Albert E. Stunzi, 73, of 69 Breezy Acres Lane, Saranac Lake, passed away Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, surrounded by his loving family.
He was born in Saranac Lake on May 21, 1940, to the late August "Gus" and Mary (Kourofsky) Stunzi. Al graduated from Saranac Lake High School in 1958 and earned a degree from Mohawk Valley Technical Institute for electrical engineering two years later. He married Barbara Wallace on Dec. 31, 1960. Voted "Class Couple 1957," the football player and his cheerleader recently celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary.
Albert was a gifted athlete who earned more than 45 trophies and medals as a speedskater in the early 1950s, competing in races from Lake Placid to Berkshire Hills in Pennsylvania. He was a high school all-star in football, basketball, track and baseball, but his true lifelong passion was the game of golf which he learned at a very young age from his parents. Al's closest friends were his Saranac Lake Golf Club buddies and he carried his clubs in the cab of his truck year round until the day he died.
Al had several offers for employment as an electrician outside of the Adirondacks, but chose to stay in his hometown to raise his family. He worked for the United States Postal Service for 36 years in Saranac Lake and as postmaster in Ray Brook. In 1979, he was chosen to run the post office inside the "Olympic Village" housing for athletes in Ray Brook, which is now the federal prison, during the duration of the 1980 Olympic Games. Al was thrilled to meet many of the competitors and their trainers while helping them mail letters and packages all over the world, sometimes requiring the services of language translators. The athletes gifted him with autographed posters and memorabilia as well as first hand accounts of their experiences each day, and he took his family to watch them receive their medals at the award ceremonies on Mirror Lake each evening. Albert retired from the postal service in 1996 and started a second career as a licensed real estate agent. He enjoyed working for the Ayres Real Estate Agency for almost 16 years.
Albert was dedicated to education and opportunities for the students in our community and spent several years serving on the school board. He was heavily involved in the process of building the auditorium addition to the high school and has continuously supported student music and sports activities from the time his daughters were in school in the '80s to his grandchildren currently there.
Al was a man of strong Catholic faith and life long member and supporter of St. Bernard's church as board member, a Knights of Columbus member and faithful servant of the Lord. He did many anonymous random acts of kindness and became a Eucharistic Minister so he could administer Holy Communion to hospitalized patients at Adirondack Medical Center. Albert received Last Rites from the Rev. Mark Reilly, attended by his wife, Barbara, his two daughters, all six of his grandchildren and his great-granddaughter on the day he peacefully passed away. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Albert Edwin Stunzi is survived by his wife Barbara Stunzi of Saranac Lake; two daughters: Maureen Stunzi of Saranac Lake and Mary Stunzi-Waterson (George) of Saranac Lake; three brothers: Francis Stunzi (Patricia) of Rouses Point, Peter Stunzi (Veronica) of Glen Mills, Pa. and Joseph Stunzi (Wendy) of Athens, Ga.; two sisters: Mary Anne Bott (Troy) of Frisco, Texas and Elizabeth Jones (John) of The Villages, Fla.; six grandchildren: Erica and Michael Whelan of Saratoga Springs, Chelsea and Josh Tremblay of Saranac Lake and Dominique and Raymond Santiago of Saranac Lake; one great-granddaughter Alice Longo of Saranac Lake; his loving in-law families of Scollin, Wallace and Fregoe; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his father and mother.
Calling hours will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, March 2 at the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home in Saranac Lake. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at noon Monday, March 3 at St. Bernard's Church, with the Rev. Mark Reilly officiating.
Friends wishing to remember Albert E. Stunzi may make memorial contributions to Saranac Lake High School Musical Department in care of the funeral home.
Family and friends can also share their memories and sign the online guestbook at fortunekeoughfuneralhome.com.