Obituaries— May 20, 2010


Mr. Raymond J. Kunst, age 88, of Rockford went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Sunday, May 9, 2010. He was a 1940 graduate of Creston High School.

Staff Sergeant Raymond Kunst served his country, his flag, and his God in the U.S. Army during WWII. He took part in the Rhineland and Ardennes Campaigns and was wounded on December 20, 1944, in Bastogne, Belgium.

On February 1, 1952, Ray and his wife, Thelma, started Rockford Flower Shop. Ray was a fourth-generation florist and gifted designer. While operating the floral shop, they also had a garden center (formerly beside the Rockford Michigan State Police Post). They were a faithful, gentle and caring couple, who worked as a team in providing the community with quality flowers and caring service. In July 1975, Ray and Thelma sold their business.

Ray was a gentleman who always needed to be busy. He began working for Rockford Hardware, and for many years he assisted people with their plants and lawn care products. Ray was a great family man who had impeccable morals and ethics. His Christian values were sustained throughout his life and have been passed on to his children and grandchildren.

Ray was a charter member of Rockford Reformed Church and took great pride in seeing the church expand and grow. He was a life member of the William Smith Post #2 Disabled American Veterans.

He is survived by his loving wife, the former Thelma Weller, whom he married on July 17, 1942; his children, Janice and Harold Hulst of Sparta, Ronald J. and Mary Ellen Kunst of Elmira, N.Y., Steve and Cheryl Kunst of Tallahassee, Fla.; grandchildren, Susan and Bryan Albers, Pamela Phillips, Jeffrey and Candace Hulst, Rebecca and David Ziebarth, Renee and Jeremy Guzzardi, Ronda and Mike Neri, Christofer Kunst, Sheena and Joe Perkins; 13 great-grandchildren; in-laws, Mrs. Lorraine Kunst, Eldona and George Allington, Spud Ensing, Barney and Marcy Townes; many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Peter L. and Nellie Kunst; brothers, Lawrence and Wilford; and daughter-in-law, Mrs. Ruth Kunst.

The service celebrating Ray’s faith life and physical life was Friday, May 14, 2010, at 11:00 a.m. at Rockford Reformed Church with Pastor Rick Tigchon officiating. Military honors were under the auspices of the Kent County Veterans Honor Guard, with interment in Rockford Cemetery. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider Rockford Reformed Church, 4890 11 Mile Rd. NE, Rockford.

Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.

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