Family, School and Community
Virginia Wunsch, 86, of White Cloud passed away at home on June 10, 2014. Mrs. Wunsch was born Virginia Lou Fish on September 14, 1927 in Hart, Michigan, the daughter of Julius and Lou (Leland) Fish. She was raised on a fruit farm in Oceana County and graduated from Hart High School in 1941.
Mrs. Wunsch was preceded in death by two brothers, Thomas and Robert Fish.
Mrs. Wunsch entered Michigan State University in 1945 and completed a Bachelor's degree in physical education in 1949. Her professional career began in 1949 as a physical education instructor and women's basketball coach for White Cloud Public Schools. While teaching in White Cloud, Mrs. Wunsch met fellow educator Arthur Wunsch, and they subsequently married on June 9, 1951 in Hart. Mrs. Wunsch continued teaching until 1956. Mr. and Mrs. Wunsch were blessed with two children, Kathyrn Lou, born on July 4, 1956, and James Daniel, born on October 9, 1959. While Mr. Wunsch continued his career as a music educator, Mrs. Wunsch found ways to parent Kathy and Jim and continue her personal and professional commitment to the White Cloud community, often simultaneously.
Mrs. Wunsch had a 50-year affiliation with the Girl Scouts of America as a professional and volunteer, and also worked as an advisor to Newaygo County 4-H. She returned to White Cloud Public Schools as a women's basketball coach in the late 1970's.
Mrs. Wunsch was elected Lincoln Township Supervisor in 1976, holding the office until her retirement in 2000. She also worked as a substitute rural mail carrier for 20 years.
Although Mrs. Wunsch found all of her work in the White Cloud community rewarding, it was perhaps her early development work in establishing the North Country Scenic Hiking Trail in Newaygo County that best measures her legacy. Mrs. Wunsch and family friend Mildred Andrews purchased and later donated to North Country Trail Association the Birch Grove School house on Felch Avenue northwest of Diamond Lake. Its location is near the halfway point on the 4600 – mile trail that begins in New York state and finishes in North Dakota. For a time the building served as trail association headquarters, and it continues to serve as a hostel for hikers in need of overnight shelter. During a ceremony just days before Mrs. Wunsch's death, White Cloud was assigned “Trail Town” status by the North Country Trail Association.
Mrs. Wunsch delighted in sharing time with her husband and children, and once her cherished grand daughters arrived and grew, her attendance at events involving them was nearly perfect. She loved them dearly. Mrs. Wunsch is survived by her husband of 63 years, Arthur Wunsch of White Cloud; her daughter, Kathy (Craig) Broome of White Cloud; her son Jim (Anne) Wunsch of Saugatuck; her granddaughters, Tegan Broome of White Cloud, and Lydia (David) VanWormer of Durhan, North Carolina; and her cousin, Charlotte Chandler, of Grand Rapids.
A memorial service will be held at 11AM Friday, June 20th at White Cloud Methodist Church at Friends may consider the West Michigan chapter of the North Country Scenic Hiking Trail Association or Newaygo County 4-H Handicapped Horseback riding program.