Ronald Francis Stundze, of Whitman, MA passed away at age 88 on Feb. 23, 2022 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Brockton, MA.
A proud Navy man, he was devoted to his wife, his family and his country.
Ron was born on July 29th, 1933 in Lawrence, Massachusetts to Francis and Sophia Stundze. He graduated Methuen High School at age 16 and attended McIntosh Commercial College before enlisting in the U.S. Navy at 17. He served his nation for 20 years, attaining the rank of Chief Petty Officer.
After retiring from the Naval Reserves, Ron began his second career as Business Agent with Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. While there, he attended Massasoit Community College and the University of Massachusetts, where he earned the honor of being listed in the “ Who’s Who of Colleges and Universities.”
Family and friends will remember how Ron loved bad puns and word play, watching to see if anyone groaned at his jokes. He could out-bargain Satan with his combination of wit, coupons, comparison shopping and sales. Yet he was as generous as he was frugal, especially with grandchildren—he always had gum or candy in his pockets, an adventure to the arcade planned and a “Donald Duck” voice ready to entertain. He particularly enjoyed playing his harmonica for his grandchildren.
Ron’s generous spirit and love of delighting children began at a young age. When he was twelve, he secretly bought an electric train for his brother and sister. After everyone went to bed on Christmas Eve, he set up the train, explaining to anyone who asked that “Santa” must have brought it. Ron continued to enjoy trains all his life, and even met the love of his life, Marjorie (McKenzie), while returning to Chicago by train.
Ron was proud to have traveled by camper to all 50 states, starting with a 45 day cross country trip after retiring from the Navy, and a trip to Alaska after retiring from Mass Rehab. He enjoyed river cruises throughout Europe and also visited his ancestral countries of Poland, Russia and Lithuania, and his wife’s heritage of Sweden and Scotland.
He loved fireworks and celebrating the Fourth of July. He would travel from town to town, planning for the maximum number of firework displays possible. Ron entertained generations of children with everything from poppers and sparklers to full-out displays when he visited family in Arkansas. His sister-in-law never let him forget when he blew up her entire strawberry patch.
Ron enjoyed many hobbies including coin and stamp collecting, model trains, scuba diving, crafting with resin, and metal detecting. But his lifetime favorite was bowling, which he shared with his wife throughout their entire marriage. Ron was an early adopter of consumer technology, buying one of the first VHS recording decks, first-generation TV-based video games and a projection TV in the 1980s. When the pandemic made him quit his beloved cribbage group, Ron began to play cribbage online with his son each week. He also was the gatekeeper of family history through his many friends on Facebook.
Ron was active in many organizations, including: the American Legion, South Shore Veterans Assistance, Inc., Top Three Military Retired Assoc., Inc., Whitman Amateur Radio Club, Brockton Senior Bowling League, Boy Scouts of America, Whitman Community Emergency Response Team, Abington Senior Center Cribbage, Good Sam Club, Coachman International, the Whitman Cable T.V. Committee and local metal detecting groups.
Ron is survived by his beloved wife of 68 years, Marjorie, and their three children, Diane Davis, Thomas Stundze and Rhonda Gudath. He is loved by his grandchildren, Patricia (Patsy) Alusick, Colin Davis, Christopher (Chris) Gudath, Rebecca (Becki) Harrington-Davis, Heidi Munoz, Stephen Stundze, Benjamin (Ben) Stundze and Nicholas (Nick) Gudath, as well as nine great-grandchildren. He survived his sister, Ursula B. Stundze, and will be missed by his brother, James Stundze from Atkinson, NH, as well as many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. One of Ron’s last wishes was to express the great love he had for all his family members.
Services will be held on March 14th, from 10-12 at MacKinnon Funeral Home, 760 Washington St. Whitman MA.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation be made to:
South Shore Veteran’s Assistance, Inc. P.O. Box 564, Whitman MA 02382