Bertil Erik Gustav BrunkJune 27, 1925 ~ November 27, 2015 (age 90)
Bertil Erik Gustav Brunk, 90, of the Lake Geneva area passed away on Friday the 27th of November 2015.
Bertil was born June 27th, 1925, in Ljusdal, Sweden, the son of Gustav and Kerstin (Landelius) Brunk. Bertil ’s father was an auto mechanic which inspired him to go into manufacturing the first time he saw a milling machine. At age 14, Bertil entered a 5-year apprenticeship program in Stockholm Sweden to be a tool and die maker. He excelled in the program and finished it in 4 years.
Bertil immigrated to the United States in 1952 and met his future wife, Ulla Elizabeth Peterson, in Andersonville, a predominantly Swedish community in Chicago. Since they were both from Sweden, they decided to go back to their homeland and were married in Stockholm on October 9th, 1954 . Afterwards, they followed their dreams to build a life together as a married couple in America and returned to Chicago. In 1959, they moved to Lake Geneva Wisconsin where Bertil started his tool & die business in his garage. In 1963, Bertil and Ulla bought a small building that has now been transformed into an 80-thousand square foot facility. Their business, Brunk Industries, represents the quintessential story of the American dream. They started their business from scratch and created a foundation for their business that’s built on quality, integrity, honesty, respect and a spirit of caring that comes straight from the heart. Bertil always believed hard work, unmatched quality and a “never say die” attitude was the cornerstone to success. His mantra was “strive for perfection and accept only a standard of excellence that was second to none”.
Bertil and Ulla Brunk are not only known for Brunk Industries but are also known for their generosity. They are proud supporters of the Swedish American Museum where they built the Brunk Children’s Museum. They also support the Music by The Lake program at George Williams College, Holiday Home Camp, Lake Geneva Yacht Club and Sailing Center and established the longest running scholarship program and youth apprentice ship program at Badger High School. Bertil and Ulla were also the driving force behind the Brunk Performance Pavilion in Flat Iron Park in Lake Geneva, which was dedicated in their honor in June of 2015. On June 8th, 2011 they were bestowed the honor of the Royal Order of the Polar Star by his Majesty King Carl Gustaf of Sweden.
Bertil is survived by his wife, Ulla, of 61 years. Bertil’s two children: Anne Brunk (Barrow) Peterson and Lars (April) Brunk both of Lake Geneva survive him. Four grandchildren: Erik Barrow, Lars-Erik Brunk, Hans Brunk, and Katherine Brunk all survive Bertil. One sister: Gunhild Jansson of Houston Texas and one brother: Gunnar (Birgit) Brunk of Stockholm Sweden both survive Bertil. Bertil was preceded in death by his parents Gustav and Kerstin Brunk and one grandchild Bryan Barrow.
Service for Bertil will be on Monday December 7th, 2015 at 1:00pm at Calvary Community Church. Visitation will be on Sunday December 6th, 2015 from 4:00pm till 7:00pm at Calvary Community Church and again on Monday from 11:30am until the time of the service at the church.
In lieu of other expressions of sympathy the family has asked that you make a donation in Bertil’s name to the Swedish American Museum and the Holiday Home Camp. Links have been provided for your convenience.
To leave an online condolence please clicks the view/condolence book on the left side of the page.
The Derrick Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Lake Geneva is more then honored to be assisting the Brunk family in there time of need.
Holiday Home Camp,
P.O. Box 10, Williams Bay WI 53191
Swedish American Museum
5211 N. CLARK ST., Chicago IL 60640