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Kerney Tunnell

Obituary
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Tunnell, Kerney Kerney was born in Dallas, TX to George Haskell (Hack) Tunnell and Golda (Swain) Tunnell, and was raised in "the thriving metropolis of Van, in the Free State of Van Zandt County" in E.Texas. His father worked for The Pure Oil Company and his mother took care of raising Kerney. He graduated from Van High School, Class of 1938, and then spent two short years attending the University of Texas in Austin before joining the Army days after the bombing at Pearl Harbor. After basic training, he was assigned to the 460th Engineer Battalion, later serving with that unit through the surge in N. Africa and later into the South of France. It was there in Marignane, France that he met the love of his life and bride of 47 years, Aline Antoinette Gide. After separating from the Army in 1945 as a SSG, Kerney returned to his Texas roots with Aline, and moved to Dallas. He worked in the finance department of his uncle W.O. Bankston's auto dealership while attending SMU, continuing his education and eventually joining the Coca-Cola Co. as a marketing executive. With Coca-Cola, the growing family spent years in Oklahoma City, the San Francisco bay area, and the Portland, OR area. It was there in 1961 that Kerney suffered a stroke, and despite the efforts of the local doctors and the specialists brought in by Coca-Cola Co., Kerney lost his eyesight and was now totally blind. Someone asked him what he was going to do, and he replied "I could sit around feeling sorry for myself, but I've got a family to feed". Thus began a new chapter in his life. He called his good friend and former next-door neighbor in California, Bill Tisserand, and said "Remember how we used to talk about not working for a large company one day and starting our own business? Well, opportunity just landed in my lap". Using his contacts in the soft-drink industry, Kerney and Bill then moved their families to Texas and started Southwest Bottlers Supply in Richardson in 1962. For over 45 years, SW Bottlers supplied drink dispensing equipment and parts to the soft-drink bottlers in the South and Southwest. Kerney's sons grew up in the business, learning the values he instilled of hard-work, honesty, and customer service that made the company so successful. Kerney retired in 2002, and enjoyed living near his immediate family and friends in the Dallas area. His daily phone calls to everyone in the family spreading good cheer and to discuss his beloved Dallas Cowboys will be truly missed. Kerney and Aline enjoyed travelling the world with their best friends Harold and Lou Bell of Ft. Worth, and Christmas parties at the Bells' were the stuff of legends -lots of fun, friends, and plenty of music! Kerney was a voracious reader, and though blind, he had his "talking books" provided by the Texas State Library Books for the Blind, and while he had his guide-dog Sid, he was a regular speaker at show and tell for the children at Arapaho Elementary in Richardson. Kerney was preceded in death by his wife Aline (1993),& grand-daughter Keli Tunnell(1985). He is survived by sons Michael (Elaine) Tunnell, Pat (Rachel) Tunnell, and daughter Patti Coker (Randy); grandchildren include Melissa Tunnell, Justin Tunnell, Kristin Casner (Mark), and Carson Tunnell; great-grand children include Ava & Lane Casner. Pall bearers are Justin Tunnell, Carson Tunnell, Michael Coker, Mark Casner, Jim Shipman, and Steve Ince. The family would like to express their heartfelt thanks to the doctors & nursing staff at Plano Medical Center for helping make Kerney's last days comfortable. To everyone at Life Care of Plano, Kerney loved you all and considered you his extended family - and to Brenda Green he would surely like to say one more time "Go Cowboys!" Visitation will be from 6:00PM - 8:00PM, Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at Restland Funeral Home. Funeral service will be 2:30PM, Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at Restland Memorial Chapel.

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Published in Dallas Morning News on Jan. 21, 2014
Funeral Home
Restland Funeral Home
13005 Greenville Avenue Dallas, TX 75243
(972) 238-7111
Funeral Home Details
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