John Alvin Schrunk passed away of natural causes Aug. 7. He was 94 years old.
John, or “Al” (as he was known most of his life), was born Oct. 26, 1918 to Walter and Lillian Schrunk in Redmond. He attended grade school in the small town of Terrebonne and later graduated from Redmond High School in 1936.
Upon graduating, Al signed up for the Army Medical Corps. with two classmates, and they were all shipped to the Hawaiian island of Oahu, Schofield barracks. He served four years in the army where he was also allowed to participate in track and field. Al was a very fast sprinter, and he liked to tell the story about running the 100 yards in 9.6 seconds the year Jesse Owens ran it in 9.4. Al received an honorable discharge from the army in 1940. During the 1940s, Al married Weona Snyder, and they had two children, Cheryl and Terral.
Upon being discharged from the army, Al went to work for the Great Lakes Carbon Corp. outside of Terrebonne, until it burned down, at which point he went to work for the Bonneville Power Administration in Vancouver, Wash. From there, he moved back to Central Oregon and went to work in the Shevlin-Hixson mill in Bend as a setter. The next 26 years were spent as plant foreman for Fred Hodecker Potato Warehouse. One of his favorite pastimes was challenging the young workers at the plant to foot races, and beating them in his work boots.
During his time at Hodecker’s, in 1956, Al married Leola Holcomb (Buckner) who had two children, Allen and Delbert. Together, they had two children, Debra (Nisbet) and Cas.
The last 16 years of Al’s work life were spent as a licensed water well driller where he owned and operated his own business. He was proud of the fact that he received his contractor’s license at such a late time in his career.
Al also enjoyed life by passing time hunting, fishing, bowling, golfing and wood cutting.
He is survived by five children and many grand and great-grandchildren.
Al was preceded in death by his daughter, Cheryl; and wife, Leola who lost the battle with lung cancer in 2003.
A private memorial service will take place at his residence in Burns. Donations in Al’s memory can be made to hospice in Bend or Burns.