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Werner Kunz, age 97, died May 30, 2022, at home with his family in Pittsford, NY.
Born January 5, 1925, in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, to York and Margaret Kunz, he and sister Hilde had fond memories of their early childhood. Seeing no viable future there for Jews, the family emigrated to the United States in 1938, weeks after Kristallnacht. While his parents stayed in NYC so his father, a physician, could learn English and pass the medical boards, Werner lived as a foster child with dear family friends in Rochester and attended Monroe High School.
Werner graduated from the University of Rochester and earned his MD from the University of Chicago, practicing internal medicine from 1960 to 1999 in Rochester. He relished his private practice, especially using his skill as a diagnostician and his close relationships with a diverse group of patients. They valued Werner’s warmth and the extra time he took to put them at ease.
In 1959, Werner married Susan Weil. With the birth of three children within four years, family became the center of their world. Weekends were spent introducing their children to the outdoors through hiking, skiing, and sailing on Canandaigua Lake. He took great pleasure in travel, photography and tending his flower gardens. Werner had a passion for live classical music, with a special fondness for chamber music. He could also be found cooking “Opa omelets” while listening to classical music Sunday mornings. Continuing to pursue these passions in retirement, he volunteered and served on the board at the Hochstein School of Music. Werner and Susan also volunteered at School 15 in Rochester, forging a special connection with refugee children.
Werner’s seven grandchildren loved family reunion trips, but equally cherished the time at Opa and Nana’s house for the unconditional love and freedom afforded them. Werner fostered a special bond based on each grandchild’s interests, whether travel, music, or science.
Werner was predeceased by parents York and Margaret (Tuch) Kunz, and sister Hilde Roche. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Susan Weil Kunz; three children and their spouses: Elizabeth Hession-Kunz (Andrew Hession-Kunz), Jonathan Kunz (Pamela Murphy), and Katherine Kunz (Alan Phipps); grandchildren: Aaron, Jacob, and Sarah Hession-Kunz, Benjamin and William Kunz, and Nathan and Hannah Phipps; nephew Peter (Patricia) Roche and niece Barbara Roche; and cousins Harriet Kunz and Renee Szlack.
A private family celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to either the Hochstein School of Music Click Here to Donate, or the International Rescue Committee Click HERE to Donate