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In loving memory of
Norman Strunk
  • November 10, 1934
  • -
  • June 01, 2019

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Obituary

Norman Strunk, 84, passed away peacefully on June 1 at his home in Tavares, Florida.

He was born in Benton Harbor, Michigan on November 10, 1934 to Bert and Mae Strunk.  He is survived by his wife, Joyce Strunk, and his seven children: Pamela (David) Leland of Oregon, Cheri (Kim) Fowler of Michigan, Tim (Jackie) Strunk of Colorado, John (Debra) Harris of Michigan, Randy (Emily) Strunk of Colorado, Julie Harris of New Jersey, and Judy (Chris) Smith of Florida.  He had 16 grandchildren: Kyle, Colin, Arleigh, Kaleigh, Kameron, Marissa, Zachary, Colton, Carly, Hailey, Bradley, Michael, Angela, Nathaniel, Thaddeus, and Anya and 7 great-grandchildren: Francis, Mae, Louie, Dean, Isabella, Hadley, and Grayson. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers, Harold and Howard, and his sisters, Reva Griffin, Geneva Pedde and Elsie Dettman.

By his friends, Norm will be remembered for his love of fast cars, whether racing them in his youth or watching NASCAR from his living room.  As a mechanic, he was trusted to treat his customers fairly and with great expertise. He could fix nearly anything, and if he couldn’t, then it was definitely really, really broken.  He served with great pride as “Exalted Ruler” of his Elks lodge.  He did it for the love of his Lodge and his Brothers, and not just for the cool title.  Even after he retired, Norm always had a project in the works and was perpetually in motion, if not in body, then in spirit. He believed in doing things precisely, because “if you didn’t have the time to do it right, why would you have the time to do it over?”

In their 43 years of marriage, Norm and Joyce had a lasting, loving partnership, bringing together two families and making them one. Through sickness and in health, they took care of each other.  Norm and Joyce loved their place at Sandy Pines in Michigan and many a family-filled, multi-generational summer was spent fishing, boating, zipping around in golf carts, and cooking out.  Grandpa Norm built more than one fire in the firepit on an 80 degree night in order to roast marshmallows, make campfire pies or assemble s’mores. He was a pushover when it came to grandkids.

As a father, he was the dad who came home and then coached his kids in sports, even after being on his feet all day at work.  Vacations began with “get in the camper, kids.”  If he was asked “how much longer until we get there, dad?” his answer was always “10 more minutes”, even if he’d just pulled out to the driveway.  Each of his children got a car on their 16th birthday – some hunk of junk purchased for a few hundred bucks that he had lovingly restored to its previous glory.

As a grandparent, he was a baby whisperer who could cuddle and calm any wailing infant.  Pulling his teeth out to wow the grandchildren was a fan favorite, eliciting squeals of delight and sometimes mild terror.  The first time was always a shock.  It was how he initiated his grandkids. When it came to napping, his skill was legendary.  “I just need to rest my eyes” he would say. If you dared change the TV channel, he would rouse and declare “I was watching that!”, then often fall back asleep.

If a measure of a man is creating lasting impressions, he left his family and friends a fortune in memories. He will be missed dearly and forever in their hearts.

Visitation will be on Thursday, June 6, from 3:00 – 5:00 PM at Baldwin Brothers in Tavares, Florida.  Funeral services will be held at 10 AM on Friday, June 7, at First United Methodist Church Tavares.  For midwestern family and friends, a memorial service will be held in Michigan in the near future. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Parkinson’s Foundation or, better yet, taking your family out to dinner.


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  1. 12 Jun 2019
    Luis Motta lit a candle:
    Lit since June 12, 2019 at 6:25:08 AM

  2. 08 Jun 2019
    Ruth A Ridenour says:
    My thoughts and prayers to the entire family.

  3. 08 Jun 2019
    Ruth A. Ridenour lit a candle:
    Lit since June 8, 2019 at 6:29:38 PM

  4. 06 Jun 2019
    Erik Merkau says:
    Julie

    Thank you for sharing your memories and Dad’s legacy. Our thoughts and wishes for celebrating a life well lived go to you, and all your family.

    Erik & Sonja

  5. 05 Jun 2019
    Jackie Sanders says:
    My thoughts and prayers go out to the Strunk/Harris family. May you all find peace and comfort in this time of need. God bless

  6. 05 Jun 2019
    Jackie Sanders lit a candle:
    Lit since June 5, 2019 at 6:46:32 PM

  7. 05 Jun 2019
    Ana Ibis Seebrath says:
    Julie,
    Truly sorry for your loss. Love reading about your dad - what an amazing person! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. Blessings!

  8. 05 Jun 2019
    Nada Thompson says:
    Sending prayers to you and your family at this difficult time. May God bless and keep you.

  9. 05 Jun 2019
    Shelly Cummings says:
    May you find peace and comfort during this time.

  10. 05 Jun 2019
    Kevin Finn says:
    Julie and Family,
    Thoughts and prayers are with your Dad, you and your family.
    Be well and best of luck during this tough time - KFinn

  11. 05 Jun 2019
    Renee & Bill lit a candle:
    Lit since June 5, 2019 at 6:13:46 AM

  12. 05 Jun 2019
    Steve Whymark lit a candle:
    Lit since June 5, 2019 at 6:03:57 AM

  13. 04 Jun 2019
    Patricia Conaughty lit a candle:
    Lit since June 4, 2019 at 6:38:18 PM

  14. 04 Jun 2019
    Kathy Haslwanter says:
    Joyce and family,
    My prayers are with you during this difficult time. Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. That is what Norman did!
    God Bless,
    Kathy, Gerry, and Jennifer

  15. 04 Jun 2019
    Kathy Haslwanter lit a candle:
    Lit since June 4, 2019 at 6:21:10 PM

  16. 04 Jun 2019
    Richelle Ciboch says:
    Kim and Family, what a great obituary. Sounds like a remarkable man. May God's peace and comfort be with you all in the days ahead.

  17. 04 Jun 2019
    Joe Apicella says:
    Julie,
    So sorry to hear about your dad. It sounds like your Dad was a great person who loved life and his family, and who will be missed by a lot of people.
    Hang in there.

  18. 03 Jun 2019
    Kristine Reschke says:
    Kim and Family, Sorry to read your loss. After reading the obituary, this man has a great legacy ! He loved his family ! Take care ! Jim and Kris Reschke

  19. 03 Jun 2019
    Kristine Reschke lit a candle:
    Lit since June 3, 2019 at 6:57:59 PM

  20. 03 Jun 2019
    Joe Young says:
    My heart goes out to the family, I loved Norm like a Dad I never had growing up.

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