James E. Kunkel, age 85, died Tuesday, May 14, 2013, in Olney, Texas. Funeral services will be at 11a.m. Saturday, May 18, 2013, at the First United Methodist Church in Olney with Rev. Gary Torian, pastor, officiating assisted by Andy Graham of Olney, Texas. Burial will be in Megargel Cemetery in Megargel, Texas. Arrangements are under the direction of Lunn Funeral Home of Olney.
James was born four miles east of Megargel, Texas, in Archer County on Jan. 4, 1928, the son of the late Richard Henry and Susie Blake (Mounce) Kunkel. He attended school at Megargel, Texas, and graduated from Texas A&M College of Texas, where he served in the Corps.
Due to a football injury, his military career ended even after four years of R.O.T.C. He and Patricia Jane Avary were married on Oct. 2, 1948, in Seymour, Texas. They moved to Olney, Texas, from Megargel, Texas in 1957. James taught school from 1948 until 1951. He was then employed by Magnolia Petroleum Company until 1953, and then purchased three oil and gas leases and produced them until 1956.
He then joined two other investors and purchased a small drilling rig. The rig was sold in 1962 and James purchased the local International Harvester Company dealership in Olney, Texas. He sold the dealership in 1975 and commenced brokering oil and gas properties.
From this time until his retirement, James had a farm and livestock operation. James was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Olney, Texas, where he served as Sunday School superintendent for many years. He was also a member of the Megargel Masonic Lodge #1038, the Scottish Rite Bodies, and the Maskat Shrine for 34 years. He served on the Olney Independent School District Board of Trustees and was president when the new High School was built.
His hobbies were yard work and family history, and he visited the Texas counties of Hamilton, Bosque, Washington, Austin and Lee researching his family history. He and his wife enjoyed traveling on many pleasure trips including the countries of England, the Bahamas, Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, Fiji, France, Germany, Greece, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Liechtenstein, and Luxembourg.
Survivors include his wife, Pat Kunkel of Olney, Texas; three daughters, Jill Martin of Olney, Texas, Jayne Hutson and husband Steve of Santa Fe, N.M., and Susan Thompson and husband Mark of Graham, Texas; five grandchildren, Hayley Martin, Lauren Thompson, Katie Thompson, Jenny Thompson, and Blake Thompson.
Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 305 Olney, Texas 76374, Hamilton Hospital, P.O. Box 158 Olney, Texas 76374, Southside Baptist Church, P.O. Box 155 Olney, Texas 76374, or The Olney Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 352 Olney, Texas 76374.
Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.lunnfuneralhome.com.