TRAVERSE CITY — William Albert Kunze, 85, of Traverse City, formerly of Elk Rapids and Wyandotte, passed away Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012, at Grand Traverse Pavilions, with his family by his side. William was born on June 18, 1927, to the late Albert and Lillian (Bessey) Kunze in Wyandotte.
Following his graduation from high school he joined the United States Army and proudly served in Germany during World War II.
Bill moved to the Elk Rapids/Williamsburg area in 1968 with his wife, Betty Jo, and their family. Betty passed away after a brief illness in 1982, and he met and married the former Peggy Steffen. She passed away suddenly after a short marriage and Bill then entered into marriage with the former Ethel Lois Cox, of Traverse City. They celebrated their silver anniversary in June of this year.
Bill made his living in the lumber business and worked as a yard manager for Morrison Lumber up until the time of his retirement.
He and Ethel then wintered in Arizona for 14 years until his illness made it difficult for them to travel. Throughout his illness Bill would listen to the Talking Books for the Blind provided to him through the Traverse Area District Library. This is where he would like to direct any memorial contributions, as well as to the Grand Traverse Commission on Aging.
Bill is survived by his wife, Ethel Kunze, of Traverse City; two sons, David (Mary Sue) Kunze, of St. Ignace, and Robert Kunze, of Honolulu, Hawaii; his daughter, Lillian "Sue" Wilson, of Traverse City; stepchildren, John (Rene) Fraser, Sandra (Wayne) McKinley and Thomas (Pamela) Fraser; 14 grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; as well as other loving family members and friends.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, George R. Kunze; his first wife, Betty Jo (Kemmis) Kunze; his second wife; Margareta "Peggy" (Steffen) Kunze; his grandson, Christopher Kunze; and a step granddaughter, Kari Hunt.
Cremation has taken place. Private family services will be held at a later date.
The family would like to thank all the staff at French Manor, Senior Assisted Living, Birchwood Nursing Center and Grand Traverse Pavilions for all the loving care Bill received while in their care.
The family is being served by the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.