Esther Florence Kunkel


Esther was born on February 21,1933 in a log home on the family farm near Thorsby Alberta to August and Lydia Kunkel. She was the youngest of 3 children. Esther started school at 5½ as she was anxious to learn. At 13 Esther moved into Thorsby to be closer to school. To pay for her room and board she cooked, cleaned and did childcare. Her love for classical music began when she boarded at the school superintendent’s home. After high school Esther worked at Hoffman’s Hardware in Thorsby while taking courses to gain enough credits to enter University. In 1952 Esther moved to Edmonton and received her fast tracked Teaching Certificate. After spending a year teaching at Strawberry School, a remote country school, Esther returned to Edmonton. In 1953 she married Gerhard Guenther and in their 9 years together they had 4 children; Barbara, Robert, Walter and Alfred.
Esther had a passion for gardening, bird watching, traveling and music. Not only was she a busy hostess but she could strike up conversations with strangers that soon became friends. Once her children attended school Esther substituted as a teacher for 10 years until she began working full time at AGT. She was very active in her faith communities throughout the years.
In 1981 Esther married Wally Kunkel and moved to High Level. They spent much time traveling and enjoying the North Country and its people. She also began substitute teaching again. In High Level she maintained a large flower garden with berry bushes where birds were always welcome.
In her later years Esther moved into Edmonton to spend time with her children and grandchildren. She loved being close to her family.
Esther was predeceased by her husband Wally Kunkel, her father August Kunkel, her mother Lydia Kunkel, her brother John and her brother in law Ted Book. She is survived by her 4 children; Barbara (O.J.) Zerbin, Robert (Karen) Guenther, Walter (Cindy) Guenther, Alfred Guenther, her sister Leah Book and her sister in law Elizabeth Kunkel. Esther is survived by 11 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. A celebration of life will be held later in spring.

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6 Condolences

Anna Elaine Naser

So sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. I met Esther back when she lived in High Level and after we both moved to Edmonton we had some visits here in Edmonton, but we lost contact due to life circumstances. So sad to hear of her passing. She will be missed and she will always have a special place in my heart. May God have mercy on her and all those who have passed before her. Rest in peace Esther.

Carmen Weaver

Esther always showed interest in others. She knew my dad from earlier days growing up and her sweet positive insights demonstrated what a kind, wise and loving person she truly was! Back in 2017 we were always the last ones to leave the KH Tuesday nights. I’d make sure she got her walker loaded into her little beige car and she would wave gleefully at me as she sailed out of the Kingdom Hall parking lot. What an amazing lady … she is so dearly missed. Our hearts hurt for you.

Albert & Jane Wedman

Our sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Esther. She was always an interested listener and enjoyed hearing about family and friends. She will live on in your hearts and in the memories you made together.

Trudi Knull

Sincere condolences. I was in Ms Kunkel’s Grade One class at Strawberry School and thought the world of her. We kept in touch for some time. Wish I could have seen her in later years. Will watch for news of the celebration of her life and if possible be in attendance. Trudi Knull (Haller)

Glenn & Joanne Stach

Our deepest condolences. Always enjoyed our visits. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and her friends.

Elizabeth & Ray Sader

So sorry to read about your Mother’s passing. She was a great friend over many years & we did many things together. May you know Gods comfort & peace at this time.