NEENAH - Christopher “Tuffer” Kunz, age 55 of Neenah, WI, died on June 28, 2020, after he had taught colon cancer everything he knew. He made treatment decisions based on a love of life rather than a fear of death. He embraced death with the philosophy that we mimic the universe: we grow and expand, riding our momentum until it crests, only to fall within ourselves, compacting experiences until we become so dense, we explode in a big bang, scattering our uniqueness throughout the universe.
Tuffer was born in Minneapolis, MN in July 1964. He graduated from Osseo High School and U of M-Duluth and attended UW-Oshkosh Graduate School.
Tuffer is best described by his passions: his wife, family, friends, and his community. He loved to cook for his wife and write, read, garden, and run. He met Ellen 34 years ago and fell in love with her on their first date, but it took him 11 years to marry her.
Tuffer wrote full-time for the last 9 years, completing 3 novels, a book of essays, and a long overdue bedtime story for his wife. He was a Post-Crescent Community Columnist for 10 years. He ran half marathons and enjoyed walking or biking to destinations instead of driving. His family and friends were always close to his heart, though he never called them enough. He believes that the only way to contact him now is through laughter or ringing a bicycle bell.
He was full of ideas and loved to debate nearly any topic. He thought sharing and discussing ideas was the best way to understand our complicated world. He spent 12 years sharing his ideas on the Neenah School Board and 7 years on the Neenah City Council, serving 6 of those years simultaneously. He lived his first 36 years in Minneapolis, but found a place where he belonged in Neenah and marveled at how lucky he was.
Tuffer is preceded in death by his mother, Julie May Kunz, and father, Alfred Kunz; and in-laws Joe Roemer, Val Roemer, and Mark Roemer. He leaves behind his wonderful wife, Ellen Roemer Kunz; sisters Michelle Kunz (Chuck Steffel) and Therese Kunz (Kirk Myers); brother Mark Kunz; brother-in-law Chris Roemer (Debbie) and sister-in-law Jan McHugh (Tom); nephews John Steffel, James Steffel, Colin McHugh, Casey McHugh (Stephanie); niece Kaylee Wiegand (Jim); and great-niece Athena McHugh and great-nephew Aspen McHugh.
Friends and family are invited to gather at the Congress Place boulevard in Neenah, WI, on Saturday, July 18 from 10am to noon for a casual outdoor celebration of Tuffer’s life. Wear blue and bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on. Bring a story or memory of Tuffer to share and revel in the temporary nature of our existence. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all attendees are requested to wear masks and practice social distancing. The event will also be livestreamed for anyone unable to be physically present. Updates can be viewed at www.hovcremation.com.
In lieu of flowers, memorial funds will be used to place a bench honoring Tuffer and his love of parks and trails. Donations may be sent to Ellen Kunz.
Tuffer wished to thank family and friends for their care, friendship, positive energy, and support since his diagnosis. He reminds us all that now he might be at the best party ever. One never knows, which is the essence of life – The Unknown. Enjoy!