SARALEE MCCLELLAND KUNDE 66
A dairy ranchers’ daughter who became a grower of prized wine grapes and an irresistible force for the celebration of Sonoma County agriculture, Saralee McClelland Kunde passed away in January. Revered by many, Kunde had been grappling with cancer since the fall of 2O12. She became a dynamic force for Sonoma County agriculture. In 1988 she purchased land in Windsor and turned the fields into premium vineyards. Some of her work focused on the businesses of Sonoma County. She was an accomplished individual within the wine business, pushing the industry to expand its reach, develop its brand and to work collaboratively to raise the reputation of the area to its near mythic status. Her efforts created hundreds of local jobs and helped build an industry. She championed the Sonoma County Harvest Fair since its inception and was key to the Select Sonoma County marketing campaign and the Russian River Valley Winegrowers. She was a generous philanthropist who rallied others to contribute to myriad Sonoma County causes, among them the 4-H Center in Rohnert Park. She and her husband, Richard Kunde, made a private park of a scrubby parcel on Slusser Road near the county airport and for years invited local organizations to host benefit events beneath its oaks.