Spencer Stanley Shunk
MARQUETTE, MI. – On March 17, 2014, Spencer Stanley Shunk went home to be with his Lord and Savior.
Born on May 27, 1921, Spencer was a farmer, businessman, WWII Veteran and father of seven. Spencer will be sadly missed by many loved ones, friends and business associates. He was a member of Fundamental Baptist Church, a Lifetime member of the Vets of Foreign Wars and a 50 year member of the American Legion.
Spencer was preceded in death by his father Carl Shunk, mother Grace Hill Shunk, brothers Gordon Shunk, Sr. and Carl Shunk, grandson Jeffery Dusseault, and granddaughter Cecelia Romano.
Spencer is survived by his wife of 34 years, Joanne Dalby Shunk; sons Spencer Brent (Susan) Shunk, Karl (Carol) Shunk Sr. and Stanley (Susan) Shunk Sr., daughters Pennie Shunk-Dusseault, Brenda (Wayne) McGuire, Karen Shunk, and Grace (Sidney) Burton; grandchildren,; James and Jason Dusseault, Karrie Gilbert, Marcy Thorne, Deanna Jones, Sara Maurer, Wayne Jr. and Jacob McGuire, Erin Jentoft, Cara LaFavor, Karl Shunk Jr., Jessica Gephart, Amber Smith, Megan Romano, Stanley Jr., Ryan and Michael Shunk, Melissa Manninen, Caitlin Galer, Hannah, Gabriel, Bethany, Jedidiah, and Samuel Burton, and 45 great grandchildren. Also surviving is son-in-law Gerald Dusseault, sister Joann Sauro-Cook and many beloved in-laws, nieces and nephews.
Spencer graduated from Sault High School in 1939. He was the member of the Key Note school paper, President of the Science Club, President of the Atom Crackers, and member of history club and safety patrol.
On August 30, 1941 Spencer married Verna Ester Ellis, daughter of Haron and Mable Ellis. Times were hard and to supplement his farming income Spencer worked at the Tannery and at the Union Carbide Company. Drafted into the US Navy on May 5, 1944, Spencer became a Gunners Mate 3rd Class and served on the USS Jack C. Robinson. He was only thrown in the brig once and spent 30 days on bread and water for being Absent With Out Leave. Spencer was late returning to duty after the birth of his daughter who was deathly ill, but later recovered.
After WWII, Spencer returned to the family farm on Riverside Drive. To earn extra money, Spencer and Verna sold meat off their farm door to door to restaurants and merchants in Chippewa County.
Eventually, they saved enough for Verna’s brothers to build a slaughter house and they went full on into the meat business. After years selling fresh and smoked meats Spencer started selling Ben Hurr freezers on his meat route. They parleyed this into an appliance store and their long time friend and employee Phil Romano went from butcher to appliance repairman and made the transition to Shunk’s Appliance on Ann Street in the Soo.
Shunk’s Appliance expanded into Shunk’s Furniture and Appliance with three locations in Manistique, Munising and Sault Ste. Marie. In 1967, Shunk Furniture built their first new building on the I-75 Business Spur. In 1977, Shunk’s Furniture opened in Negaunee Township completing the four store locations.
Spencer was an avid reader and liked to travel. He was famous for quoting the first stanza of “Hiawatha” in the morning as he drank his coffee and surveyed the family farm. He frequently would say “When I was young, they said “Go West young man, Go West!” but I didn’t have any money, so I just get up in the morning and look to the West!”
Although he retired from the furniture business in 1973, having sold Shunk’s Furniture to his sons and son-in-law, Spencer continued on farming and raising cattle, having never left the family farm. Spencer always said “I had to go into the furniture business to support my farming habit” now a Centennial Farm, the Shunk Family Farm remains in the possession of his son Karl, Sr.
On June 7, 1980, Spencer married Joanne Dalby at Calvery Baptist Church in the Sault. Spencer met Joanne in Arizona and they have traveled and enjoyed retirement for almost 34 years.
A funeral service will be held 3:00 PM on Saturday March 22, 2014 at C.S. Mulder Funeral Home with Jacob McGuire officiating. Friends may call at the funeral home from 12:00 PM until the time of the services.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be left to the Disabled American Veterans.