Bernard Urban Kunkel


Bernard Urban Kunkel passed peacefully from this earth on Thursday, June 20, at his home at the Mapleton Community Home.

Funeral Mass will be 11 a.m., Wednesday, June 26 at St. Teresa Catholic Church in Mapleton, with burial in Calvary Cemetery in Mapleton. Visitation will be Tuesday at St. Teresa's, beginning with the rosary at 3:30 p.m. and continuing until 8 p.m. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service on Wednesday.

Olson-Tichenor Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Bernie was born September 24, 1927, on the family farm in Maine Prairie Township, MN, to Leo Kilian and Katherine Ann (Resch) Kunkel. He grew up on farms near Marty (Pearl Lake), Pine City, and Kimball, MN. He volunteered for the U.S. Navy in 1945, serving two years as an electrician's mate on the mine sweeper Tercel before being honorably discharged. He was a member of St. Teresa Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus.

Bernie was joined in Holy Matrimony with Lucille Evelyn Hoefer at St. Anne's Church in Kimball, MN, on April 25th, 1951. They were blessed to spend their entire shared life in the company of numerous friends in Mapleton. Bernie was proud to see Kunkel Electric, which he and Lucille began in 1958, continue to thrive under their son Mike and, more recently, their grandson Jeff. He taught all his sons and many of his competitors the trade he learned on the Tercel.

Being an active member of his church and community was also something which he valued and, despite being busy with a large family and growing business, he made time to serve on the school board, be a volunteer firefighter, and to volunteer with his Church, the Boy Scouts, the Mapleton Community Home, the Minnesota Electrical Association, Habitat for Humanity, VINE Senior Driving, and many other worthy organizations.

Bernie was a lifelong learner and teacher of many subjects. He enjoyed reading, the daily crossword, any game of cards, daily devotions, "swapping lies", outwitting the squirrels in his yard, and devising new gadgets to make his life easier, such as screens for his SUV. Bernie also loved to be active and outdoors from his backyard "vineyard", to fishing every lake in the county, to the numerous family camping trips. He loved to travel wherever and whenever the opportunity arose. We would be remiss if we didn't mention that Bernie was a prankster. He loved a good laugh from telling stories, teasing grandchildren, or pulling his own young children under the water after disappearing from their sight.

Bernard is survived by four sons, Mike (Denise) of Mapleton, Bill of Bloomington, Joe (Ruth) of Roseville, and Pat (Jolene) of Owatonna; five daughters, Marj (Steve) Schwichtenberg of Beauford, Marilyn Trouth (Kathy Holladay) of Plymouth, Rita (Jeff) Nohner of Minneapolis, Joyce (Peter) Cagle of Duluth, and Janice (Harold) Conti of Otsego; his grandchildren, Jeff (Vicki) Kunkel, Jeanette (Anton) Wooldridge, Jodi Kunkel, Jill (Rick) Hamilton, and Jamie Kunkel; Daren Schwichtenberg; Cynthia, Daniela, and Angela Kunkel; Tim Kunkel, Jennifer (Tom Moore) Kunkel, Kimberly (Ryan) Gornick, and Jesse Allison; Caleb and Abby Trouth; Katherine (Alex) Wall, Stephanie (Chad) Graff, William, Sarah, and Tommy Cagle; Jacob and Elizabeth Kunkel, Cherise and Kylie Petterson; and great grandchildren, Samantha, Anthony, and Jonathan Kunkel; d'Artagnan, Nicolas, and Zacharie Wooldridge; Gabriela, Alexander, Aiyana, and Dylan Passmore; Marshall, Sheldon, and Calvin Hamilton; Xandra and Ava Born; Ben Kunkel and Andra Matson; and Emma Hoffmann. He is also survived by parents of his grandchildren, Debra Kunkel, Dana Trouth, JoAnn Erickson, and Jessica Kunkel; siblings, Sister Francetta Kunkel and Sister Rita Kunkel; sisters-in-law, Donna Tschumperlain, Anita Hoefer, and LaVera Hoefer; dozens of nieces and nephews; and many friends and neighbors.

He was preceded by his wife of 56 years, Lucille; his parents and parents-in-law; brothers, Jerry, Ambrose, Benedict, Norbert, and Leo Anthony "Tony"; sisters, Margaret Wilson, Bernice Nephew (his twin), Dolores Nystrom, and Mary Catherine "Cassie" Lee; and several in-laws, nieces and nephews.

Memorials to VINE Faith in Action or Maple River Loaves & Fishes Food Shelf would support two of Bernie's favorite local charities. The family would also like to extend their heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the amazing staff at the Mapleton Community Home and Mayo Clinic Health System Hospice for the love, compassion and care they provided to Bernie and the family.
To plant a tree in memory of Bernard Urban Kunkel, please visit Tribute Store.
Published on June 21, 2019
Plant a tree in memory
of Bernard
Plant a tree

Obituary published in


Print Guestbook

A place to share condolences and memories.

Share your condolences and special memories.
The guestbook expires on September 19, 2019.

2 posts

Dick and Pat Nienow
Jun 25, 2019
Dear Kunkel family, We are thinking of you at this time of Bernard's death. Both of us have cherished memories of him. We both worked with Bernard on various community projects. I remember that, as a Vine driver her often gave my mother, Ruth McPhillips, rides.

Bernard served as a model for all of us. Blessed be.
Sister Sharon Nohenr
Jun 22, 2019
Dear Kunkel family,
I celebrate with you the transformation of life your father has experienced and is not in the loving arms of the one he served so well on this earthly journey! I know he wo wanted to be with his dear wife Lucille as his health failed God gave him the desire and ability to let go of what was on earth to make that journey to his real home...and all those who welcomed him home on that glorious Wednesday! Holding you all in prayer and hoping to join you for the funeral on Wednesday.
Love and prayers! S. Sharon