Lawrence D. Kunkle
January 06, 1941 ‒ September 06, 2020
Every year, Lawrence Kunkle impacted thousands of people—without ever meeting them. His annual Christmas lights display in Lexington was a labor of love to brighten more than the neighborhood—he did it to brighten the season. He earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from the village, but seeing his neighbors’ faces light up was reward enough for Lawrence.
Lawrence Dean Kunkle, age 78, peacefully passed away in his home September 6, 2020, under the care of OhioHealth Hospice. He was born October 6, 1941, in Mansfield the son of Dale & Polly (Burdine) Kunkle. Lawrence attended Lexington High School and served his country as a member of the Air National Guard and Air Force for over 9 years. A beautiful young lady named Judy Newton caught his eye and the pair married on August 7, 1965.
Lawrence was a firefighter with the Mansfield City Fire Department for 25 years and volunteered with Troy Township. Upon his retirement, he worked another 20 years with Lowe’s and Home Depot where customers always sought out Larry’s advice from his experience in construction and building houses when he was younger and 25 years of pouring concrete. He attended Harvest Fellowship and Church of the Cross and was a former Worshipful Master at the Frank H. Marquis Lodge #0690 F&AM.
Lawrence was determined, hardworking, and not afraid to attempt anything. He was always tackling a new project around the house and was handy with cars too. Family time was his number one priority and he loved attending his girls’ school events and later his grandchildren’s. Lawrence was a huge White Sox fan and enjoyed watching baseball games. He was an animal lover of all kinds—especially dogs—and showed llamas for a time. His camper on Candlewood Lake was his escape and he enjoyed boating and fishing. Lawrence will be remembered for his excellent advice and inability to sit still when there was work to be done.
He is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Judy Kunkle of Lexington; two daughters and a son-in-law Pam and Tim Costello and Paula Kunkle all of Lexington; grandchildren Tyler (Heidi) Kunkle, Brady Kunkle, Chelsea Alt, and Micah Alt; step-granddaughter Kailey Costello; sisters-in-law Beverly Kunkle and Marti (Kevin) Shearer; brothers-in-law Dan Newton, Don (Carol) Newton, and Robert (Linda) Newton; along with numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
In addition to his parents Dale & Polly Kunkle, Lawrence was preceded in death by his grandson Brandon Sterling Alt (in 2001, the only year the Christmas lights were dark), his brother Lowell Kunkle, his parents-in-law Robert Newton and Jeanne Newton Nuhfer, and sister-in-law JoAnn Newton.
His family will receive friends 4:00 to 8:00 PM Thursday, September 10, 2020 at Snyder Funeral Home (2553 Lexington Ave in Mansfield) where a funeral service honoring his life will be held 1:00 PM Friday officiated by Rev. Patrick Smith. The service will begin with Masonic services and military honors by the Richland County Joint Veterans Burial Detail will be performed at the conclusion. His final resting place will be in Lexington Cemetery beside his grandson. A graveside service will be held 11:00 AM Saturday, September 12, 2020, in Lexington Cemetery with Last Call observed by the Mansfield City Fire Department.
Contributions to St. Baldrick’s Foundation may be brought or sent to the funeral home (PO Box 3085, Mansfield OH 44904) and please make checks out to the charity. Online donations may be made here: https://www.stbaldricks.org/donate. Please call the funeral home to record your gift on the list for the Kunkle family.
Snyder Funeral Homes is honored to serve Lawrence’s family. Share a memory and watch his tribute video at SnyderFuneralHomes.com
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