Nonda J. van Gulden

Nonda J. van Gulden

It is with deep sadness that her family shares the passing of Nonda van Gulden on the evening of February 12th with husband Fred Cummings, Nonda’s sisters Holly and Stef, and Fred’s son Steve by her side, at their home in Mineral Point.

Nonda was the eldest of ten children. Her parents, Nancy and Norman (d. 2003) van Gulden were deeply committed to educating and fostering healthy young people and, among other things, ran a summer camp in the northeast for many years. Growing up, Nonda developed love for the outdoors, self-determined thought, and independent creativity.

Her energies and interests put her in the middle of many and diverse groups.

She and Fred moved from Oconomowoc to Mineral Point in 1996, where they both eventually affiliated with Lands’ End. In addition to her work there, Nonda also was involved making costumes for the local little theater and working in several local galleries, in addition to selling her handmade fiber creations. Nonda was an avid fiber artist – sewing, spinning yarn, knitting, and quilting beautiful and award-winning objects. There were few times when she was not making something new and different, regularly designing her projects from scratch. She also taught felting classes.

Through her employment as a parts manager at Mercedes and Porsche dealerships in the Chicago area, and then at the Jeffords dealership in Brookfield WI, Nonda became involved in motorsports. Her experiences ran the gamut from race engineer and engine builder, to race mechanic, driver and official in both professional and amateur organizations, including Toyota Atlantic, The Chicago Historics, and the Sports Car Club of America, which she joined in the mid 1970’s.

As a member of the SCCA, Nonda successfully raced a Lotus Super 7 and Austin Healey Sprite – both of which she maintained herself. After hanging up her helmet, Nonda became a technical inspector, with her knowledge and skills highly sought after at local and national races – including the SCCA national championships, the Runoffs, for at least the last twenty years. In 1984, she was admitted into SCCA’s Steward’s Program, making her one of the first female Stewards in the SCCA.

These facts do not fully portray her compassion, energy, and temperament. Nonda was a person of great life-force and positive disposition, an indomitable spirit. Everyone she touched was uplifted and energized by her approach to life. Nonda was the “go-to” for advice, for practical common sense guidance, for a boost. Regardless of surrounding activity and circumstance, Nonda always gave her time and full attention to anyone in need. That generosity made her a person always welcome in any group, someone all were happy to see and to be around, someone who always brought smiles to everyone. Her rare combination of talents, attitude, and caring are remarkable and will be sorely missed.

Nonda was born in Orange NJ on June 17, 1944. She is survived by her husband, Fred Cummings, her Mother, and her nine sisters and brothers. In lieu of services, there will be a Celebration of Life in Mineral Point in the near-future.

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