Charley B. Kunzman


Charley B. Kunzman, 91, of Keosauqua, Iowa, passed away on March 23, 2020, at Van Buren County Hospital. He was born on March 23, 1929, to Samuel and Elva Kendrick Kunzman in rural Eldon, Iowa. Charley grew up near Selma and graduated from Selma High School and Parsons College. He married Shirley Owens on Sept. 3, 1954, in Winfield, Iowa. Charley and Shirley raised three girls on the farm near Selma.
Charley served in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict. One of his responsibilities was to care for livestock that were used to test weapons used in biological warfare. After his honorable discharge, he became a school teacher and basketball coach. He taught science in Lowden, Selma, Batavia, Eldon, at Van Buren Community School for more than 15 years, and at Fox Valley before retiring. He influenced many students throughout his career. In addition to teaching, he also farmed, was involved in 4-H with his children, and served on the Cardinal School Board for several years. Charley was a member of Christ United Methodist Church in Douds and formerly Selma United Methodist Church. He was a member of Celestial Lodge No. 413 A.F & A.M in Douds. One project that he worked toward was advocating for the Lake Rathbun Rural Water Association. He strongly believed the provision of water would improve his rural community.
Charley and Shirley were well-traveled during their 65 years of marriage, touring through most of the 50 United States and Canada. They spent many winters in Louisiana providing mission work through the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and continued volunteering in that capacity for 15 years. Many times, they organized and carried donations that had been collected through Iowa Methodist in-gatherings. They were also active in the Mobile United Methodist Missionaries (MUMM) ministry. After retirement, they traveled to Australia, went to Nova Scotia and drove the Alaskan Pipeline. They enjoyed camping and belonged to a camping club for many years. In 2017, Charley was given the opportunity to go on an honor flight to Washington, D.C. That was a memorable experience that he was able to share with his daughter, Teri. Charley was a husband, father, grandfather, mentor and friend to many, and he will be greatly missed.
He is survived by his wife, Shirley; three daughters, Teresa "Teri" (Ed) Dickinson of Douds, Iowa, Janis "Jani" (Scott) Mahle of Danbury, Wis., and Cynthia "Cindy" Kunzman of Rochester, Minn.; five grandchildren, Dane Dickinson, Seth Dickinson, Alison Dickinson, Matthew Mahle and Nora (Michael) Mahle-Tully; a sister, Alice Pauline Parks; a brother-in-law, Ronald Owens; a nephew, Wallace Kunzman Jr.; and other cousins, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Wallace Kunzman; and a great-grandson, Jaxon Tully.
A private family service and burial with military honors will be held at Mount Moriah Cemetery north of Douds. Memorial contribution's in Charley's honor may be made to the Douds United Methodist Church or UMCOR. Online condolences may be directed to

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