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Michael Strunk

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. — Michael Daniel Strunk, 63, passed away suddenly while playing golf in Casa Grande, Arizona, on Wednesday, March 6, 2013.

“Mike” (aka “Strunk” or “Grandy”) is predeceased by his parents, Henry “Doc” Howard Strunk and Violet Margaret (Struthers) Strunk; his brothers, William “Bill” and Paul “P.D.”; his sister, Carol Jean Carr; his sister-in-law, Nancy Strunk; and a nephew, Scott Strunk.

Mike is survived by his beloved wife of 24 years, Sandy. They were married in Tempe, Ariz., on Oct. 1, 1988.

He is lovingly remembered and will be forever missed by  his family which includes Mike, Julie and Darien Shepperson; Steve, Melissa, Bryan, Jack, Hannah and Carter Saunders; Kurt, Shelly, Joshua and Mary Smith; Chad, Sarah, Brady and Lily Ward; his sister Diane Steinhagen and husband Jim and children (Matthew, Tracy and Julie); his twin sister Patricia Landrum and her husband Robert and children (Sarah and Michelle); sister-in-law Barbara Strunk; nephew Bill Strunk; niece Lisa Gondolfi and her husband Greg and children (Joe, Sam and Tony); niece Becky Pace and her children (Bill and Whitney); nephew Curt Strunk; niece Nancy Sandeen and her husband Kim and children (Brian, Ashley and Bradley); nephew Hank Strunk and his wife Sara and children (Ryan, Trevor and Katie); niece Cathy Peck and her children (Angie and Bill); niece Kelly Marks and her children (Chad and John); nephew Casey Carr and his children (Meagan and Erin); and niece Kerry Baum.

Mike was born in Princeton on June 21, 1949, and lived in Tiskilwa before moving to Princeton as a child. One of Mike’s first loves was operating heavy equipment, which he began at a young age in his family’s Illinois construction company. He was an excellent operator and enjoyed every aspect of the heavy equipment industry throughout his entire life.  He particularly loved teaching other operators and traveled throughout the world to do so. He eventually settled in Arizona where he continued as a demonstrator/operator at Empire Machinery for 19 years, which involved extensive travel to every corner (including mines, construction sites and golf courses) of the Southwest. After he retired from Empire Machinery in 2007 he continued to enjoy earth moving as a “spectator sport”.

Following his retirement he and Sandy sold their home in Tempe, Ariz., and began traveling full-time in their RV. The “itch to hitch” has since taken over and has provided them with fun and adventure throughout the west. Mike was passionate about the game of golf and was also an excellent instructor for his family, who will forever cherish their memories of him on the course. He was a kind, generous and funny man who enjoyed jokes, music, games, movies, history, reading, fishing, and of course, fried chicken (he had become a connoisseur in his travels).

Mike had specified his desire for cremation and private scattering of his ashes. In honor of Mike’s wishes and approach to life, a private celebration of his life will take place in Casa Grande, Ariz., on Saturday, March 16. Family and friends in Arizona will play a round of golf, eat fried chicken and share “Strunk” memories. Sandy asks that in lieu of formal memorial services that those who loved him gather together for a similar celebration near their home.

Additionally, photo memorial cards will be mailed to any family or friends who would like one. Please forward mailing addresses and/or condolences for the family to Sarah Ward, 3644 East Tonto Place, Chandler, AZ 85249 or sarah.ward@pinnacleco.net.

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