Robert Eugene Kunz

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Robert Eugene Kunz Obituary
Robert Eugene Kunz

April 17, 1924 ~ October 21, 2012

Lifelong King County resident and businessman, Robert Eugene Kunz, died unexpectedly at the Hearthstone in Seattle on Sunday, October 21, at the age of 88. A third generation descendant of Seattle settlers, Jacob and Laura (Kite) Kunz, Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Samuel Washington and Juanita Melba (Digby) Kunz, and his brothers, James and Roger. Born and raised in the Green Lake area of Seattle, Bob graduated from Olympic View Grade School in 1938 as Class President and Valedictorian. At Lincoln High School, in Seattle, he was President of the Lynx Club and graduated at the top of his class in 1942 with a 3.98 grade point average. He played four years as catcher on Lincoln's baseball team and lettered all four years. Upon entering the University of Washington in 1942, he was selected for the U.S. Naval R.O.T.C. program and he pledged to Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. Bob was active in sports and played catcher for the UW baseball team. He graduated summa cum laude from the UW in 1945 with a degree in Engineering and a major in Aeronautical Engineering.

After briefly serving in the Navy as an ensign in World War II, with duty in the South Pacific, Bob worked for Bearing Sales & Services on Capitol Hill in Seattle. In 1950, he was recalled into the Navy serving as an officer on the U.S.S. Franklin D. Roosevelt aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean Sea. At this time, he traveled to Strenglebach, Switzerland for a historic reunion with his grandfather's relatives. After being discharged into the Naval Reserve (retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Commander), he started his own business, R.E. Kunz Company, in 1953 as the Pacific Northwest representative for several national machinery companies. As the manufacturers' represen-tative, he designed and sold bearings, large gear boxes and other products used in the construction of many Northwest bridges, Columbia River dams, large cranes on ships and waterfront docks, treatment plants, shipboard systems, nuclear power plants, and international projects such as the tunnel beneath the English Channel. He retired in 2003 after 50 years in his field of work. In retirement golf became a passion both at the Broadmoor Golf Club, in Seattle, and as a snowbird at his second home in Rancho Mirage, California. He was a passionate Husky fan and Big W Club member.

Bob is survived by 3 children from his marriage to Mary Ellen Johnston: Nancy Nielsen (Don) of Lynnwood, James (Jean) of Seattle, Donald of Seattle, and 3 children from his marriage to Joanne Lee Wagner: Katheryn Allensworth of Gig Harbor, Stephany Goodpasture of Pasco, and Merrilyn Carpenter (Kelly) of Woodinville; also 8 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. His wives, including his third wife, Sharon Anne Laine, predeceased him. Bob will be fondly remembered by his many treasured long-time friends, his relatives in Switzerland, and his dear friends at the Hearthstone community. Remembrances: Lincoln Lynx Alumni Association Scholarship Program; P.O. Box 31056; Seattle, WA 98103-1056.
Published in The Seattle Times from Oct. 27 to Oct. 31, 2012
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