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Lee Brunka, 74, of Barrington passed away peacefully in his sleep on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2023 surrounded by his family. Born in Pekin, IL to K. and R. Brunka, Lee graduated from West Aurora High School in 1967 and attended the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he met his wife, Barbara. He earned his Bachelor of Engineering from IIT in 1971 with high honors, married Barbara in 1972, and earned his MSEE from IIT in 1973. Lee was a proud member of the Tau Beta Pi honor society as well as Phi Eta Sigma.
As an engineer, Lee rose through the ranks at Illinois Bell in the 1970s to manage over a dozen employees and advised on the physical breakup of “Ma Bell” in the early 1980s. Following his career at Bell, Lee proudly raised his two daughters, Susan and Christina, and volunteered in the Fox Point neighborhood and Barrington community, including as his daughters’ Girl Scout Troop Leader for many years. Lee served as a lecturer for the IIT School of Engineering, teaching master's-level courses including Boolean algebra and electronics. Upon retirement, Lee enjoyed traveling, including several cross-country train trips with Barbara, and never missed attending his children's or grandchildren's swim meets and events.
He is survived by Barbara, his wife of over 51 years; his daughters Susan (Nathan Logan) and Christina (Todd Tomson); four grandchildren-- Matthew, Abigail, Henry and Thomas-- and brothers-in-law John and David Mickevice. He was preceded in death by his parents and stepmother, J. Brunka, of Vero Beach, FL.
Visitation will be held at Davenport Funeral Home in Barrington on Friday, September 15 from 4 pm to 9 pm, and a funeral service will be held at St. Anne in Barrington on Saturday, September 16 at 9:30 am. Inurnment at St. Casimir Catholic Cemetery in Chicago on Saturday, September 16 at 12:15 pm.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Stroke Association, Illinois Railway Museum, and/or Congregation of Holy Cross in Notre Dame, IN.