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All About Ben Kunst

Born January 5, 1975 

Ben was a son to

Katharine Kunst & Katherine Fulton


Richard Kunst & Bibby Moore

A brother to Franz Kunst & Michelle Polzine 

A husband to Zephyr Pfotenhauer 

Father to Dante Clark

Friend to many. A boss, engineer, and gardener. A fun loving, big laughing, generous and kind man. 

Although Ben was a Californian for most of his adult life, he was a Southerner early on. Born in San Francisco and raised in Durham, North Carolina, he went to Jordan High School where he played lacrosse and football, plus one season of cheerleading. He continued his education in the capital of the state, heading to NC State University where he completed his undergraduate degree and then his Master’s in Engineering. He was a member of Delta Chi fraternity. He made many lifelong friendships and developed his love of camping and the outdoors. 

Upon graduation, Ben was offered a job in Cupertino, California working as an engineer for Apple. He settled in Santa Cruz - a cozy and quirky little beach town on the Monterey Bay. He traveled close to an hour each way every day for work, but he loved the lifestyle in Santa Cruz and felt it was worth it. It was in Santa Cruz where Ben created a community of friends who quickly became like family. With Ben’s love of live music and sense of adventure, there was no shortage of fun things to do with Ben. But more than that, he was a kind and loving friend with a depth of compassion that made those around him feel at ease. 

Ben loved to travel. He was always up for an adventure and whether it was day trip on his motorcycle up the coast, a backpacking trip to hot springs, or a journey across the world, Ben was game. His openness to the world allowed him to experience cultures in South America, Europe, Asia, and all over North and Central America. If you were lucky enough to travel with him, you knew that it was going to be an amazing experience. 

While Ben played hard, he worked harder. Ben was a smart engineer and a savvy leader.  He quickly moved up the ladder at Apple and there was always a celebration for each promotion. However, the higher up Ben got in the company, the longer hours and the weight of the responsibility began to take its toll on him. He decided to go for more of a balance in his life and retired from Apple when he was 39. 


Ben had settled into a home and property he loved in Boulder Creek by this time and he devoted his time to cultivating his home, physically and emotionally. Ben found love with Zephyr and together they formed their home into their own oasis: creating gardens, remodeling the interior, raising animals, hosting friends and family. They traveled together, raised Dante together, and put love into everything they did. Together. 

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