In Memory of Erb Hunziker

Erben Hunziker, the founder of Hunziker & Associates, REALTORS and several sister companies, passed away on Sunday, April 15th, 2012. Erb was a significant figure in the Ames community who touched many lives. But for those within our company, he was first and foremost a family member, a mentor, a great boss, or a friend. He will be deeply missed. Yet, we will be proud to see his legacy continue on within our company and the Ames community.

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Erben Albert Hunziker died on April 15, 2012 at the age of 89. A 70-year resident of Ames, Iowa, his life’s work is represented on the grounds of Ames and on the campus of Iowa State University, similar to his dedication to his family of six boys, his wife Margaret, and the thousands of people whose lives he touched in business and/or as a friend.

Erb and Marge married in 1941, meeting at ISU as students, and their relationship proved to be a wonderful, extraordinarily fulfilling partnership in life with family as well as business. By the time Erb graduated from ISU with a B.S. in Architectural Engineering in 1943, he and Marge owned and operated the Cyclone Grill located off campus; subsequently, they purchased and operated the Sovereign Grill, owning and operating the two restaurants until 1952 when Erb formed a construction company with Don Furman.

Since 1952, Erb’s involvement and influence in the city of Ames, Iowa and at Iowa State University and his attention to, and dedication to, family and friends has been singular, a personal commitment noteworthy for extraordinary dedication to life’s golden rule where one receives back what one gives of life.

Erb’s personal motto is/was: “My word is as good as my signature,” and his business acumen reflects this strong moral fiber and strength of character. Erb established himself as a community leader and as one of Iowa State University’s most committed alumnus, becoming a member of the Order of the Knoll and serving on the Board of Governors of ISU Foundation and on the Board of Trustees.

Erb’s selfless dedication to interests outside of his own businesses and immediate family is registered throughout the city of Ames via philanthropic work he and Marge committed to for over sixty years, serving as president of Ames Economic Development Commission, president and founder of Ames Seed Capital Fund, chairman of Story County United Way, president of Ames Foundation, member of Iowa State University President Advisory Council, and on the advisory committee of DMACC Hunziker Complex.

Erb lived a life of giving to others and of hard work and dedication to leadership roles in the community in addition to pursuit of personal accomplishment in business, which is evident throughout the community that he cherished and loved so much. Over the years, local news publications praised him as one of the “most inspirational builders and developers of the entire Ames community.”

His impassioned work for both personal and public purposes is part, and parcel, of the living legacy of Ames, Iowa. Few people are as much a fabric of their entire community as Erb is to Ames, Iowa.

Erb’s life shall be celebrated in Ames and ISU for decades to come as lovers stroll hand-in-hand thru the Reiman Gardens and into the Margaret Hunziker Garden House, or when a nursing student graduates from DMACC Hunziker Complex, or when a new recruit ISU football player settles into one of 125 seats to listen to his coach in the Hunziker Auditorium in the Jacobson Building, one of many university buildings Erb was instrumental in campaigning for funds, or when a new female basketball player first steps onto the Hunziker Court for daily practice, or when a group of young kids run onto the soccer field at Hunziker Sports Complex, or when a newly hired employee to an Ames-based company rents an apartment from Hunziker Associates to start life in Ames, Erb’s imprimatur is there and will be there forever for the city of Ames, and for the university.

His life is celebrated in some small, or large way, on a daily basis because of the wonderful accomplishments that surround his life, touching countless people, those he knows intimately as well as people he has not even met, but they know of the man, Mr. Erben Hunziker; his reputation for integrity and hard work is as solid, and as real, as the grounds one stands upon in Ames, Iowa and at Iowa State University. Erb lives forever at all points, east, west, north, and south on the grounds of the beauteous city of Ames, Iowa and within the hallowed halls and splendid groves on the campus of Iowa State University.

At the end of each day, he casts a very, very long shadow across the plains of Ames, and the following day he brings us light and cheer and a boundless, interminable spirit, like the sun rising for all to see, his imprint is Ames, Iowa. Remarkably, he offers us so much with noteworthy decency, propriety, and, above all else, a rare sense of humility.

Erb is an admirable, seamless continuum in harmony with the daily rhythm of work, sport, love, and play in the greater community of Ames, Iowa, and he shall be with us forever as a memorable and exceptional spirit that has blessed us with his life.

The Hunziker family request that all memorial representations/gifts be kindly donated to the charity of one’s choice.

Erb is survived by his wife Margaret and six sons. Sons of Ames include Dean (Darlene) Hunziker and his children Tim (Cathy) Hunziker, Jeff (Char) Hunziker, Dan (Ali) Hunziker; Jon (Bonnie) Hunziker and his children Michelle (Nathan) Bilyeu and Joni (Brian) Tickle; Dave Hunziker and his children Sherie (Jeff) Paulsen and Shaela Hunziker; Gary (Chris) Hunziker and his children Megan (Joe) Mulvihill and Andy (Kelsey) Hunziker. Son Steve (Susan) and his family Sam (Hilary) Hunziker, Will Hunziker and Anna Hunziker reside in Colorado and son Robert (Jane) Hunziker and his son Jack Hunziker live in California. Erb is also survived by his niece Dianne (Terry) Schwalier of Knoxville, Tennessee and a nephew Rich (Kay) Kincl of Tallahassee, Florida, and 16 great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister Vinola Kincl.


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