Gunhild Helgesen Maeland, 88, of Royal Palm Beach and recently Kernersville, NC passed away
peacefully June 22, 2023, at her home surrounded by loved ones.
She was born April 15, 1935, in Stavanger, Norway, the daughter of the late Karl Helgesen and Beathe
Naerland Helgesen. She is preceded in death by her beloved husband of nearly 64 years, Arnulf
Maeland; and son-in-law, Richard Tobin.
Gunhild was born in Stavanger, Norway, but grew up largely in Åkrehamn and Finnøy. Her family moved
to Fairhaven Massachusetts when she was 13 and she completed high school in just 3 years. She also
became reacquainted with a certain handsome young man she had known as a child in Åkrehamn, and
they married in June of 1955. Two children quickly followed, and a dozen years later, a third. As was
often customary in those days, she threw herself into becoming a homemaker and took great pride in
her home and entertaining. Gunhild loved to cook and host, and excelled at it. Many, many people
enjoyed the hospitality of her and Arnulf over the years. In 1976 they moved to Succasunna, NJ and
remained there until 1992. From there they spent a year in Norway and returned to settle in Royal Palm
Beach, FL where she remained until April of this year when she moved to Kernersville, NC to live with
her daughter Kerry and her family.
Gunhild worked as a realtor for many years. Her hobbies included embroidery, crossword puzzles, and
the daily Cryptoquote puzzle in the newspaper. Her faith in Jesus sustained her through life’s ups and
downs. She was the family historian and had a fantastic memory from her childhood, especially for
stories of being a child during World War II, and for family stories and connections about her large
extended family. Gunhild’s passion for travelling and meeting people was shared by her husband Arnulf
and they made friends around the world, who often came to visit them. Everyone was welcome and
would be treated to delicious food and gracious hospitality. It cannot be left unsaid that Gunhild enjoyed
strong black coffee, good cheese (especially Jarlsberg, a Norwegian specialty), spicy food, bourbon, and
a hot washcloth on her face!
Left to cherish her memory are her children Lynn Maeland-Tobin of Wallingford, CT; David Maeland and
his wife Linda of Lawrenceville, GA; Kerry Maeland Skara and her husband Charles of Kernersville, NC.
She is also survived by nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren—Lindsey Welch and her son
Kaleb; Jessica Welch Morales and her husband Mayco, their son Angel, and their daughter Janiyah;
Radford Welch and his wife Beth; Samantha Welch and her son Landon; Alex Maeland; Adam Maeland;
Jason Skara, Rachel Skara and Nicole Skara. A great number of extended family in Norway, and scattered
around the US, will miss her as well.
Her family is extremely grateful for the care and support provided to Gunhild and her family by her
caregivers, especially Helen, Olive and Barbara.
At this time, there are no services planned. The family will gather to celebrate her at a later date.
Memorial donations may be made to Hannah’s Haven of Greensboro, NC, World Vision, or the Salvation