Story last updated at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, June 20, 2002

Arlene M. Kunz


Arlene M. Kunz, 68, passed away April 12 in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico of heart failure. At her request her ashes will be scattered in a family ceremony at a later date.

Ms. Kunz was born March 14, 1934 in New Haven, Conn. She graduated from the State Teacher's College. After that she went to Florida on vacation, where she met her future husband, Charles J. "Chuck" Kunz. Chuck Kunz had previously secured a homestead site out East End Road, and he and Arlene Kunz flew to Anchorage before settling into the cabin that he had built. She only had city clothes, but quickly adapted to blue jeans and homesteader clothing. She learned to garden, ride horses and cook.

After having her daughters Jocelyn and Claudia, the family moved into town, where Ms. Kunz worked as an elementary school teacher while Mr. Kunz fished for crab. The family moved to Kodiak for a year and then to California, where she taught school for six years.

Upon returning to Homer in 1973, Ms. Kunz worked for the weather service, acted in Pier 1 Theatre productions, was a founding member of the high school booster club and made plans to travel and pursue service in the Peace Corps when her children graduated. She served in Morocco for a brief time and also studied French at a specialized school in the heart of France.

Ms. Kunz loved to travel and visited the Philippines, Europe, South America and Australia among other places. She brought her daughters to South Africa in 1983 to meet three generations of her family.

"Mom was definitely one of the most unique and interesting people to be around," her family said. "She had a flair for dramatic storytelling, usually concerning her travel experiences around the world. She probably would have been a good actress or star of a sit-com, to say the least."

Ms. Kunz was preceded in death by her ex-husband, Charles J. Kunz.

Ms. Kunz is survived by her daughters Jocelyn McCollum of Kenai and Claudia Richter of Houston; sons-in-law James McCollum and Peter Richter; and grandchildren Jordan and Cole McCollum and Kristen and Monica Richter.