July 21, 1955 - Oct. 16, 2011
MALIBU, Calif. — Guy David Gundlach, 56, passed away Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011, at his Malibu residence.
David was born July 21, 1955, in Downey, Calif., to parents Melvin Gundlach and Marjorie (Riblet) Gundlach Swift. David returned to Elkhart, Ind., as a young boy and graduated in 1973 as part of the first class at Memorial High School.
He obtained his business degree from The University of Los Angeles and quickly demonstrated his entrepreneurial spirit by starting a number of different companies. He worked for IBM in its Informational Technology department and headed to London to assist Lloyds of London with their technology.
After working for them for a period of time, he launched what came to be his primary business, Hastings Direct – a direct insurance company based out of Hastings, England. The company conducted business in countries including Gibraltar, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, Nepal, Bahrain, Lebanon and others. He was an extremely respected business leader in the United Kingdom and other countries yet cared deeply about his staff of over 1,500.
After selling his successful global insurance business, David spent more time in Los Angeles and launched a movie production company. His initial production was the award winning film, “Get Low,” starring Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek and Bill Murray.
David’s real passion was for the improvement in the plight of children of all ages around the world. He wanted others to have the kind of wonderful childhood that he treasured growing up in Elkhart. His philanthropic work led him to Romania, Morocco, Russia and Sri Lanka to support orphanages or create scholarships to study abroad. On these visits, he would often speak to economic leaders and heads of state.
Despite owning homes around the U.S. and abroad, David always considered Elkhart his home. He loved summers here and always made a point of spending the Fourth of July with his mother and all the families at the Elcona Country Club Firework celebration.
His father Melvin and his brother Michael P. Gundlach preceded David in death. Surviving are his beloved mother Marge (Riblet) Swift and his aunt, Polly Riblet.
Visitation for David will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011, at Billings Funeral Home, 812 Baldwin St., Elkhart, IN 46514. The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 24, 2011, at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, 1405 N. Main St., Elkhart, IN 46514. The Rev. William Sullivan will officiate. Graveside services and burial will follow at Rice Cemetery. Friends and family are welcome to a luncheon celebrating David’s life at Christiana Creek Country Club immediately follow the burial.
To send a condolence to David’s family please visit www.billingsfuneralhome.com.