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Will Reese Kunzler

Will Reese Kunzler

Aug. 15, 1935 - Mar. 22, 2023

Date of Service: Mar. 28, 2023

BURLEY – Will Reese Kunzler, an 87-year-old resident of Burley, passed away Wednesday, March 22, 2023, at Parke View Rehabilitation and Care Center, in Burley.

Reese was born Aug 15, 1935, in Willard Utah, to William and Elsa Wolsky Kunzler, and was raised on a farm, being the sixth of 13 children, with nine brothers and three sisters. His grandparents had immigrated to Willard from St. Gallen, Switzerland. They worked raising tomatoes, watermelon, corn, raspberries, sugar beets, grain, and hay along with a sizable fruit orchard. They also delivered newspapers, tended chickens, milked dairy cows, and hauled coal in the winter. Having natural spring water and many siblings in the days of child labor, muscle and horsepower allowed the family to work sizable acreage. They left school early in the spring to work the fields and returned to school late in the fall after finishing the harvest. He took pride in the neighbors’ comments that the Kunzlers were the hardest working kids ever known.

Reese attended Weber State College after high school for a semester and then served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Gulf States Mission covering Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. He was then immediately drafted into the Army, received training at Fort Ord, and served 13 months in Korea, as a cook, and then served eight years in the reserves upon his return. Being rated expert marksman, Reese was the only cook trained and issued an anti-tank bazooka. While serving in the Army, the Bureau of Reclamation claimed the family farm to make the Willard Bay. Reese returned from military service to assist his aging father reestablish a new farm in the View area of Burley, Idaho, and helped finish raising seven younger siblings. He farmed in summer and worked for Ore-Ida and Boise Cascade in winter.

Reese, being an Eagle Scout, returned missionary, and single Army veteran, who did not marry until age 30, was a very active Explorer Scout leader, being the first to take scouts down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River white water, with much backpacking including Soldier and the White Clouds, along with several horse trips from the farm into the south hills. Reese was rightfully proud that all of his many scouts became Bishops and that one of the poorest boy’s became a successful regional banker.

Reese met his wife, Sue, through Reese's younger brother, Spencer, who was on a mission in Oklahoma. Spencer encouraged them to write each other, and then after his mission he brought Reese to meet Sue. Their first date was shooting archery and Reese said that Sue dressed in shorty shorts to shoot her first cupid arrow through his heart. Later in the summer Sue's family visited her brother in California and came back through Idaho to meet the Kunzlers. They became engaged on Temple Square on Sue’s way back to Oklahoma. Reese finished the farming season and then moved to Tulsa and lived in the YMCA to date Sue. During the Christmas break, they drove to Logan, Utah, and were married in the Logan Temple on December 28, 1965. They returned to Oklahoma and Reese continued to work for Sergeant Brothers making helicopter parts while Sue finished her school teaching year. They moved to Idaho in July 1966, and bought their current home in Pella, in 1971. Sue became a stay-at-home mother until her youngest child reached Junior High and then taught keyboarding for 22 years at Burley Jr. High.

Reese rented his family farm as Kunzler Brothers with his beloved brother and best friend, William Kunzler, helping the younger siblings to get established in life until ~1981 when the family farm was sold. At that time, Reese’s wife started teaching school again and Reese started to work the winters at the Amalgamated Sugar Factory, rotating shift work being a sacrifice. He loved to work hard and loved to farm and the close brothers continued to rent farm land for a few years in the Emerson area. As difficult as that was to lose his farm while his children were only half raised, Reese and Sue both then enjoyed the blessings of having dual incomes with summers off together and lived the good life with two retirements.

Reese wanted his posterity to know that he has a firm testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and that keeping the commandments will bring happiness and avoid many pitfalls which will bring sorrow. Participating in church and its activities and serving in many callings has been a big part of his life.

Reese and Sue have been married 57 years and they are the parents of three children who are all active in church, and they are proud that they helped all three children to get a college education: Teresa (Don) Wilson of Las Vegas, Nevada, Roger (Shawna) Kunzler, and Stephanie (Doug) Anderton all of Burley. They have 18 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren with one more on the way. Reese is also survived by siblings, Ida Barker of Ogden, Utah, Spencer Kunzler of Burley, Carol Smith of Sandy, Utah, and Arnold Kunzler of Ogden, Utah.

Reese is dearly loved and will be greatly missed till we hope to meet again.

The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 28, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – Pella 1st Ward, located at 152 W. 400 S., of Burley, with Bishop Stephen Baker officiating. Family and friends will be received from 10 until 10:45 a.m. at the church prior to the service. Military rites provided by the Mini-Cassia Veterans Organization will be performed at the Church at the conclusion of the service. The interment will follow at Pella Cemetery.

Condolences for Will Reese Kunzler

Comments may be screened and removed by the staff as deemed appropriate.

From Christine Robinson:
I'm sorry for your loss, Sister Kunzler, Stephanie & Doug! I am grateful to know you and your family. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
From Lyle and Jennifer Sager:
Reese was such a humble man with a fervent testimony of the Gospel. Our sincere condolences to Sue and the entire Kunzler family.
From Lyle and Jennifer Sager:
Reese was such a humble man with a fervent testimony of the Gospel. Our sincere condolences to Sue and the entire Kunzler family.
From Darlene Fischer:
Sorry to hear about your passing may heavenly father welcome you in his open arms
From Derrahl & Faye Holmes:
So sorry to hear of Reeses passing. Our hearts are with you Sue and your family at this time.
From Al and Kathy Barrus:
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Sue and the family. Reese was a good friend and has a wonderful family. He will be missed.
From Gloria and Steve Hernandez:
To the Kunzler Family, we wish our Heavenly Father's blessings to abide with you at this time and going forth. Our blessing in the association with you. Gloria and Steve Hernandez
From Norma Kirk :
My thoughts and prayers are with you Sue and family.
From Ronald.kunzler.:
Reese was a great example to us he was kind and honest.
Proud of his military service
From Garth and Jean Fremiller15:
Sorry to learn of Reese's passing Sue ! He was a special man who will be missed by his family and friends! Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family! Garth and Jean

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