Celebrating the life of Jerry Lee Gunkel
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Jerry graduated from Eldorado High School with the class of 1957 having excelled in baseball and basketball for the Panthers. He began his higher education career at Oklahoma State University, transferred to Altus Junior College, and finished at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. He earned a full three-year scholarship to play baseball for the Southwestern Bulldogs and pitched numerous no-hitter games. Jerry earned his Bachelor's of Science in 1961 to coach.
Later, he earned his Master's in Education from Southwestern Oklahoma State University and his Master's in counseling from the University of Oklahoma.
Jerry started elementary school with Jo Karon (Clonts) at Eldorado and they became sweethearts in Junior High School. Jo and Jerry married on August 30, 1959, in the Eldorado First Baptist Church.
The couple lived in Weatherford while Jerry completed his education. Jerryâ€™s first coaching job was in Anadarko, Oklahoma coaching football, basketball and baseball. He began officiating basketball and baseball games in the evenings. The couple then returned to Southwest Oklahoma where he coached and taught at Will Rogers Elementary School and Northeast Junior High School in Altus. He also enjoyed his second job at The Surrey Shop. Jerry began his rewarding thirty-one-year career in vocational counseling where he assisted numerous students and young people with education and career opportunities.
Jerry was an avid hunter and fisherman. He also enjoyed music, participating with a special quartet and sharing his voice at many funeral services.
Jerry suspended his retirement to return to Quanah Public Schools as a substitute teacher from grade school to high school and coaching.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, brother and sister-in-law Ewing Jr. and Thelma Gunkel, and sister Faye Dickinson.
Jerry is survived by his wife Jo Karon and their three children, Mickey (ReneÃ©) Gunkel of Altus, Kelly (Randy) Kelley of Brownwood, Texas, and Jenny (Jason) Winters of Altus. He is also survived by five grandchildren, Valerie (Chris) Wright of Vernon, Texas, Vanessa (Travis) Wilden of Quanah, Texas, Preston Gunkel of Altus, Dalton (Sarah) Gunkel of Blair, and Victoria Parker of Quanah, Texas. Great-grandchildren are Dane Wilden, Emma Wilden, Wes Wilden, Gatlyn Wright and Wil Wilden. He is also survived by one brother, Kenneth (Elaine) Gunkel of Camp Verde, Arizona.
Funeral services will be 2:00 p.m. Monday December 19, 2022, at Lowell - Tims Funeral Home Chapel with interment to follow at Eldorado Cemetery, Eldorado, Oklahoma.
Services have been entrusted to Lowell - Tims Funeral Home and Crematory, Altus, Oklahoma.
To send flowers in memory of Jerry Lee Gunkel, visit the Tribute Store.
1100 East Tamarack Road
Altus, OK 73521
City Clerk's Office
Eldorado, OK 73537
State HWY 6
Eldorado, OK 73537