Jeffery Robert Melius Kunz, 70, died on Monday, April 1, 2019.
Born in Milwaukee on Jan. 6, 1949, he was raised in Riverside and graduated from Riverside-Brookfield High School. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison for his undergraduate degree and while there not only received high academic honors, but also was active in student government and numerous student organizations including the fraternity Sigma Phi and the student union.
He continued his studies at Wisconsin, obtaining both a doctorate in medicine and a master’s degree in administration. Throughout his studies, Mr. Kunz was awarded numerous academic scholarships including the Brittingham Viking Organization’s Reverse Viking Scholarship at the University of Oslo and the Marshall Scholarship.
He completed his medical residency at Northwestern University in Chicago. This led to a successful career in healthcare including roles in higher education, public health, government, journalism and administration.
Some of his notable achievements were being awarded the first Morris Fishbein Fellowship in Medical Journalism at JAMA and receiving best seller awards for three American Medical books. In addition, he was a cabinet member for Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson.
Mr. Kunz was passionate about his community and alma mater, and he remained highly active in the Brittingham Viking Organization, Madison, Sigma Phi and Wisconsin Union Trustees.
He was a lifetime learner who loved to travel and spend time at his lake home in Northern Wisconsin.
Mr. Kunz was the son of the late Valerie (nee Melius) and the late Robert Kunz; husband of Lawren; the father of Kristin (Adam) Kunz-Schinke, Karin (Benjamin) Conklin and Kathrin (Matthew) Fernholz; the grandfather of five granddaughters; and the brother of Candace (Joseph) Rizzi and Erik (Maureen) Kunz.
A memorial service has been held, and the family appreciates contributions made in his honor to the Bradley Sigma Phi Historical Landmark Preservation Fund.