John Paul Kunzie, of Woodstock, passed away peacefully on Nov. 29 at the age of 87.
Born Aug. 1, 1935, in Canton, Ill., John was the son of Karl Wilhelm and Helga Anina (Skafgaard) Kunzie. He grew up in DeKalb and graduated from Purdue University. After working for Johns Manville and R.R. Donnelley, he founded John’s Lab, a model railroading supply company. In 1976, he moved his family to Woodstock and purchased Castolite Inc., which he ran until 2009.
John dearly loved Woodstock as his adopted hometown. He served as a Woodstock Fire/Rescue District Trustee for 25 years. He mentored young people in 4-H, served on the church council at Grace Lutheran Church, and performed as a guest conductor several times for the Woodstock City Band during Wednesday night concerts.
Among the lessons John taught his children:
● Anything can be fixed with duct tape, super glue, or clothes pins.
● The best prize for any contest is a rubber cigar and a round-trip ticket to Peoria.
● It is completely reasonable to have a full-size caboose in your backyard.
● There is always time to tell a story or a joke and to love people boundlessly and unconditionally.
The greatest love of his life was his family. His spirit is carried on by Judie Kunzie (Gustafson), his wife of 50 years; his seven children, Jane, Julie (Kevin), Steve (Kim), Scott (Coleen), Tammy (Scott), Amy (Jeremy), and Laura (Adam); his 10 grandchildren, Luke (fiancee, Laura), Logan (Lisa), Jennifer (Dave), Morgan (fiance, TJ), Sarah (fiance, Adam), Lillian, Ryan, Colin, Kathryn, and Julianne; and four great-grandchildren, Landry, Lincoln, Adalynn, and Grace.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his first wife, Carlene (Jung).
The family is grateful to First Light and JourneyCare for the loving and dignified care he received in hospice.
Visitation will be held Thursday, Dec. 15, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, 1300 Kishwaukee Valley Road Woodstock, IL 60098. A service celebrating John’s life will be held Friday, Dec. 16, at 11 a.m., with visitation beginning at 10 a.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, Woodstock.
John’s legacy lives on through the donation of his brain tissue to the University of California, Davis, to support research into the causes and a possible cure for Fragile X-Associated Ataxia and Tremor Syndrome. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of John Kunzie are requested to the FXTAS Research Fund at the UC Davis MIND Institute. Checks, made payable to UC Davis Foundation, with FXTAS Research Fund in memory of John Kunzie written in the memo line, can be mailed to:
UC Davis Advancement Services
202 Cousteau Place, No. 185, Davis, CA 95618.
Donations may also be made to Grace Lutheran Church or to the Woodstock Fire/Rescue District.
For online condolences, visit davenportfamily.com or call 815-459-3411 for information.