KUNKEL, Richard Jarrod, formerly of Toronto and Craig, CO, passed away Thursday, November 8, 2012, in Corona, CA.
Jarrod was born in Salida, CO August 2, 1981, son of Richard F. Kunkel of Toronto, OH, and Dianna Ponikvar of Craig, CO.
He was proceeded in death by his paternal grandfather, John A. Kunkel in 1986; paternal great-grandparents Harold and Ledra Clark of Toronto; and his Aunt Annie Ponikvar of Rocks Springs, WY.
Jarrod spent his early childhood in Toronto, playing little league and Titan football until he moved to Craig, CO, in 1992. At Moffat County High School in Craig, Jarrod played varsity baseball starting his freshman year. He was the quarterback for Moffatt High until an injury to his ankle ended his football career. He received a college baseball scholarship to Mesa College in Grand Junction, Co. where he excelled as a pitcher, catcher, and third baseman.
He continued his college education and baseball career in Twin Falls, ID, and Belleview, NE, and Colorado Northwest Community College, Co. Jarrod also was an assistant coach there while recovering from a shoulder injury. After college, Jarrod was pitching in Las Vegas when he broke his back while pitching in a game. He was clocked in pitching at 92 mph. The broken back injury halted the next step of his plans for the minor league in Louisiana.
Jarrod then returned to Denver where he worked as an HVAC until he decided that his love and passion was still on the baseball diamond. Jarrod moved to California through a former college baseball colleague where the X-Factor Baseball Academy was started in Corona, CA. It was here that Jarrod fulfilled his love of the game by teaching baseball and witnessing first hand , the progress each of his students.
Jarrod is survived by his parents, Rick (companion Donna Haynes) and Dianna; his sister, Lindsey (Ben) Bravdica and niece Petra of Aurora, CO; paternal grandmother, Juanita Kunkel of Toronto, OH,; his maternal grandparents, Bob and Gladys Ponikvar of Grand Junction, CO. He is also survived by his step-sisters, Sarah Kunkel and Alexis Kunkel of Port Marion, PA; eight aunts and uncles and several cousins.
A celebration of Jarrod's life will be held in Craig, CO, on December 15, 2012, from 3-7 at the V.F.W. Post 4265.
Local assistance by the J. E. Foster Funeral Homes, Inc. Toronto, Ohio.
Local condolences may be offered to the family at: jefosterfh.com
Arrangements are in the care of the Grant Mortuary of Craig, CO. Memorial contributions and tributes can be made at grantmortuary.com