Alfred Carl Blunck 1940 - 2020

Known by some as “Big Al, the Kiddies Pal,” “The Big Kahuna” and “Cork” (to his brothers), Alfred Carl Blunck was born November 29, 1940, in Beaverton, Oregon, to Willi and Jennie Blunck. When Al was six months old, the Blunck family, which included brothers Bill, Max and Bob, moved to The Dalles, Oregon, where Al attended school until his senior year, then completed his education in Dietrich, Idaho, where his mother was teaching.

Returning to The Dalles at the age of 17, he enlisted in the Navy and served aboard the aircraft carrier Bon Homme Richard from 1958 until honorably discharged in 1961. Ports of call included Pearl Harbor, Sasebo, Kobe, Okinawa and Yokohama, Japan; Bombay, India; Midway Island, Guam, Singapore, Shanghai, Subic Bay and Manila.

Al had several jobs after the Navy until 1964, when he went to work for Safeway in The Dalles, first in the dairy department, then into produce. In April of 1964, he met someone who would become his wife. On September 27, 1964, he married Beverly Kay Garrett of Hood River. Along with Beverly came her three young children, Debbie, Larry, and Jeff, whom Al adopted to make a family of five.

In 1965, Safeway transferred Al to La Grande, Oregon, and the family soon followed. On February 28, 1966, a new member joined the family when son, Dan, was born. Two weeks later, Al went to work for Albertsons and the family moved to Forest Grove. In August of 1967, Albertsons transferred Al to Grants Pass, and the family followed.

In May of 1969, Al heard of a new store scheduled to open in McMinnville, Oregon, Roth’s IGA. He was interviewed by the company owner, Orville Roth, and was hired the very next day for the position of Produce Department Manager. Al was proud to say he was the last department head to be personally hired by Orville.

The Bluncks moved to McMinnville, and Al started working at Roth’s on June 23, 1969. One year later to the day, June 23, 1970, another new member joined the family when son, Tim, was born. Al worked at Roth’s for 41 years, from 1969 to 2010, and he was much loved and respected by both co-workers and customers alike for his strong work ethic, charming personality and sense of humor. All five of the Blunck children graduated from McMinnville High School, and Al was proud to make McMinnville his hometown.

Al’s life was filled with an abundance of good times and happy memories, many of which were from his time in the Navy. His “sea stories” were often heard by his children, inspiring four out of five of them to enlist in the Navy as well. Two of his grandchildren have also become sailors, including one currently underway on a submarine. He especially cherished the times that he and two of his sons, Larry and Jeff, played on the same softball team many years ago, when the boys were still in high school.

Al and his wife celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary September 27th of last year, and renewed their wedding vows on both their 25th and 50th anniversaries. Of all the things in Al’s long and fulfilling life, nothing brought him greater joy and peace than the love he shared with his wife, Beverly, and the family they built together. He will be forever remembered as a great husband and father; generous, loving and supportive in every way.

Al was preceded in passing by his parents and oldest brother, Bill, with whom he looked forward to reuniting in the hereafter. He is survived by his wife, Beverly; daughter, Debbie Mabee of Fairbanks, Alaska; and sons, Larry of Canby, Oregon, Jeff of Corvallis, Oregon, and Dan and Tim, both of McMinnville; his brothers, Max of Grants Pass, Oregon, and Bob of Astoria, Oregon; as well as 14 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.

Al set sail on his final voyage on March 8, 2020, while under Hospice care in Newberg, Oregon. Fair winds and following seas, sailor; we sure do love you!

As per Al’s request, please, in lieu of flowers, offer all memorial gifts directly to Legacy Hospice, P.O. Box 3426, Portland, OR 97208, or c/o Macy & Son Funeral Directors. His remains will be interred in Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, Oregon, and a memorial service will be scheduled sometime in the future.




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