Wednesday, April 24, 2024

1985 - Judd Tunis, 88, Funeral Held in Waterloo


Waterloo, Iowa (April 24, 1985) – Funeral services were held for Judd L. Tunis, 88, Waterloo, Iowa, at Memorial Park Chapel with burial at Memorial Park Cemetery.

Mr. Tunis, who was born on May 2, 1896, died April 24 at Schoitze Hospice Unit. He was born in Independence, Iowa, the son of august and Charlotte Tunis. He married Marie Fish in 1917.

At the age of 10, he was employed by Wittick Meats. In 1923, he and his wife opened up a butcher shop in the location presently occupied by Conway Civic Center in downtown Waterloo. In 1942, he opened a wholesale meat outlet in the family home on University Avenue.

He constructed a half-mile horse track at the family home and in the late 1940’s began construction of a smaller dirt track inside the horse track for automobile racing. The first races held in the late 1940’s were midget races, and the track began operating on a weekly basis in 1950, running the popular post-war “jalopies”.

Tunis Speedway operated continuously through the 1979 season when it was closed to weekly events because of several reasons – foremost, the development of the area around the track with new homes, and the Waterloo Noise Control ordinance.

In addition to horse and auto racing, Mr. Tunis supported numerous entertainment events, including car stunt shows, circuses, and parades.

He was an expert horseman and spent hours training his horses on the large track.

Mr. Tunis was active in the Waterloo Masonic Lodge No. 105, served as an officer in the White Lodge Shrine of Jerusalem No. 9 of Cedar Falls, and was a long-time member of the High 12 Club.

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