Obituary: Harold Leroy Kunkel
At 91, HAROLD LEROY KUNKEL went to be with the Lord on July 23, 2010, at Community Hospital in Torrington, Wyo. Graveside services will be at 11 a.m. Friday, July 30, 2010, at the Green Hill Cemetery in Laramie, Wyo. A memorial has been established to the Torrington Senior Friendship Center, P.O. Box 517, Torrington, WY 82240. Arrangements are under the direction of the Colyer Funeral Home. Friends may send condolences to the family at http://www.colyerfuneralhome.com.
Harold was born April 22, 1919, in Laramie, Wyo., the son of Roy Edward and Lela Pearl (Crawford) Kunkel and the stepson of Ernie Cheesebrough. He grew up in Laramie on a farm. He completed the 10th grade and moved on from school after the death of his father to help raise money for his family during the depression. In 1935 he worked at the CCC Camp in Guernsey, Wyo., making $30 a month, sending $25 of that home to his widowed mother and two sisters. His two brothers worked at other CCC Camps to contribute as well. In 1942 after he completed welding school, he, his wife and two daughters moved to Richmond, Calif., to become a welder in the shipyards. He was quickly promoted after they noted his fine work. He continued his welding profession in Redwood City, Calif., and Carson City with reputable companies. He moved back to Wyoming in 1988. He was a “Lefty” and his mom made it perfectly clear to his teachers “leave him alone and let him use his left hand.” With his hands he pursued many forms of art, including woodworking, painting, and working with any form of metal. Wherever his lived he had a workshop. He would get lost for hours creating things to use or give to others. He could fix anything and always helped people when he could, using his skills. He continued these hobbies until 2004 when macular degeneration and glaucoma took his sight from him.
In addition to art, he enjoyed hunting, fly-fishing, and playing horseshoes. He love to hear a good story or tell one of the many from his life. He welcomed a pinch of Copenhagen, which began at age 17, or the opportunity to dance to some good ole country music. A Dapper-Dan, he always dressed in western wear and was a gentleman at that. We appreciated his great sense of humor, his generosity, and his interest in our lives. We will miss him.
Harold is survived by a daughter Judith Marie DeForest and her husband Harry of Redwood City; living grandchildren who called him “Papa” include Annette Cornish of Carson City, Melissa Cooke of Mingo Junction, Ohio, Diana Mariucci of Redwood City, and Delene DeForest-Dale of Seattle, Wash.; 13 great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren with two more on the way; two brothers both of Laramie, Gerald Kunkel and his wife Dot, and Walter Kunkel and his wife Edna; a sister Betty Albert of Torrington, Wyo.; a brother-in-law Henry Peterson of Cheyenne; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years Callie Ann Hudson Kunkel on Oct. 23, 1991. Harold fell in love with her at age three. His daughter Patricia Ann Keith passed away in 2001, and his grandson Thomas LeRoy Keith died in 2006. His sister Ethelene Peterson died in 2009 and his brother-in-law Eddie Albert in 2002.