Tracy Alan Sunde, 78 years old of Turlock, CA, passed away peacefully on November 1, 2023, surrounded by his loving family. He was born to William (Fritz) and Ruth Sunde in Kalispell, MT, on August 30, 1945.
Tracy married Patricia Louise Smith on June 10, 1967, in Kalispell, MT. They were married until she passed away on August 23, 2013. They met through his cousin Carol Dee. Patti and her were friends and roommates.
He was drafted into the Army in 1968. Tracy was in the front lines of Vietnam from August 9, 1969 through October 13, 1970. He was awarded the following medals: National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Army Commendation medal, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, and the Good Conduct Medal.
Tracy earned his Bachelor of Science from Montana State University Bozeman. He taught science & math at Hilmar High School for 36 years before retiring. His commitment to his students was prominent when they provided care for him. Many of his former students would recognize him and go out of their way to thank him and share their fond memories with him and his family.
He was always very active volunteering in his community. He coached his sons’ sports, umpired Little League Baseball, fed the homeless, and volunteered for the Democrats. He enjoyed motorcycle riding and traveling with his wife and family. He also enjoyed using science & technology to improve his home. He built homemade solar panels in the early 80’s, long before solar was popular. For a few years, he dealt cards at Harrah’s in Reno, NV, on his time off from teaching.
Tracy loved to travel with his family. They would load up the RV and have adventures driving all over the Western United States, visiting family, and sightseeing. After he retired, he traveled around the United States and the world with his wife Patti. They liked learning about the history of areas they explored and loved to watch history being made. They went to see the final NASA shuttle launch in 2011 at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center and visited many other historical places.
He and his wife were on vacation driving back from his 50th class reunion in Montana when a drunk driver hit them head-on, and his wife Patti of 47 years passed away in South Dakota.
In his older years, he enjoyed creating new memories with his family and friends. He played Pinochle at the Senior Center. He was ecstatic when he got a double run in one of his last games. He was involved in the Sunshine Club for widows and widowers. He loved going to baseball games, especially to see his favorite team, the San Francisco Giants. He was trying to get to all the major league baseball parks in the United States to watch a game. He made it to 22 out of 30 of them. He also enjoyed going with his friends to watch the Blue Devils Football Team. His good friend is one of the coaches.
He is survived by his son Lance (Faith) Sunde of Turlock; two grandchildren Kassey (Tim) Govea of Escalon and Lance Andrew (Stewart Smith) Sunde of Seattle, WA; three great-granddaughters Alaina, Chelsee, and Kailee Trace (due March 2024) Govea; and sister Connie (Glen) Kao of Kalispell, MT and brother William (Resi) Sunde of Copperas Cove, TX.
Tracy was preceded in death by his parents William (Fritz) and Ruth Sunde of Kalispell, MT, his wife Patti Sunde, and his son Rod Sunde.
A Visitation will be on Monday, November 13, 2023, from 5 PM -7 PM at Allen Mortuary. Funeral services will be on Tuesday, November 14, 2023, 10 AM, also at Allen Mortuary. Burial to follow at Lakewood Memorial Park with Military Honors. There will be a celebration of life after, details to follow at the service.