Richard L. Brunk|
Sept. 14, 1945 ~ Oct. 16, 2013
Resident of Aptos
Richard Brunk, Sept 14, 1945 - Oct 16, 2013, resident of Aptos, passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by family and close friends.
Rich was raised in Covina, CA, and moved to Aptos in 1974 where he raised his two children, Joel Brunk (Denver, CO) and Holly Brunk (Portland, OR) and spent the last 33 years with his wife and love of his life Kathy.
Rich was a Vietnam Veteran and worked as a firefighter for the City of Hayward for 23 years and spent his time fixing cars, building hot rods, riding quads, cross-training, running 10ks and tearing it up at his most favorite pastime - wakeboarding.
Rich was a devoted and fun loving husband, in love with his best friend Kathy from the day they met. He was her champion, clown and buddy. Always ready for a late night ride, to sing a song or to laugh at her crazy ways, Rich was Kathy's unwavering partner. They faced life's challenges and opportunities together with laughs and love all along the way. Many marriages, including those of his children, are stronger and better because of the example he and Kathy set.
He is remembered by the brothers he laughed with and loved, Bob Brunk of Lake Havasu City, AZ and David Brunk of Crestline, CA. His dad, Keith and mom, Evie and his brothers shared a passion for adventure and family that he has shared over the years with so many.
Rich was the world's best dad, grandpa and uncle. He is remembered by his three very lucky grandsons, Michael Brunk and Riley and Everett Olmstead who will grow into men influenced by his love and attention. One of Rich's most important and fulfilling relationships was with Tyler Granger. They adopted one another and enjoyed a very special bond that Rich was very proud of. He is also remembered and loved by nieces and nephews, Lindsay, Stephen and Matthew Baptiste, Melissa Brunk, Jennifer Brunk, Carolen, Maddie, and Emmie Vanderpoel, Taylor Foster, and Stephen, Cole and Naomi Brunk. We will always remember him for telling perfect bedtime stories, teaching us to wakeboard and ride quads in the dunes, to love life, and to make friends into family.
He is also remembered by his loving sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, mother and father-in-law, and so many good friends.
Rich had many friends who he cherished like family and appreciated their love and support while he was healthy, and even more so through his and Kathy's long fight with his melanoma. Steve and Diane Spence of Aptos provided especially critical support and unyielding friendship during this time.
A memorial will be held to honor Rich's life at Rio del Mar State Beach in Aptos on Oct 26th at 5pm. Dress warm and comfortably and join us to remember and share stories of this amazing husband, dad, grandpa, uncle, brother and friend.
Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on Oct. 19, 2013