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2016-01-21

Floyd Stanley Kunkle

1928-2016

Floyd Stanley "Jake" Kunkle passed away in Boerne, Wednesday, Jan. 12.
Born on Jan. 20, 1928, in Creekside, Pennsylvania, White Township-Indiana County, Stan was the son of Floyd George Kunkle and Jean Marie Kunkle, the eldest of four siblings - brother Richard "Dick" and his wife, Lee; Robert "Bob"; the late Gwen; and the late Dorie and her husband, Joe Muller.
While serving in the United States Navy, Stan met Nancy Douglas in Seoul, Korea, and the couple married on June 1, 1962. God blessed them with two children, Cathy Vitanza and her husband, Robert, with granddaughters, Caroline and Meredith; and Matthew Kunkle and his wife, Marisa with granddaughters, Elena and Kate.
Stan attended Indiana High School in Indiana, Pennsylvania where he lettered in basketball. During his teenage years, he worked on the farm of his grandparents, Clarence and Dora Kunkle, plowing fields with workhorses and milking cows in the early morning hours before school. Stan even delivered milk to the family of actor Jimmy Stewart.
After graduating from high school, Stan boarded a train and moved across country to California, attending San Bernardino Valley College from 1946 to 1948 where he played basketball. His love of aviation then took him to flight training in Corpus Christi, where he received his wings in 1950.
Stan was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet - VP Squadron 24 - Patuxent River, Maryland, from 1950-1953. During this time, he was deployed to Europe and the Mediterranean, as well as to Anti-Submarine Operations for the North Atlantic operating out of Argentina and Newfoundland. Stan then became a flight instructor at the Naval Air Training Command in Pensacola, Florida from 1953-1955, followed by a year at the Navy post-graduate school in Monterey, California.
Subsequent assignments took him to the South China Sea in 1956 as a CIC Officer aboard the carrier USS Philippine Sea CVS47, and then on to serve as Aircraft Commander of the Lockheed Super Constellation in Atlantic Fleet, Airborne Warning Squadron VW-13.
Continuing his education, Stan graduating in 1959 from George Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts degree, then moved on to Air Intelligence School at Anacostia in Washington, DC. He later served as a senior staff intelligence officer for Commander Naval Forces, Korea; then as a part of the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon.
Stan was promoted to Commander - Senior Staff Officer Commander Patrol Forces Seventh Fleet-Okinawa, and finally ended his Naval career in 1970 as Deputy to Head, Intelligence Systems, Naval Intelligence Command.
Commander Kunkle completed 22 years of continuous active duty. His awards and commendations included the National Defense Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Vietnam Service 4 Stars Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal (1960), and the Secretary of Defense's Certificate of Appreciation for serving in the armed forces in defense of this nation during the Cold War
After retiring from the Navy, Stan began his teaching career from 1972-1991, building award-winning Naval Junior ROTC programs at McDowell High School, Marion, North Carolina; Nimitz High School, Irving; Wilmer Hutchins High School, Dallas; and A. Maceo Smith, Dallas. As a teacher, he received the Civetan Citizen of the Year in 1974, the Admiral's trophy two times, community service award in 1980 and 1988 Teacher of the Year.
Stan's additional community involvement included Arlington, St. Albans Episcopal Church, 1976-1990, where he served as both Junior and Senior Warden; Pottsboro, 1996 Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Citizen of the Year and served for two years as president of the Pottsboro Lions Club in Pottsboro, and from 1998-2003 as Precinct 8 Justice of the Peace. Stan also served in the Texas Silver Haired Legislature for three years.
Throughout his life, Stan, Jake, dad and granddaddy, was many things to many people - a leader, servant, role model and a gentleman. He adored his wife, Nancy, and the life they created together - from Okinawa to DC, to the farm in Pennsylvania, to North Carolina and Texas.
Stan loved to share stories about flying and his military adventures around the globe, but in recent years he was happiest just sharing time with family and keeping busy outside. With his courage, kindness, and devotion, Stan touched the lives of all he met and mentored. The last of the true gentlemen, he was truly loved, and he will be deeply missed.
Funeral services were held at St. Christopher's Episcopal Church in Bandera on Saturday, Jan. 16, followed by burial with military honors at the Tarpley Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.