Patricia Lee Gunter

patricia gunter

October 27, 1952 ~ November 6, 2023

Born in: Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Resided in: Nashville, Tennessee

Patricia Lee Gunter, age 71 of Nashville, TN, passed away on November 6, 2023 after a short illness.

Pat was born in Oak Ridge, TN, on October 27, 1952, to Clarence and Margaret Gunter. She graduated from Ritenour High School in St. Louis, MO and completed degrees at both the University of Missouri Kansas City and University of Indiana in Bassoon Performance.

After graduate school, Pat moved to Nashville and auditioned for the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. She played bassoon and contrabassoon with the NSO for 22 years. She also taught bassoon at Belmont and Tennessee State Universities as well as privately. After leaving NSO, Pat continued to play with regional orchestras in Jackson, TN, Richmond, IN, Huntsville, AL and Bowling Green, KY. She was a member of the American Federation of Musicians Local 257, the Nashville Double Reed Ensemble and several local woodwind quintets. She was also a long-time member of the choir and congregation of East End United Methodist Church.

After an accident at age 28, Pat did not let a wheelchair stop her from living a rich and independent life filled with music, kindness, and love. Her love of music and teaching inspired many of her students to continue musical careers, and her loyalty and compassion created strong connections with lifelong friends. She was preceded in death by her parents and brother William Lee Gunter. She is survived by her husband of 43 years David Hall Criner, their two children and partners William Thomas (Kendra Higgins) Criner and Austin Gunter (Ana Siquiera) Criner; sisters Lauralee Gunter, Lee Anne Gunter, and Lee Ellen Gunter; in-laws George (Francie) Criner, Suzanne Criner, and Susan Gunter; and many beloved nieces & nephews and their children.

A visitation is scheduled for Saturday, November 18th at Calvary United Methodist Church, 3701 Hillsboro Pike from 12 noon to 1:30 pm followed by a service at 2 pm presided over by Rev. Brandon Baxter from EEUMC.

Donation in lieu of flowers can be made to… (suggestions include your personal favorite charity, EEUMC, Bonaparte’s Retreat, Alive, Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital).

Arrangements in the care of Compassion Funeral & Cremation Services, Nashville, TN (615) 857-9955. We proudly remain locally owned & operated.


Visitation: November 18, 2023 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Calvary United Methodist Church
3701 Hillsboro PIke
Nashville, TN 37215

Memorial Service: November 18, 2023 2:00 pm

Calvary United Methodist Church
3701 Hillsboro PIke
Nashville, TN 37215

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Memories Timeline


  1. So many memories with you as your 20+yr upstairs tenant and friend. In that time we shared many of life’s heartbreaks & joys along with our loves of gardening, deep talks and our once a year Dutch birthday sushi. 💚 (As you would call me) Sally O’Malley

    • Oh Pat—your light will always shine in my heart and the hearts of our entire family! Your laughter rings like sunshine in my mind.


  2. Dearest Pat, what an amazing friend for more than 20 years. Our children met in kindergarten and we immediately felt like part of the family. You were an inspiration in your independence and love of the arts. Thank you for saying yes to being on my board as soon as I asked. I dedicated our concert to you on November 4th as we danced in a circle thinking of the starry night. You will be nightly missed.

  3. To Pat’s family, please know I’m keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

  4. You will be very missed Pat. Loved your sassy sense of humour, your strength, the way you always listened, the consistent stability you provided to me and the family always, the way you treated me like a son, and e
    Kept me in line when I needed it, your generosity, delicious food, creativity and eternal optimism. Thank you for impacting my life the way you did, you will live on in all of us forever. Love you Pat. What a beautiful life you lived!
    To Dave, Will and Austin, you’re in our thoughts and we’re here for you with anything you need in this time of grief. Love from Bob, Billy, Ellis, Rio & Luna xx

  5. Words cannot express how much Pat played an important part in my musical and personal life since 1980. Many concerts, rehearsals, and travel together. You are always my inspiration of what it means to deal with problems and not let them get me down. And those boys—fine young men—good job. Peace and strength to them, their wives, and to David, Pat’s strong and handsome partner for years. Love, Ann

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