Valerie Gunderson, WGBH budget director, dies at 59

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Valerie Gunderson, director of budget operations at Boston’s WGBH, died June 7 in her sleep. She was 59.

Gunderson worked for the station for more than 25 years, mostly in the budget department. A former actor, she returned to school for a public service MBA with the intent of working for WGBH. She wrote her master’s thesis about the station.

In addition to her budget work, Gunderson also served as business manager for the 1995 launch of pubradio’s The World, co-produced by WGBH and Public Radio International.

“She was passionate about WGBH and took enormous pride in working here,” WGBH President Jon Abbott wrote in a post on the WGBH Alumni webpage. “She was thoughtful, witty, whip smart (as she proved when her team shared the trophy just weeks ago at the WGBH spelling bee) and, colleagues recall, always there with a comforting shoulder. She was known for wearing a shade of purple every day.”

WGBH and Gunderson’s family are planning separate memorials. In lieu of flowers, her family asks that donations be made to Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston or HopeHealth Hospice in Cape Cod.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misreported the date of Gunderson’s death. She died June 7 in her sleep.
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