John Raymond Kunkel, D.V.M.
Kunkel, John Raymond, D.V.M. John, also known by his relatives as Jack, passed away on Nov. 21, 2016 after a valiant battle with Alzheimer's. He is survived by his loving wife of 41 years, Donna, his children Angela (Marijke), Daniel, Amy, Lynn (Joe), Bonnie, Michael (Linda), and his 10 grandchildren Killian, Liam, Joshua, Jenna, Jessica, Conor, Samantha, Bridget, Jordan and Luke. His first wife Susan, sisters Virginia and Wally, brothers Alvin and Al preceded him in death. John was born to Rose Nistler and John Kunkel Sr. on Jan. 4, 1940 in Pearl Lake, MN and was one of 10 children. He grew up on the family farm where he developed a deep connection and appreciation for the land and animals. In 1963, he graduated from the University of Minnesota as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and began practice in St. Michael, MN. His primary professional interest was in bovine veterinary medicine and was on the vanguard of embryo transfer. In 1975, John married Donna and the next year moved to the University of Vermont to join the faculty in the animal extension service. The final phase of his professional career was concluded at West Virginia University in Morgantown. John had an easy manner and never met a stranger. Whether it was at the local farm, across the US, or around the world, including Kenya, England, Uganda, Honduras, and New Zealand. He loved to meet new people, learn new things, share his knowledge and laugh. A walk in the woods with John quickly became an expert lesson in botany and bird song. His infectious laugh made people smile. He often had a story to share about his many escapades as a vet, gathering wild rice, picking blueberries, mushrooms, birding, short cut road trips, picnicking, sugaring, collecting oranges & grapefruits or constructing a massive garden with an extensive rock wall. In fact, he willingly tackled any difficult project, as long as he could use any one of his three tractors. He had two green thumbs and became a master gardener! He loved his land in Vermont, particularly the high meadow & woods. Often, we would see him giving tractor rides whether it was to his grandkids, friends, family, his mother and mother-in-law. John loved life and loved to sing, joyfully & loudly, even if he was off key! Memorial services will be held at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Pearl Lake (Marty), MN on Dec 10, 2016 at 11 am. Interment service will occur at St. Thomas Church, Underhill, VT in July 2017.
Published on November 27, 2016
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