Aug. 26, 1931-Jan. 1, 2018
Lifelong Skagway resident Ronald W. “Bill” Hunz, 86, died on Jan. 1, 2018, surrounded by his loving family in Spokane, Washington. He was preceded in death by his parents Walter Hunz and Elta Cooley, and son-in-law Ralph Tronrud.
Bill served in the Korean War from 1952 until 1954 doing tank reconnaissance, many times over enemy lines. He received two bronze service stars. Recently sons David and Richard took him to the nation’s capitol to see the sights, but most of all for him to see the Korean War Memorial.
He moved his family from Spokane Washington to Skagway in the fall of 1959, to work for the U.S. Government on the Distant Early Warning system. It was part of the Cold War efforts to keep track of incoming Soviet bombers. He was also in charge of telephone lines from Bennett to Skagway, the teletype line and an undersea cable. Bill also worked at the Ore Terminal as a mechanic electrician and again for the U.S. Government doing maintenance for both the Haines and Skagway Border Stations. He retired in 1997, where he indulged in his love of tinkering with old clocks, fishing, but most of all fixing things out at his son David’s H & H shop.
He also fixed furnaces, wired buildings, built houses and thawed pipes. A general all-around handy man that was always ready to help those in need.
He was a great advocate for all children of Skagway and served 25 years (16 of those years as president) on the Skagway School Board.
You could always find him in the bleachers watching his children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife Shirley of 37 years. Children David (Pam) Hunz, Lori (Steve) Burnham, Richard (June) Hunz, Trisha (Scott) Smith, honorary daughter Tina Cyr (Ralf Gorichanez), Mike (Shelly) Ackerman, Mark (Raylene) Ackerman, Rick (Kay) Ackerman and Ryan Ackerman.
As an only child he wanted a large family. He had over 60 grandchildren, great grandchildren, great-great grandchildren with even more on the way. What a wonderful legacy to leave behind.
He will be truly missed by family and friends alike.