Thomas George Brunk of Flagler Beach, Florida, died March 1 at the Stewart F. Meyer Hospice House, Palm Coast, Florida. Mr. Brunk, 86, was a former Mashpee resident.
He was the husband of Cynthia Brunk, to whom he was married for 61 years.
Mr. Brunk served in the military as a communications officer during the Korean War.
Upon his return home, he furthered his education at Ohio State University and eventually Ohio University, where he received a bachelor of fine arts degree in photography.
Mr. Brunk began his professional career in Ohio as the chief photographer for The Lima Citizen, followed by 34 years as the director of photography for Nationwide Insurance in Columbus, Ohio. He was honored by Nationwide Insurance for his service on multiple occasions, including a commendation for exemplary conduct during a special security assignment in support of the protection of visiting President Jimmy Carter.
Concurrent with his primary career, he took on freelance assignments for independent news organizations, the Associated Press and United Press International; his resulting work was published in National Geographic and many other magazines and large newspapers nationwide. He also covered, through the late 1970s, every Saturday afternoon home game of the Ohio State University football team.
A prominent figure on the Ohio photojournalist scene, Mr. Brunk was recognized as an active board member for the Ohio News Photographers Association and was honored by the organization in 1977 with the Robert S. Carson Award for Outstanding Contribution to Photojournalism in Ohio. In 1982 he was given the President’s Special Award for his 15-plus years of outstanding and dedicated service as the organization’s treasurer.
Throughout his career, he had also won numerous awards for his editorial and creative photography in state-level competition.
The Lima Citizen, his hometown paper, spotlighted a showing of his work, the award-winning content of which focused on the faces and culture of Korea—photographs that he shot while stationed there.
During his retirement, he and his wife moved to Mashpee to be close to family. He became an active member of the Falmouth Rod & Gun Club and made daily visits to South Cape Beach to watch the sun rise over Nantucket Sound.
In addition to his wife, he leaves two sons, Andrew Brunk and David Brunk; his grandchildren, Annabel Brunk and Samuel Brunk; and other family.