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HSTA-R’s Bettye Wakabayashi and Gunther’s Ice Cream

August 2, 2010

Betty Wakabayashi and family

Bettye Wakabayashi shares her special summer story

   This summer my family was quite honored. My first marriage was to Richard Gunther, whose parents, Hermann (Pops) and Iva Gunther, founded an Ice Cream store called Gunther’s Ice Cream in Sacramento in 1940.

  After Richard passed away in 1967 the store was sold and passed through several hands until it finally landed in the laps of Rick and Marlena Klopp.

The Klopp’s were dedicated to bringing Gunther’s Ice Cream back to its original popularity and also in honoring and preserving the memory of the Gunther’s.

   Gunther’s now services 70 restaurants, ice cream stores and businesses in the Sacramento area.

  This year, on May 15, 2010, Gunther’s Ice Cream celebrated its 70th Anniversary and Rick and Marlena invited the Gunther clan as their honored guests.


My son, Dan Gunther and his wife, Lisa, and their 3 children from Tucson Arizona, along with Kate Gunther, my daughter, came from Grass Valley, California, and I came from Hawaii.  We were treated like Royalty as the Klopp’s put us all up in a beautiful 5 star hotel and wined and dined us.

  The police cordoned off three streets.  There were 30 foot balloon chains flying above.  Big tables were under huge canopies and the Gunther’s had kiosks set up, selling hot dogs, drinks and ice cream cones for $2.

Gunther’s Ice Cream shop

We were all honored by the Legislator and the Mayor of Sacramento.  The first employee of the original store, now aged 92, was a guest at the celebration along with many past employees.

   This was truly a memorable experience and I will forever be grateful toRick and Marlena Klopp.

(Editors note:  HSTA-R Big Island members are encouraged to submit their vacation photos and stories to

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Sally Waitt permalink
    August 2, 2010 3:01 pm

    This is an absolutely fabulous story—and I am so happy that Betty and her family had such a wonderful time in the Sacramento area!! Thank you for sharing your story with all of us.

  2. RAJ permalink
    August 2, 2010 4:53 pm

    Great story thank for sharing it Bettye..Nice to hear about other family reunions. Now people can share them on this site..
    (Thanks to you Bigdog)

  3. August 2, 2010 5:49 pm

    Thank you for passing on this fascinating article! Bettye, congratulations to the clan on the anniversary. You undoubtedly will remember how grand it felt to be treated like royalty. How wonderful for your family members! Best wishes for many more exciting journeys.
    Eunice Saito

  4. larry DeSmither permalink
    August 8, 2010 6:31 am

    That was a great story. I have a different kind of story you may find interesting. I came up with a idea for a better mousetrap. I recieved a patent for said mousetrap, at this time I entered a contest called cincinnati innovation contest. If anyone would like to see the better mousetrap or vote for it. Go to cincinnati innovation contest click on view and vote. go to page 3 or 4 and vote for the vertical rodent trap. thanks and aloha larry D

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