Lawrence D. Kunkle

January 06, 1941 ‒ September 06, 2020

Lexington, Ohio

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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  • Paula, Tyler, Brady So sorry to hear of your loss. I always enjoyed talking to Larry at the ball fields. Connie and I send our condolences.

  • I loved your dad, Paula; I never had a father, but if I did I would have wanted him to be just like yours. I’m so sorry. Love you ❤️

  • Judy and Family
    We were so sorry to hear about Lawrence. We really liked him and he always had a smile. He also did a nice Christmas display in his front yard, Your family is in our thoughts..

  • I am so sad to see this, your dad was a such a very special man- it was always obvious how much he loved his family. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Judy, Pam & Paula and family,
    I send my deepest condolences. Your family was a part of my life nearly 35 years ago and your dad was always such a joy to be around, the camping trips and time with your extended family will always be some of my fondest memories. I wish so much I could be there with you, but know I will keep your family in prayer. May the love he had for you all keep you strong during this time.
    Love~Aimee (Fairchild)

  • Lawrence and judy are the best people I know i love you both. Each of you have done so much for me. I love both of you . p.s. dude. Have fun with brandon. Dave

  • Judy, Pam, Paula & Family, we are so sorry for your loss. Lawrence will be sadly missed by all who knew him. He was such a sweet man. We even loved to drive by your house at Christmas time when we still lived in Ohio.
    You are all in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. 🙏💓🙏💓🙏
    Jerry & Kim Majors
    Summerfield, Fl

  • Judy & family,
    We are so sorry to hear about Lawrence. He was a special man and will be missed by everyone who knew him.
    We are keeping you close in our thoughts and prayers,
    Peg Mawer and Allen & Barcy Cordrey

  • Judy, I am so sorry for your loss but also know he is with loved ones now. You and your husband were such great neighbors to my sister and for that you and Lawrence will always
    be remembered. God Bless. Linda Black

  • Judy and Family our Thoughts and Prayers are with you all! Larry was one of the “Good Ones” who I had the privilege to know as well as learn from.
    Rick & Pam Dropsey

  • Judy & Family, Condolences and prayers from all of us at the Village of Lexington. Lawrence was a humble gentlemen and will be missed by all. A great neighbor and friend. His Christmas lights brought joy to thousands and become a holiday tradition to generations of families. God Bless.

  • Judy & Family –
    Sorry to learn of Lawrence’s passing. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time.
    Bob Palm

  • Judy and Family,
    Even though I had not been in touch with Lawrence since our Lexington school days and the Malabar Inn Restaurant, which his mother Polly operated, it is with sadness to hear of his loss. I cannot express enough how wonderful it was to read of his many accomplishments and viewing the memory video to see what a wonderful wife and family he had. To say a picture is worth a thousand words couldn’t be more true than in the Kunkle Family. It was so heartwarming. Your loved one may be gone, but will never be forgotten. May God’s Blessings continue to be with each of you.
    Sincerely, Mary Sue Whited-Snyder
    Dublin, OH

  • Judy and Family,
    Even though I had not been in touch with Lawrence since our Lexington school days and the Malabar Inn Restaurant, which his mother Polly operated, it is with sadness to hear of his loss. I cannot express enough how wonderful it was to read of his many accomplishments and viewing the memory video to see what a wonderful wife and family he had. To say a picture is worth a thousand words couldn’t be more true than in the Kunkle Family. It was so heartwarming. Your loved one may be gone, but will never be forgotten. May God’s Blessings continue to be with each of you.
    Sincerely, Mary Sue Whited-Snyder
    Dublin, OH

  • My God be with you, with deepest sympathy. Your family are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Love to all of you.
    Gary and Diane Kanz