James Edward Kunz

NEW BERN, N.C. – On Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, James Edward Kunz, loving husband and father, passed away at the age of 75 due to complications from COVID 19 in New Bern, N.C.

James was born on July 1, 1945 in Troy, Ohio to James and Helen Hartley Kuntz. He was raised in Madison, Wis. and always considered himself a Badger and enjoyed telling stories of his time in the “Mad City” and the “Wisconsin Rapids”.

He received his bachelor of arts in history from St. Olaf College, in 1967. He worked initially in admissions at the college for two years before enrolling in a master’s program at the University of Iowa. In 1971, he was hired by the University of Maine at Augusta in the admissions department where he remained until 1978 when he continued a similar position at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio. He retired from his college admissions career at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. in 2008. He enjoyed geography and liked to travel. His interests and career complimented each other as he was able to meet and guide young people all over the country as they were entering college.

James was a life-long Methodist, a supporter of the Sierra Club and the Democratic Party. He was passionate about supporting social programs like Habitat for Humanity. He volunteered to tutor youth and deliver Meals on Wheels in his retirement. He participated in choral events in the community and his church as a boy throughout his life. James was a collector of treasures and trash, coins and stamps, and could never pass up a good “deal” or a game of football.

On May 31, 1980, he married Leslea (Shook) and they lived in beautiful Ohio in many small towns until moving to upstate New York in an area known for all things horse racing. They shared a passion for education, travel, reading, antiques and spending time with family and friends. He was known by his family and friends for his passionate use of “gorilla glue”, his funny sayings and determination to never give up even against diabetes with which he was diagnosed at age 19. Affectionately known as Uncle Klunk by his nieces and nephews, he absorbed much good-natured teasing from the younger generation of his grandchildren and his far flung relatives with a smile and an explosive laugh.

James was preceded in death by his parents, and in particular his mother, Helen Kuntz, by three months.

He is survived by his devoted wife, Leslea; his two children from a prior marriage, Kristine (Christian) Kunz Leclerc and Kimberly (Christopher) Kunz McKee; and five grandchildren, Abby, Jake, Robbie, Sam and Matthew. He leaves behind his brother, David and family, Patti, Jason and Jessica; and sister, Patricia.

A memorial service will be held in the summer of 2021. He will be missed. https://www.kahlertfunerals.com, Maysville, N.C.

Donations may be sent in his name to a social service organization of the

sender’s choice.

James Edward Kunz

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