Michael (Mike) Lee Junker, 81, died 01/14/24 at Old Jefferson Community Care Center. Born 01/01/1943, Mike is survived by his wife Linda, his daughter Penny and husband Van Piercy, grandsons Patrick, Eric, and Mark Piercy and granddaughter Sarah Piercy-LaRose and husband Jonathan, sisters Penelope Junker and Pat Kuykendall, and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Donald and Mary Junker, his sister Sue Goodwin, and his sons Michael and Mark. When in high school, he took courses in academic and industrial areas. He also worked as a research assistant for Dr. F. Schmidt at Indiana University. He graduated from IU in three years, majoring in chemistry. He then earned a masters degree in chemistry at Purdue University, working in the summers at the USDA Research Laboratory in Peoria, IL. He and his wife Linda moved to Newberry, SC where Mike was employed as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Newberry College. After three years teaching, Mike attended the University of S.C. part-time to earn a PhD in Physical Chemistry while still teaching at Newberry College. Two years later, Mike resigned to work full time on research for his PhD degree, which he received in 1973. Permanent teaching jobs were scarce at that time, so Mike took a temporary position at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, replacing a Professor taking a sabbatical leave. A year later, Mike took another temporary position as a visiting professor at the University of Nebraska, again replacing a Professor taking a sabbatical leave. Dissatisfied with only having one year appointments, Mike decided to work towards an MSChE degree at LSU in Baton Rouge. Then he moved his family to Corpus Christi, TX to take a job with Celanese Chemical Corporation. After 3 years there, Mike went to work for Cities Services Plastic Division in Lake Charles. Mike was very happy with Cities Services, where he enjoyed his work and those with whom he worked. He was in charge or the Process Control Group and analytical support. Unfortunately, the company was forced to close and was sold. After nine months of searching, Mike succeeded in finding employment with Copolymer Rubber and Chemical Co., later DSM Copolymer, in Baton Rouge. Mike started out as a Research Chemist and later was promoted to Group Leader. After more successful development work and invention, Mike was asked to take over as Technical Manager at Addis. Eventually, Mike joined the Global Process Group and was North American Quality Assurance Manager when he retired. Mike did some limited consulting. He enjoyed helping those he assisted and he was able to pick and choose whom he worked with. Mike had traveled considerably for business. He and Linda also traveled to many countries around the world. In 2018, they sailed around the tip of South America and returned via the Panama Canal. Mike’s back problems restricted his travel, so he underwent surgery to fuse his lumbar region. After physical therapy he was doing well and considering future travel. After a second surgery, he suffered a serious stroke and was confined to a nursing home.
In accordance with Mike's wishes a private service will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Mark Louis Junker Memorial Scholarship, College of Arts and Sciences, Indiana University.