Raymond F. Kunce, age 97, formerly of 41 Emerson Ave. Pittsfield, died Sept. 8, 2018, in Carmichael, CA, at the home of his daughter, Janet Rollofson, with whom he had lived for the past 4 years. He was born in Pittsfield, June 17, 1921, the son of the late Anthony and Dorothy Milchius Kunce. He was educated in the local schools and was a 1939 graduate of Pittsfield High School. A communicant of St. Teresa’s Church, he later became a communicant of Sacred Heart Church.
While proud of his Lithuanian heritage, he never stopped talking about how lucky he was to be born in America, and particularly the Berkshires. As the son of immigrants who fled to the US in the early 1900’s he was proud to be an American and loved this country. He entered elementary school speaking only Lithuanian, survived the Depression, and defended his country in a global war. He married the love of his life and raised a family instilling values of his faith and country. He had a “BIG” heart, was a giver, a good listener and kept his sense of humor. He truly represented the “greatest generation” as described by Tom Brokaw in his book by the same title.
Initially employed at the General Electric Co., he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1942. A proud veteran of WW II he served in the Navy from 1942 through the end of the War. In the Atlantic theater he was stationed aboard a destroyer escorting convoys. His ship had credit for 2 and ½ “kills” of German U-Boats. After recovery from a serious injury sustained onboard ship during a severe storm he was assigned aboard a ship in the Pacific theater supporting the island hopping invasions through the Central Pacific, serving 22 months of continuous ship board service. His belief in service to country carried on to other generations as his son, daughter (Pat) and grandson followed his example by serving in the US military.
Following his discharge in 1945, he returned to the GE and was employed in the Winding Dept. prior to becoming a foreman in the Small Distribution Transformer Dept. Ray retired in 1981 with over 40 years of service. He was one of the first to build a cottage, affectionately known within the family as his “Heaven on Earth” in Richmond Shores located on Richmond Pond.
Ray and Bernie enjoyed traveling to visit their children and family, summering at Richmond Pond and for several years wintering in Vero Beach, FL. Ray was a nature lover –and enjoyed gardening, berry picking, hiking, hunting, camping and a year round avid fisherman. His last deer hunting trip to Maine was at the age of 93. There isn’t a stream in Berkshire County that has not felt the presence of his hip-boots and fly rod line.
He and his wife, the former Bernice A. Cullen Kunce, were married for 68 wonderful years until her passing in 2014. They were married at Sacred Heart Church in a double ceremony alongside Bernie’s sister, Millie and her husband, Willie Snyder. Bernie and Ray were blessed with three children - son and daughter-in-law, Ed and Nancy Kunce of Brockton, MA, daughter and son-in-law, Janet and Don Rollofson of Carmichael, CA, and daughter, Pat Barauskas of Deltona, FL . He is also survived by his grandchildren, Mike and Kim Kunce and their children, Abby & Jack, Beth and Steve Wagner and their children, Kate & Sam, Michele Percevic, Heather and Chris Fowler and their son Harrison and Shaunna Barauskas.
Kunce, Raymond F., age 97, died Sept. 8th. Calling hours at the DEVANNY-CONDRON FUNERAL HOME will be SATURDAY, Sept.29th from 9 am until 10 am. A Liturgy of Christian Burial will follow at Sacred Heart Church at 10:30 am with the Rev. Michael Bernier, pastor, officiating. Burial with full military rites will follow in Richmond Center Cemetery.
If friends desire, memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association in care of the Funeral Home.