Royce L. Kunkle


Royce L. Kunkle, 70, of Galesburg, died at 11 p.m., April 11, 2024, in Allure of Knox County in Galesburg, surrounded by family and friends.

He was born March 23,1954, in Galesburg, the son of Ronald and Annilee (Deulen) Kunkle.

He is survived by his sister, Rhonda Tucker of Abingdon; his children, Matthew (Shannon) Kunkle of Morton, Scott (Beth) Kunkle of Galesburg, Megan (Ryan) Bowers of Muscatine, Iowa, Amanda Haxmeier of Dubuque, Iowa, Kyle Kunkle of Goshen, Indiana, and Amber Kunkle of Moline; and three grandchildren, Nicholas (Shelby) Erickson and Jayden and Emma Kunkle. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Upon graduating from Galesburg High School in 1973, Royce went to work for the Burlington Northern railroad, following in his father’s footsteps. He was a carman for 20 years, with a passion for safety, ensuring each train car was rail-worthy, before it left the yard. In 1999, he started helping as a crossing guard at King School, due to a shortage in crossing guards that year. Shortly after starting, the Galesburg Police department approached him and asked if he would manage the crossing guards for all the Galesburg schools, which he happily accepted and truly enjoyed for the last 25 years. Until the end, his mind was on the safety of the kids and the crossing guards he oversaw.

Royce enjoyed fishing with his father and his children, taking them on countless adventures to his favorite fishing spot in Henry on his boat. There was nothing better than a Saturday morning on the boat, catching carp, bluegill or catfish with our Dad. He had a “special” homemade bait that smelled like strawberry Jell-O, that never failed. His other passion was restoring antique furniture. He had a talent for taking old, broken furniture and breathing new life into it.

Royce was an amazing cook. His slow cook tacos, tenderloins, beef and noodles and homemade pizza were always fan favorites. He loved spending time with his family and friends and was well known for his sarcastic sense of humor. We will all miss his laugh and how he could lighten the mood, even in the most serious of situations. He also had a huge heart and cared deeply for animals. He would feed any animal that came across his doorstep, from the many stray cats, foxes, birds, squirrels, raccoons and even a 3-legged opossum.

Visitation will be 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, April 18, 2024, at Hinchliff-Pearson-West Funeral and Cremation Service of Galesburg. Funeral will be at 1 p.m. at the funeral home with Deacon Michael Crummer officiating. Burial will be in Wataga Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Critter Cove. Online condolences and memories may be left on the funeral home’s website at

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