Ruth Magdalene (Gross) Kunz, 81, St. Joseph, died Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, at Saxton Riverside Nursing Home.
She was born Oct. 20, 1932, in St. Louis, MO, to the Rev. Paul Gross and Anna (Steinman) Gross.
She was preceded in death by her husband, the Rev. Robert T. Kunz, in 2011. Bob and Ruth raised their family in St. Joseph when Bob was serving as pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church from 1965-84. Ruth graduated from Missouri Western in 1971, then taught at Horace Mann Middle School and Lindbergh Elementary.
Ruth graduated as valedictorian from Lutheran High School in St. Louis in 1950. Bob and Ruth married in St. Louis on Oct. 24, 1952. They served Lutheran congregations in Palestine, TX and Knoxville, TN, before moving to St. Joseph in 1965. Later they served in Kent, WA, and La Junta, CO, until 2001. After Bob retired, they lived in Redwood Falls, MN, Cedar Falls, IA, and Park Ridge, IL. Ruth returned to St. Joseph in 2011.
Besides Ruth’s love of God and the church, she also loved music, particularly classical and barbershop. She served as president of the St. Joseph Sweet Adelines and also sang in a quartet. She played piano and the church organ.
She and Bob visited all 50 states, and enjoyed camping, hiking, backpacking, bridge, bowling, and St. Louis Cardinals Baseball.
Ruth was also preceded in death by her parents, her step-father the Rev. O. H. Schmidt and her sisters Gertrude Gross, Dorothy Spitz and Anna Roschke.
Surviving: brother the Rev. Richard (Edith) Gross, Hillsboro, OR; brother Paul Gross, St. Charles, MO; brother-in-law the Rev. Francis Roschke, Colorado Springs, CO,: brothers-in-law Reynold (Ann) Kunz and Gerald Kunz, Houston, TX; son the Rev. Dr. Marcus (the Rev. Martha Halls) Kunz, Park Ridge, IL; son Michael (Deborah Bohlmann) Kunz, Maplewood, MO; son Paul (Debbie) Kunz, St. Joseph; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
Memorial Service: 2 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 22, First Lutheran Church, 10th and Charles, St. Joseph. The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21, at First Lutheran Church, 10th and Charles, St. Joseph. Arrangements are under the direction of the Heaton-Bowman-Smith and Sidenfaden Chapel.
Memorial donations to The Center—A Samaritan Center in St. Joseph or an organization of the donor’s choice.