Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

Alumni Obituaries

Fr. Donald Robert "Don" Kunkel

Fr. Kunkel, 85, died at Parkwood Heath Care Center in Lebanon.Don was born Oct. 15, 1925, in Jasper, to Claude and Marie (Schneider) Kunkel. He graduated from Jasper High School in 1943.He served in World War II with the U.S. Marine Corps. He fought in Okinawa and participated in the occupation of China.After his military career, Don received a Bachelor of Science degree in teaching from Indiana State University. He then received a masterGÇÖs degree in business administration and a law degree from Notre Dame University.He served as assistant prosecuting attorney for Dubois County for a number of years.Later, he entered the seminary at Saint Meinrad, studying philosophy and theology. He became a Trappist Monk for a short period, and was later ordained a Glenmary Missionary priest on May 6, 1967. During this time he was a pastor for Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Swainsboro, GA, and then took an extended sabbatical to study communications in England for four years, earning yet another degree. Afterward, he briefly served as associate pastor for Holy Family Church in the Bronx.After retiring from the priesthood, Don worked as a security dispatcher for 15 years at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. He spent his final years in Lebanon with his family.Don had an exceptional ability to connect with people, and he never forgot a name. He enjoyed playing tennis, sailing, learning foreign languages, and accumulating over 600 college credit hours.Don is survived by sister, Doris Daniel of Evansville; brother, Gerald (Mary Jo) Kunkel of Sullivan; and brother, Kenneth (Delorise) Kunkel of Lebanon. Also surviving are several nieces and nephews.A memorial will be 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 7, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 319 E. South St., Lebanon. Burial will be at a later date in Fairview Cemetery in Jasper.Information obtained from the Lebanon Reporter online, www.reporter.net