Dear Dancing Friends:
Will Mundt, our dancing friend, passed away October 29, 2014. Will has been dancing with us for several decades. He often attended the Jitterbug Club and other dance activities at the DanceTime Center. I remember him as a gentle man with a sweet smile.
(Read the eulogy his son wrote and information about his memorial below).
Eulogy for Will Mundt written by his son, Andrew Mundt
William R. Mundt, minister, father, tennis player, investor, dancer, lover of life, and friend to many, passed away on October 29. He was 87.
Will was born in San Francisco on February 1, 1927. He was drafted into the Army during the final days of World War II, but was never deployed. He developed a respect for peaceful action and quickly found a calling in the Methodist ministry, first graduating from Northwestern University’s Theological Seminary and then serving in campus ministry in the mid 1950s at the Wesley Foundation at San Diego State University, where he earned his masters degree in psychology.
For over 15 years, Will Mundt served as a prison chaplain, counseling inmates in San Diego County’s minimum security honor camps. He “retired” after a heart attack at age 45 and invested his savings in a small 8-unit apartment complex, an investment out of which grew not only a livelihood but many good friendships with tenants, employees, and business associates.
Will married briefly and in 1980 had a son, Andrew; he later divorced and never remarried, though he maintained several close relationships over the course of his life, one of which spanned some 20 years. Before his death, Will held and sang to his grandchild, Simon, now 6 months old.
Will picked up tennis at an early age (7) and, by the time he reached a towering height of 6 foot 4 inches, he had already forged a powerful serve which menaced his wary opponents through Will’s college years until age 86, when a stroke finally knocked him off the tennis court to the ping pong table.
Will was consummate night owl. Will twirled his delighted dance partners and dosey-doed his way through every dance hall in the city. Other nights, he played fetch with his loyal dog late in a church parking lot around the corner from his home. He laughed at successive Tonight Show hosts from Jack Parr to Jimmy Fallon. Will could also play piano and sang in church choirs. He was a member of the Sierra Club and frequently recouped at the Agua Caliente Hot Springs along the S2 highway.
A child of the Great Depression, Will’s frugal nature touched every decision he made, saving every penny at every turn. Those who knew him will recall Will resurrected, sustained, and drove a series of conspicuously dilapidated automobiles. Will proudly resoled his shoes with “shoe goo” and wore vintage clothing from the Nixon administration through several fashion cycles. His 1991 Timex wristwatch ran out of batteries two days before he died.
Will was a health nut in moderation – carefully balancing a diet of vitamins and green salads with trips to all-you-can-eat ‘smorgasbord.’ He couched his dedication to the latest health craze with a weakness for dark chocolate and the occasional sojourn to the local ice cream parlor (especially, of course, if he had 2-for-1 coupon).
Above all, Will mastered the art of listening and many a troubled soul found refuge and comfort at his door. He gave everyone he met the time of day and benefit of the doubt, regardless of their standing or background. He will be remembered for his tolerance and mourned for the kindness he once shared with his fellow man.
A message from the Mundt family:
William R. Mundt passed peacefully on October 29 at age 87. He is survived by his son, Andrew and grandson, Simon. A memorial service will be held at 10am on November 14 in Trotter Chapel at the First United Methodist Church of San Diego. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to First United Methodist Church of San Diego or the American Friends Services Committee.
~ Allie and Andrew Mundt