Valerie “Val” Kunz (nee Melius), 93, a longtime Riverside resident who wrote a column in the local newspaper for decades, died Jan. 16, 2015.

Ms. Kunz was born Feb. 28, 1921 and lived in Riverside for more than 60 years. Her passion was writing, which she studied at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

She wrote for advertising companies before becoming a newspaper columnist in Riverside with the Riverside News and later was a longtime columnist for the Suburban Life chain.

In 1975, she wrote and produced “The Bend in the River,” a theatrical production celebrating Riverside’s centennial. In addition to her writing, Ms. Kunz also owned and managed a Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream store in Palos Heights for 10 years, was a Realtor with Century 21 Village and sold advertising for the Gateway to Suburbia magazine for many years.

Ms. Kunz was the daughter of Agnes (nee Olsen) and Oscar Melius; the wife of the late Robert Kunz; the mother of Candace (Joseph) Rizzi, Jeffrey (Lawren) Kunz and Erik (Maureen) Kunz; the grandmother of Jennifer (Joseph), Joseph Jr. (Linda), Samantha, Kristen (Adam), Karin (Ben), Katie (Matthew), Sean, Ryan and Kelsey; the great grandmother of James, Caroline, Emma and Courtney; the sister of Betty (late Frank) Ziehl and Philip (Lenore) Melius; the special friend of the late Otto Schulz; and the aunt of many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather on Friday, Jan. 23 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Ivins/Moravecek Funeral Home, 80 E. Burlington St. in Riverside.