceeding him in death were his parents, Ellis and Della Gunter; one brother; and two sisters.
He is survived by his children, Darlene Nix of Gardendale, Harold Gunter Jr. (Naomi) of Tuscumbia, Kim Mann (Tim) of Jasper and Mack Gunter (Cheri) of Jasper; step-daughter, Pam Smith of Jacksonville, Ala.; grandchildren, Jonathan Nix, Stephen Nix, Brianna Nix, Greg Gunter, Brad Gunter, Lindsey Dill, Holly Smith, Dustin Mann, Ryan Gunter and Nikki Gunter; great-grandchildren, Rylan Smith and Lynlee Kate Nix; sisters-in-law, Hazel “Toots” Gunter of Jasper and Barbara Pounders of Georgia; brother-in-law, Philip Rushing of Fayette; and a host of nieces and nephews.
Nelda said Harold is also survived by his best friend, a female lab mix named Montana.