Rudy Walter Kunkel, 87, of Early, passed away Tuesday, March 23, 2021. A visitation will be held at Heartland Funeral Home from 6-8 p.m., Friday, March 26.  A funeral service will be in the Heartland Funeral Home Chapel at 10 a.m., Saturday, March 27 with interment to follow at Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Priddy, with Pastor Curtis Schneider officiating.

Rudy was born July 31, 1933 in Priddy to Otto and Helen Kunkel. He attended school in Priddy and married JoAnn Hopper in 1955, a union that blessed them with four children. Later in life Rudy married Ramona Thomas and this united their children under one family that blessed with them with many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Rudy was an active Lutheran Church member his entire life and was a faithful member of the Grace Lutheran Church in Brownwood for over 40 years. Rudy never met a stranger and was loved and respected by everyone he met.  He served 28 years on the Zephyr Water Board and spent all his life in this community. He loved any kind of work and worked hard his entire life. His favorite work was ginning cotton and building cotton gins. It didn’t matter who he worked for, he always found himself working on machinery and keeping things going. He loved to cook and even more loved to eat what he cooked. Rudy and Ramona could almost always be found in their leisure time watching westerns and working in the garden. Rudy also enjoyed fishing, traveling out of state or anywhere. He hunted in Colorado, farmed and ranched, and enjoyed spending time with his loved ones on his place. Rudy loved to start a project and build and construct things with his brothers, Alfred and Paul. He could always be found on Thursday and Friday nights watching his grandsons play football during the season. Rudy loved and adored his wife, Ramona and all of their kids and grandchildren.

Rudy is survived by his beloved Ramona Kunkel of Brownwood; daughter Venetia Schiller and husband Mark of Belleville; sons: Johnny Kunkel and wife Kay of Wharton, Keith Kunkel of Victoria, Terry Kunkel of Early; and he loved Ramona’s daughters as his own, Cristi Maxwell of Leander, and Jana Ryan and husband Dennis of West Fork, Ark.; 13 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and friends.

Rudy was preceded in death by his parents, grandson Stephen Lee Lundell, brothers: Clyde, Paul and Alfred; and sister Martha Kunkel.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Grace Lutheran Church of Brownwood, 1401 1st St., Brownwood, TX 76801.

Online condolences, tributes and memorials can be shared with the family at www.heartlandfuneralhome.net