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Albert L. (Al) HUNECKE

Obituary Condolences

HUNECKE, Albert (Al) L. Dad died of natural causes on the morning of Easter Sunday. He was born in 1917 in Brooklyn, New York, yet grew up in the Catskill Mountains in the small farming village of Pine Bush where he graduated from Pine Bush High School in June of 1935. His boyhood companion was a dawg (sic) named Pal. Dad loved school; it offered both intellectual stimulation (chemistry was his favorite subject), and certain luxuries such as indoor plumbing and modern heating not present at home. He started working at an early age, first as a trapper, then a paper boy, and later an assistant to a butcher who taught him to prepare and preserve meat. Wow, could he ever carve a turkey! Shortly after graduation, he moved to New York City and joined F. Schumacher & Co. as a junior salesman; he attended New York University at night. By the late 1930's he was responsible for the entire New York City territory. When he introduced himself as the new Schumacher salesman to the buyer of one of the major department stores, the wise old buyer said "Why you're just a kid." Our father replied, "Yes, I'm young, but you can teach me." The two enjoyed a very warm and productive working relationship. He enlisted in the Army in July of 1942, qualified as a Sharpshooter and Radio Mechanic, was promoted to Corporal, then Sergeant and was awarded the Good Conduct Medal. As an army Sergeant he taught radio and had quite a reputation for his creative approach to the subject; known as a "Good Joe" by his troops. Higher pay and better food were two motivations for an application for OCS; he left the service as a 1st Lieutenant having served in Northern France and Germany. He saw death camps, and had first hand knowledge of the horrors of the Holocaust. For a time, he was the US commander of a POW camp. Dad returned to civilian life and rejoined F. Schumacher & Co. where he met Marjorie Elliott, a pretty young sales associate visiting from the showroom in Atlanta. The firm offered Dad a new territory including most of the southeastern states, and he moved to the South. Mom and Dad were married in Glenn Memorial Chapel in May of 1947. One of his first lessons as a new husband was learning to drive an automobile; Mom was the perfect teacher given that she had been driving since the age of 11. He worked with Schumacher for over 50 years before embarking on his final career as a real estate broker. Licensed in 1990 at the age of 77, he practiced with his son at Hunecke Office Associates, Inc. His listings included Johnson Square Office Park in East Cobb County. He loved going to the office and seeing Don Chandler, Sam Guest, Mack Reese, JC Long, Margaret Bowen and Steve Berman, whom he loved to tease (Steve honored him by teasing back.) Al is survived by his loving and ever devoted wife of nearly 67 years; his children and their spouses Madeline and Sidney Levin, Gretchen Cooper, Bert and Jane Hunecke, and Melissa and Tom Knorr; his grandchildren, to whom he was known as Opa, Rachael and Colin Chisholm, Rebecca and Alex Turcic, Ashley Cooper, MD, Alison and Cody Frink, Thomas Knorr, William (Bill) Knorr, and Albert Hunecke, III; and finally his Great Grandchildren Sophie Turcic and Elliott Chisholm. He is now reunited in heaven with his son, Eric. During the 1980's, Mom and Dad became active members of Grace Lutheran Church. Dad faithfully updated the monument sign along North Highland Avenue. He enjoyed crafting witty messages. He assisted Mom with the duties of preparing communion for services. And, one of their favorite activities was helping with the annual Christmas tree sale held by the church to raise money for various local charities. He enjoyed time with fellow church member and real estate broker Lucien Lane. Dad loved an occasional Martini (gin, of course) before dinner, something he enjoyed sharing with Jane Hunecke's Dad, Tom Eaton, even though Tom was both a Marine, and a Catholic. Sharing Martinis with his friend Marvin Goldstein at the Diplomat one Christmas Eve proved very, very memorable. He loved a bar of Hershey chocolate, the North Georgia Mountains, Classical Music, dinners in New York City and New Orleans, the great clarinet of Pete Fountain, gardening (particularly raspberries,) and reading the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and articles and books by William F. Buckley. He enjoyed learning about wine from Doug Bryant, conversations with Tamor Shah and Pete Chambers, talking about hunting with Don Chandler, sitting with Kurt Meyer at family functions, and getting to know the Lowe, Houghton and Namnoum families. Dad would have enjoyed spending time with the Sharpleys, Shirleys, Easterlins, Browns, Bells, Daltons, Lechters, Felis's and with Sumeet Shroff. A memorial service was held at Grace Lutheran Church for the family on Tuesday, 22 April 2014. In memory of our father, we ask that you follow his advice. Always keep your mind open; go to a local restaurant and try something new. Be adventuresome.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Apr. 24, 2014
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