Walter Paul Kunze, Jr. passed away peacefully at home from cancer on Monday, January 17, 2022. Walt was born February 18, 1934, in Honolulu, Hawaii, the son of Walter Paul Kunze and Thelma Wallace. He was preceded in death by his parents and infant son, Kevin Paul. Walter is survived by his beloved wife of nearly 60 years, Alyce (Croxton); his sister Karen Bush of Brentwood, CA; his daughters Karrie Turner (Robert) and Krista Schreiber (David); his grandchildren Victoria Bailey (Taylor), Glenna Mineer (Samuel), Megan Roylance (Adisson) and Spencer Turner (Brittney); great-grandchildren Rowan, June, Linden and Margaret; and numerous family and friends.
Walter’s life was one full of joy, silliness and complete love for his family, friends, and even complete strangers. He was cheerful and always had a soul-enveloping hug for anyone who needed it. He looked for the best in others and devoted his life to serving and validating those around him. Walter always showed genuine concern for family and friends, inquiring after their health and happiness, and carefully listening to their responses.
He was born in Hawaii, spent his young childhood years visiting his father’s family in Germany, and grew up in the San Francisco, California area. He trained to be a baker, just as his father and four generations of forefathers did before him. He served as a specialist third class in the United States Army from 1955-1957. Stationed at Ft. Lewis, WA, he was trained to be a cook in the Army. Following his military service, he worked with his father at their family business The Black and White Pastry Shop in Hayward, California. Walter and Alyce were introduced through a mutual friend in 1958 and began a beautiful courtship. They were married March 18, 1962, in Danville, California. In his words, “She knocked my socks off and I’ve been chasing her ever since!” Walter and Alyce welcomed two beautiful girls into their family: Karrie and Krista. They had a loving family relationship filled with learning, laughter, and countless memories. The family moved to Sandpoint, Idaho in 1976. He loved the challenge of creating special decorations for customers (and family) at his bakeries in Hayward and Sandpoint (Oldies N Goodies). They made the move to Medford, Oregon in 1983 where Walter continued baking for several years at Costco, then he and Alyce began their retirement. In 2015 Walt and Alyce moved to Spokane to be near their daughters and other family members.
Some of his numerous hobbies included stamp collecting, gardening and genealogy. He volunteered for the Boy Scouts of America, earning the Silver Beaver and District Awards. Walt thoroughly enjoyed the outdoors, especially the warmth and sunshine. He had the greenest thumb and freely shared his gardening wisdom with others. Inspired by his maternal grandfather, Walter learned the art of clowning while living in Medford, Oregon and volunteered for several charity events as a clown. His two greatest joys in life were his family and his membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Walter and his family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in November 1976 in Sandpoint, Idaho. He fully accepted his Savior and followed in His footsteps, seeking out “the one,” showing compassion and love to all, and humbly blessing others’ lives around him. He spent more than half his life learning and growing in the gospel of Jesus Christ that he loved so much. Walt loved serving in the temple and attending with his wife. He was never one to seek the spotlight or attention, but many can attest to his quiet, loving nature and willingness to serve anytime, anywhere.
His funeral service will be held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (5001 W. Shawnee Ave. in Spokane) on Saturday, January 29, 2022, at 10 am. The family requests no young children attend and that everyone in attendance please wear a mask. His service can also be watched virtually with the following Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/92671681972 Interment at the Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake, WA will follow at a later date. The family would like to sincerely thank Hospice of Spokane for their gentle assistance and constant support in Walter’s last days.