It is with a heavy heart that District 50 announces the passing of LaShunda Rundles, 2008 World Champion of Public Speaking. She was in Orlando, Florida attending the Toastmasters International Convention.
Born: November 13, 1951 – Roseburg, Oregon
Died: April 23, 2012 – Denton, Texas
Past District Governor Les Guse, DTM lost his courageous battle with esophageal cancer on April 23, 2012 at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Denton. He was 61 years old. Les was a charter member of Exceed Toastmasters, and Let's Talk Toastmasters. He was also a member of Roving 49ers Toastmasters. He held many officer positions in all three clubs.
October 4, 1981 was a big day in his life. That's the day Les married Frances Ann Chittum – his beloved Fran. Prattsville, Arkansas was the starting point for a wonderful life together. Les and Fran raced stock cars together, drove an 18-wheeler together, and loved each other for more than 30 years together.
Les was a Senior Analyst and Programmer for Infor Technologies. He had problem-solving skills that made him a valuable member of many project teams. Kmart, Ford, General Motors, CVS, Big Lots, Safeway, and many other clients were the beneficiaries of his expertise. He had the rare ability to explain complex data in simple terms. Les was the “answer man” for problems with a client company's software.
NASCAR, hunting, and fishing were three passions for Les. An even bigger passion was Toastmasters International. Les joined the Exceed Toastmasters Club in 2001. Exceed was the starting point for a distinguished “career” with District 50 Toastmasters. Les served the district as Area 35 Governor, Metro Division Governor, District Lieutenant Governor-Marketing, District Lieutenant Governor-Education and Training, and ultimately as District 50 Governor. He was a mentor and inspiration for many aspiring Toastmasters. Les proudly wore the emblems of DTM – Distinguished Toastmaster, and PDG – Past District Governor. Frances was awarded her DTM during his term as District Governor.
Les lost his courageous battle against cancer after 18 months of fighting the good fight. He is survived by his wife Frances, his mother Leona Guse, his brother Robert Guse, 4 children, 14 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his father Dale Guse, his brother Clifford Guse, and his step-daughter Mavis Chittum. His ashes will be scattered in Oregon to be near his father and brother.
Millicent joined Toastmasters in August 2005 as a member of Presby Presenters Club. She was also a member of two advanced clubs Roving 49ers and Dallas at Dusk. Millicent served as club President, Vice President Education, Sergeant at Arms and Secretary.
Millicent was very active in Toastmasters and served in many capacities as a leader in District 50. She served in the following leadership roles:
- Lieutenant Governor Marketing
- Southern Division Governor 2010-2011— President’s Distinguished Division
- Southern Division Demo Chair (Marketing), July 1, 2010- June 30, 2011
- Assistant Demo Chair (Marketing) July 2009-June 2010
- Vista Division Governor 2009-2010
- Metro Division Area 31 Governor 2008-2009
- Spring Conference Registration Chair 2009
- Winter TLI Registration Chair 2008
- First Timers Chair Fall Conference 2008
She earned her Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) in the Fall of 2009.
As the Lieutenant Governor Marketing she and the marketing team chartered seven clubs before her passing.
Millicent was also active outside of Toastmasters. She was an Assistant to the Coordinator of Prison Ministry at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church and a United Way Ambassador. Millicent was also a guest speaker at the DART graduation ceremony this past Fall were she wowed the audience. She received more accolades than the paid speaker that day! What a testament to Toastmasters.
Professionally, Millicent was an Insurance Specialist/ Financial Counselor at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas.
Clubs or Toastmasters members interested in a making a memorial contribution to The Ralph C. Smedley Memorial Fund, may do so in Millicent’s memory. If you’d like to make a donation, please see the Toastmasters International website at www.toastmasters.org or call Member Services at 949-858-8255.