By Maria Wiering
Deacon Richard Kunkel died Feb. 21, four days after his wife, Bertha, to whom he was married for 66 years. He served for seven years as a permanent deacon at St. Ann in Hagerstown before his retirement in 1999.
A funeral Mass was held Feb. 26 at St. Ann for Deacon Kunkel.
Deacon Kunkel was born in 1921 in Shamokin, Pa. He moved to Baltimore in 1941 and worked for the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Company, leaving the company for 27 months to serve in the Air Force during World War II. In 1967, Martin downsized and Deacon Kunkel took a job at Fairchild Aircraft in Hagerstown. He retired in 1984.
A member of the Knights of Columbus, Deacon Kunkel served as grand knight in the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Council in Middle River and the Pangborn Council in Hagerstown. He was also Master of the Fourth Degree for the State of Maryland.
He was ordained in March 1992 and assigned to St. Ann. He retired at the required age of 78 but continued to assist at St. Ann and nearby St. Mary until his health declined in 2004.
When he became a deacon at age 70, he told the Catholic Review that “once I became involved, the more I wanted to know.”
He participated in parish ministries for more than 40 years before his ordination, he said.
“I guess the Holy Spirit worked on me slowly,” he said.
Deacon Kunkel is survived by five children, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Feb. 26, 2013 CatholicReview.org