William "Bill" Kuhnen
William "Bill" Kuhnen Jr died early Wednesday December 5 2012,at the Idaho State Veterans Home, due to complications from Parkinson disease, leukemia and in his last days pneumonia and the flu. He was 84 years old.
He was born October 8 1928 to William Sr. and Agnes Peer Kuhnen in Kellogg, Idaho. Shortly there after they moved to Paradise, California. He attended school in Paradise, Chico and Orland. While growing up in the 30's and 40's Dad was no slacker. He helped earn money by doing various chores and selling buckets of tomatoes, shining shoes and whatever else Grandpa came up with.
He came to Meridian in the 1940's where his maternal grandparents had been since the 1890's. They helped settle the town and he found that this is where he wanted to be.
In March 1954 he married Lavina Quenzer and in August he was drafted into the U.S. Army Basic training at Ft Ord,Ca then sent to Fort Bliss, Tx and shipped out from Kilmer, NJ on the U.S.S. Patch to Weisbaden, Germany. In the Army he was involved in boxing and was a trainer. He earned the Army of Occupation Good Conduct and Marksman badges with artillery bars. This was called the Korean war era. He was Honorably discharged after 19 months due to a bunker explosion which put a hole in his ear drum, and caused hearing loss. He returned to the states in 1956. On Veterans Day this year, he was honored at the VA for his service. Dad was proud to serve his country.
Bill worked for Kings Pack in Nampa and started a career in truck driving. He went to work for Mountain States Wholesale , that warehouse would change hands over the years to Degorgio, Albertsons, American Strevell, and Fleming foods. He had the John Day and Burns Oregon run. In 1975 he was honored by Albertsons with Driver of the Year. In all that time he never missed work . He had an incredible work ethic and that was a huge inspiration to us all. He retired from truck Driving in 1990 after 36 years serving stores in Idaho and Eastern Oregon.
In 1965 Dad and Mom bought a farm on Lake Hazel. At the time it was way out in the country with a gravel road and about 3 passing cars a day, and just a rural route 2 Meridian address. By the late 70's it was a different story with a paved road, and a boundary change giving them a Boise address and farms selling out to developers around us. During the 80's we raised sweet corn which started as an FFA project and grew into a summer business selling to Buttrey Food Stores, some Albertsons and at the house. During the early years they raised honey bees and harvested the honey. They raised cattle and farmed for 40 years. They retired from farming in 2004.
In 1983 Dad attended the Western College of Auctioneering and became an auctioneer. He loved auctioning and formed the Kuhnen Auction Team-doing Auctions and always helping out other auctioneers when they called him.
In the 1994 he had to have a heart valve replaced, it was hard for him to get his air so he had to give up auctioneering.
Dad, in all essence worked 2 full time jobs his whole working life. There was really no time for laying on the couch he used to say, after we bucked hay all day "we didn't do much today but we will giver her hell tomorrow!" No wonder he was so tired in the last years.
He had a sense of humor like no other, he loved to tell jokes and sing rhyming songs, and he had nick names for everyone. If you knew him you know I can't repeat those here—ha! Those songs and stories made the work on the farm go by faster such as digging ditch-bucking hay or cleaning corrals.
He could fix most anything except plumbing he hated plumbing. We worked hard but we had fun to, who can forget a Saturday morning wake-up call with a string of fire crackers popping under your window!
He loved his family, and he absolutely cherished the time anyone spent with him. He loved western movies, John Wayne, John Deere, the Boise State Broncos and b-s-ing with anyone who had the time , friends old and new. Dad was a true giver, helping friends and family whether it was moving, farming or doing auctions for charity.If you asked him, he would do what ever he could to help.
Daddy, Grandpa, Thank you for all you did for all of us. For all the things you taught us and for all the stories ,memories and support , for the work ethic you instilled in us, and for supporting your Grandkids no matter if it was a soccer game, a baseball game, football, or a rodeo. You couldn't always be there watching but you gave words of encouragement every time - win or lose.
He is survived by his wife Lavina of 58 years his 9 children,
Billy (Linda) Durbin Chino, Ca, Terri(Paul) Artzer Austin TX, Debra(John) Jones-Nampa, Id, Bobbie(David)Figgat Nampa, Id, Krinda(Robert) Dunson Kuna, Id, Polly(Vince) Tilden Bend Or, William(Carla)Kuhnen Middleton, ID, Hope(Gene)Ray Etna, Wy, Marie(Dennis)Jones Kuna, 6 sisters Jean, Jill ,Janie ,Judy ,Jessie and Suzie, 34 Grandchildren and 19 Great Grandchildren. Ray and Beverly Schmeirer who are like family. His parents and an infant brother preceded him in death.
Thank you to the staff at Kuna assisted living and, the Idaho State Veterans Home, for Dads care. Mom, thanks for all of the care you gave Dad-you did everything and then some, and Krinda for all the time you took to do everything you could possibly do. Dad lived longer because of it.
Graveside services will be Wednesday December 12, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. at the State Veterans Cemetery
In lieu of flowers please make donations to the American Legion 905 W. Warren St, Boise Id, 83706.
Published in Idaho Statesman on Dec. 9, 2012
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