Walter E. “Wally” Klunk, 86, Green Bay, died peacefully on November 26, 2010, at his residence with family by his side. Born on Aug. 24, 1924, in Sheboygan to the late Edward and Julia (Kramer) Klunk, he is the oldest of two brothers, Wilmer and Marvin. Wally had a happy childhood, and moved to Sheboygan Falls at the age of 10. At the age of 12, he got his first job, delivering the Saturday Evening Post. While in high school, he worked four jobs: in a restaurant, as a paper boy, delivering milk, and working in a Ford garage service station. Wally graduated from high school in 1942.
Following graduation, he tried to enlist in the United States Marines, but he was too young. Shortly after, Walter enlisted and served in the United States Marine Raiders during World War II from Feb. 16, 1943 to Jan. 16, 1946. During that time, he trained in San Diego, where he volunteered for the Marine Raiders super training. On Nov. 1, 1943, he landed in Bougainville in the South Pacific, and saw 70 days of action. During that time he lost two of his best friends, Donald Woodall and John Larsen. Wally was wounded in action, and was a recipient of a Purple Heart. Following his injury, he recuperated at the Pearl Harbor Hospital in Hawaii. After recuperation, he went back to the battlefields. Following the drop of the atomic bomb in Japan, he was in charge of keeping the peace in occupied Japan.
Following his military service, he enrolled in UW-Madison. He later enrolled in Spencerian College in Milwaukee, where he got his degree in business and met the love of his life, Joyce.
On Oct. 9, 1948, he married the former Joyce Smith at Union Congregational Church in De Pere.
After graduating from school, he was hired by Green Bay Savings and Loan, where he worked from Oct. 20, 1967, until Dec. 31, 1989. Wally retired from Green Bay Savings and Loan (First Northern Savings Bank) as President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board.
Wally was very active in a number of professional service organizations during his life in Green Bay. Some of his most honorable leadership roles included: President of the Eastern Wisconsin Savings and Loan League, Director of the Wisconsin Savings and Loan League, Vice President of the Wisconsin Savings and Loan League, President of the Wisconsin Savings and Loan League, Legislative Commissioner of the U.S. League of Savings Association, Past Member of the Green Bay Planning Commission, Charter Member and Past President of the Brown County Conservation Alliance, Past President of the Brown County Sportsmen’s Club, Chairman of the Lakeland Chapter of the American Red Cross, Past President of the Green Bay Parks Board, Secretary/Treasurer Fox Valley Society of Real Estate Appraisers, Member of the Green Bay Board of Realtors and Brown County Home Builders Association, Past Director of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors-Federal Home Loan Bank Board, Board Member of the Neville Public Museum, Treasurer and Board Member of the Northeast Wisconsin Technical Institute Foundation, Member of the Board of District Professional Responsibility Committee Attorneys, and a Member of the Corporate Board of Directors of Bellin Hospital.
Wally’s greatest achievement was helping people to achieve home ownership, and rising from the bottom to the top of his field. He also enjoyed his long, loving relationship in marriage with his wife, Joyce.
Wally enjoyed hunting, fishing, tennis, golf, and spending time at his cabin on the Menominee River in Amberg. He also did a lot of big-game hunting out west, where he shot a 23-point mule deer, which now resides at the Wildlife Sanctuary. His favorite travel destinations were Kenya and South Africa, where he went on many safaris.
Wally is survived by his loving wife of 62 years; four daughters and two sons-in-law, Linda Alexander, Susan (Dean) Meyer, both of Green Bay, Wendy (Greg) Paradis, Flowery Branch, Georgia, and Cindy (significant other, Craig Loritz) Dehn, Green Bay; seven grandchildren: Bret (Gina) Alexander, Dawn (Mark) Delforge, Jennifer (Wayne) Prosecky, Melissa Parker, Lance (Danelle) Paradis, Mark (Tonia) Paradis, and Kayla Stroschein; 14 great-grandchildren, Brody, Dakota, Josh, Tayler, Chance, Journie, Tanner, Libertie, Angelica, Isabella, Aden, Sierra, Alana, and Kason; two brothers and one sister-in-law, Wilmer Klunk and Marvin (Sandra) Kramer; many nieces and nephews; and canine companion, Muffy; and his many, many true good friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; in-laws, Harold and Hazel Smith; two great-grandchildren, C.J. Parker, and Lexie Prosecky; and one sister-in-law, Marilyn Klunk.
Visitation at Malcore (West) Funeral Home, 1530 West Mason Street, Sunday from 4 to 7 p.m. Visitation will continue Monday at First United Methodist Church, 501 Howe Street, Green Bay, from 10 a.m. until the time of the funeral. Funeral 11 a.m. Monday with Rev. Paul Johnson officiating. Burial at Woodlawn Cemetery.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff at Rennes Health Center and Unity Hospice. They would also like to give a very special thank you to Dan Lindbo for his compassionate care, and Dr. Dan Koster.
In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, memorials can be sent to the Wildlife Sanctuary or Bellin College of Nursing.