Beacon Stories

Mar 18, 2020

Llura Ambler Gund

February 14, 1941 – March 15, 2020

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Llura Ambler “Lulie” Gund

Llura Ambler Gund died on Sunday, March 15th at her home in Princeton, NJ.  “Lulie” was born in Tampa, FL on February 14th, 1941 to Richard and Dorothy Liggett.  She grew up in Thonotosassa, FL, attending St. Timothy’s and Bartram School.  During high school and at the University of South Florida she pursued her love of acting all the way to New York where she met her future husband, Gordon Gund.  They were married in 1966, having two children, Grant and Zack, and six grandchildren.  After leaving Brooklyn, NY, they settled in Princeton, NJ near her sister and brother-in-law, Abigail and Tom Barrows and their two daughters, Katie and Anna.

In 1970, Gordon went blind from Retinitis Pigmentosa.  Lulie was instrumental in helping him continue on and flourish in life and business.  Together, they formed a special bond that would endure for more than 53 years and serve as a catalyst for success in charitable and business pursuits.

In 1971, Lulie and Gordon co-founded the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB), dedicated to finding treatments and cures for retinal degenerative diseases.  In 1972 Lulie started and was President of the local Princeton chapter of FFB, the first in the nation, running it for 48 years.  In recent years, there have been several major breakthroughs in treatments for blindness where FFB played a major role in funding research.

She was passionate about land conservation serving on the Nantucket Conservation Foundation board for many years and also helping to conserve farmland near her home in Princeton.  In addition, Lulie spent 21 years as a Trustee and Vice president of the George Gund Foundation, serving communities in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.

She had a magnetic personality and was a wonderful judge of people.  Lulie had a terrific sense of humor and loved to use it to make people smile and bring them together.  As one friend said so eloquently, “she made caring look like fun, and that to me is grace.”  Whether she was planning a small dinner or a large charity benefit, she had a gift for making events exciting and interesting.   

Apart from spending time with friends and family, Lulie loved riding horses, Broadway shows, funny movies and fishing.

She is survived by her husband, Gordon; sister, Abigail; two sons, Grant and Zack; two daughters-in-law, Lara and Lindsey, and six grandchildren, Lucy, Owen, Kelsey, Georgia, Colby and Gordie.  She also had a host of extended family and friends whom she loved and cherished.

Details on a memorial service will be delayed until after the Coronavirus is under control.  Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be made to the Foundation Fighting Blindness