Obituary for Manetta Gene Layton Gunter

gunter manetta layton

The matriarch of the Layton Gunter family was called to her heavenly home on July 31 surrounded by her family and the sounds of “Take Me Home Country Roads”. A West Virginian, through and through, she was born in Mullens, West Virginia on March 23, 1926.  If you are trying to figure her age, she would tell you that she was old enough to vote and she wasn’t a horse so she was not for sell.  Gene (yes, it is spelled with a G) was the only child of the late Harry and Stella Calloway Layton.  She was married to Carlos Lee Gunter for 63 years before his passing in 2009.  Their 60th wedding anniversary was celebrated and recognized at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.  Gene was also preceded in her heavenly journey by daughter-in-law, Sharon Owens Gunter.

Gene graduated from Mullens High School, attended the University of Virginia School of Nursing, and then graduated and passed her state boards as a beautician. In 1952 her family including her mother and father moved from West Virginia to a farm in Draper, Virginia.  There she raised her family, worked the farm, passed her Civil Service exam, and worked for the United States Postal service for many years.


Gene had a life well lived as evidenced by the people who truly loved and appreciated her.   She was a lifelong active member of the Methodist church and Methodist Women, was a youth group leader, served on multiple church and civic boards including Weekday Religious Education, and was a Daily Bread volunteer.


As her health was failing, her spirit never did.  She continued to participate in activities outside the home including Tuesday Market at the Train Station, Cowboy Church Fridays, monthly Sonshiners, and played Bingo whenever she could.  When at home she quilted and had her daily devotions. Television rounded out her daily routine including watching sports (basketball and golf were her favorites), Blue Bloods, and Wheel of Fortune. She even attended River Turtle games a couple of weeks before her passing.

Left to cherish and share her stories are children Harry Gunter- Newbern, Fred Gunter – Draper, Carla Gunter and Scot Samuelson – Pulaski, Lisa and Brian Watson – Pulaski. Grandchildren include Bruce Guynn, Rusty Watson, Heather (and Zach) Peaslee, Carlyn Samuelson, Andrew Samuelson, Robert Watson, and Adam Watson.  Also 8 great grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM Friday, August 4, 2023 at the Draper Methodist Church with the Reverand Lee Wiggins and Reverand Harry Gunter officiating.  After the service she will be laid to rest beside her husband, parents, and uncle at Rest Haven Memorial Park, Princeton West Virginia.

On Thursday, August 3, the family will receive from 5:00 to 7:00 PM at the Bower Funeral Home, Pulaski.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Draper Methodist Church.

To sign Gene’s online guestbook, visit  Bower Funeral Homes, Pulaski is handling the arrangements for the family.