Established in 1875



Pauline Mae Kunkel

January 22, 1929 ~ May 5, 2018 (age 89)


Pauline Mae Kunkel of Urbana, IL, died peacefully and surrounded by family Saturday morning, May 5, 2018, at C-U Regional Rehab in Savoy, IL.  A time of visitation and greeting with the family is scheduled at Renner-Wikoff Chapel & Crematory, 1900 S. Philo Rd, Urbana, on Tuesday, May 8, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.  A Graveside Service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, June 2 at Pine Bluffs Cemetery, Pine Bluffs, Wyoming.  Rev. Lesley Matschke will officiate

Pauline was born, as the only child of Paul and Nettie Mae Rinehart, on January 22, 1929, at Pine Bluffs, WY.  Because of the severe winter weather, the famous early southeastern Wyoming Dr. Morris, opened his home for several days earlier to avoid the dangerous travel from the family ranch some thirty miles to the north.

Grades one through eight were completed at the rural two-room White Crest School.  Since the distance for high school from that location was too great, the family relocated to another ranch west of the Golden Prairie Church, north of Burns, WY, and Pauline completed her high school years at Burns, graduating in l947 with a remarkably talented class of only five. 

Pauline attended Northwest Nazarene College (now University) at Nampa, ID, graduating in 1951 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, with two full majors in English and philosophy.  She participated in the Women’s Chorus, the publication of the college yearbook, and as a student reader for the head of the English department.  Over the next twenty years, at NNC, the University of Idaho at Moscow, and at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, she completed almost as many post-baccalaureate hours with studies in literature, education, and a full major in German.                  

On September 2, 1951, she married college classmate, Paul E. Kunkel, of Jamestown, ND, at the Albin, WY, Baptist Church.  Presiding at the wedding was a former college friend, the Rev. Jack Hawthorn of Torrington, with his wife, Fairy Emerson Hawthorn, as the organist.

Primarily as a wife, mother, and homemaker, Pauline taught briefly both French and German classes.  After moving to Urbana in 1971, she was active with the faculty wives group and volunteered with them in early support activities at Parkland College.  In later years, she worked part-time at the College Admissions and Registration Office.

Pauline has been a member of Grace United Methodist Church in Urbana since 1972, and in earlier years was an active member of the church choir.   She has been a consistent supporter of her husband Paul’s long time participation with the Champaign Lions Club.   Her strong interests had always been music, books and reading, and antique collecting.   She cared greatly about animals, especially dogs, and she had a hobby of collecting dog and rabbit figurines. 

A very close-knit family of survivors remains, including husband Paul Kunkel, of Urbana, and three children: son David (and wife Donna) of Colorado Springs, CO, son Geren of Meridian, ID, and daughter Sharon King (and husband Richard) of Savoy, IL.  There are three grandchildren: Jennifer (King) Ray (and husband Doug) of Richmond, VA, Elizabeth (King) Mitchaner (and husband Michael) of Urbana, and Benjamin King of Clark, CO.  The one great grandchild is Adelae Rose Mitchaner

In lieu of flowers or other gifts, friends may contribute to the charity of their choice.

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