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Obituary of Gretchen Mooningham
Alice Gretchen (Miller) Mooningham, 78, of Saginaw, MI, died January 15, 2024 at Wellspring Assisted Living after a lengthy battle with cancer. Gretchen was born June 20, 1945 in Union, South Carolina. A graduate of Spartanburg High School in South Carolina, she went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Converse College, a Master of Arts in Mathematics from the University of South Carolina, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics from Texas Tech University. Gretchen married her husband, John William Mooningham, on August 31, 1968 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Spartanburg, SC.
She began her career in academia holding positions at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Winona State University in Minnesota, Utica College of Syracuse University in New York, and Coastal Carolina College in South Carolina. The majority of her professorial career was at Saginaw Valley State University where she served on the faculty for 38 years. She maintained professional memberships with the Mathematical Association of America and the American Mathematical Society. While at Saginaw Valley State University, she served in leadership capacities and often mentored newly-hired faculty members. She was also the Alpha Chi Faculty Advisor for 13 years and she led workshops on math anxiety. Gretchen was an advocate for science and mathematics education for girls and young women, and she facilitated the Sonia Kovalevsky Days, a topic which she presented at the Mathfest Meetings of the Mathematical Association of America at the University of California Los Angeles. Gretchen received the Faculty Association Service Award in 2003, the SVSU Women’s History Month Award in 2004, and the Faculty Association Mentoring Award in 2015. Upon her retirement from SVSU in 2021, she was granted Emerita status for her dedicated service to the institution.
Gretchen is predeceased by her sister, Carol (Walter) Seymour, and her parents, Charles A. Miller Sr. and Georgia Jessalyn (Bauknight) Miller. She is survived by her husband of 55 years, John Mooningham; sons Mark Mooningham (Mari Hazel) and Timothy Mooningham; grandchildren John Mooningham and Amelia (“Millie”) Mooningham; a brother, Charles A. Miller Jr. (Shirley); nieces and nephews Sean Mooningham (Dawn), Matthew Seymour, Erin Mooningham, Matthew Mooningham, and Stephanie Miller. Gretchen masterfully balanced her professional pursuits and her personal life. As a devoted mother, she encouraged her eldest son, Mark, to pursue a career in music performance and music education, and she selflessly cared for her special-needs son, Timothy, until 2021 when the progression of her illness prevented her from doing so. In recent years, she enjoyed sharing stories and photos of her two grandchildren, John and Millie. With her husband, she supported arts organizations in the region, including the Saginaw Bay Orchestra, the Bijou Orchestra of Bay City, and the Saginaw Choral Society. Gretchen was also a long-time member of Our Saviour Lutheran Church in Saginaw, MI.
A funeral service will take place at 11:00 AM on Saturday, February 3, 2024 at Our Saviour Lutheran Church, 2525 Hemmeter Road, Saginaw, MI 48603, with the Rev. Julie Bailey and the Rev. d’Rue Hazel presiding. The family will receive friends at a reception following the service.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Gretchen and John Mooningham Scholarship for mathematics majors, in care of The SVSU Foundation, 7400 Bay Road, University Center, MI 48710. Donations may be made online at https://foundation.svsu.edu/g/a-gretchen-and-john-mooningham-scholarship
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Deisler Funeral Home, 2233 Hemmeter Road (off State), Saginaw, MI 48603. Please share your thoughts and memories with the family at the service, reception or through www.DeislerFuneralHome.com
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In Loving Memory
1945 - 2024
DEISLER FUNERAL HOME
Deisler Funeral Home
2233 Hemmeter Road
Saginaw, Michigan 48603
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