Compiled by his daughters June and Lavonia


Arthur Roy Kunkel was born 10 February 1889, in Salt Lake City, Utah, the 6th son of Solomon and Isabelle Price Smith Kunkel.  Grandma’s father Edward Price had a piece of land grant about12th East and South Temple, and he had given her a share of the ground.  It was in this house on this ground that Grandma’s children were born.  They lived here until about 1904 when they moved to a new house at 450 Redondo Avenue, Salt Lake City, Utah.


Grandma and Grandpa Kunkel were married in 1873.  This was Grandma’s second marriage.  Her first husband, Frank Smith was killed before the birth of their first child, a girl, Frankie.  Grandma was a very sweet, gentle, very pretty little woman with chestnut brown hair and blue eyes.  Grandpa was darling, very intelligent man who was always interested in mining.  They have always told us that Daddy resembled his father in many ways; his size, his complexion and his good disposition.  Grandma was a seamstress and sewed for a living until she went blind.  Grandpa was always off prospecting.  When he struck it rich, they lived high, buying the best of furniture, carpetings etc.  When his strike was a fizzle, Grandma had to sew for all it was worth to keep food in he little one’s tummies.  Their children were as follows:  Edward, Burke, Nellie May, Roscoe, Shirley, Belle Gay, Ralph, Arthur Roy and Paul.  Grandma always said that Daddy was a quiet, good little boy.  He adored his big brothers and tried to imitate them to keep up with them.  His sister, Belle Gay was always sick and he used to like to keep her company.  Belle Gay died when she was twelve years old.  Grandma used to have to chastise her children occasionally.  Daddy always remember her “Thimble Pie”.  She would flip her finger with the thimble on, at their heads to get their attention, or because they were naughty.  One day after “Thimble Pie”, daddy ran away from home.  He was only gone about three hours, but when he returned he said to his mother, “I see you’ve got the same old cat”.  Grandma ignored him, but she had to laugh to herself.


One day when the boys were melting lead bullets, the lead exploded and some of it got in Dad’s eyes.  His mother grabbed a bottle of consecrated olive oil and poured it into his eyes.  He was blind for months, but when the burns healed and the bandages were removed his sight had been saved.  We really don’t know too much about his childhood.  If one will read the Christmas Recollections that Aunt Nell wrote to Uncle Shirl, they’ll have some idea of his home life.


Dad went to the old Waterloo School, a big three story red brick building that stood on the north end of the present  Whittier School grounds.  That was the same building LaVone started school in the First grade in 1923.  It was torn down a year or two after that.


Dad loved horses and one time he made a trip up to Jackson Hole country.  He also loved army life.  We could never understand why he hadn’t joined the army.  Years later when the First World War was raging, the government insisted he stay on the ranch he was operating in Idaho, instead of joining the army.


We do know he grew into a handsome young man.  He had many friends because of his kind, gentle and loving manner.  He must have fallen in love with our Mother, Mattie Winkless, long before she even noticed him, because at that time they both worked at Keith O’Brien Store mother was engaged to another man.  We do know that Dad was well accepted as Mother’s boy friend by Grandpa Winkless.  One time he brought horses to the house for mother and him to have a nice date horse back riding.  Grandpa thought that was great.  Their courtship and marriage were not without problems.  They were married in Salt Lake City, Utah by Bishop Cummings 3rd July, 1913.


They lived with Grandma Kunkel on Redondo Avenue, where June was born, 6th of April 1914.  Soon after they moved up to Idaho, on the Cub River about 20 miles from Franklin.  Daddy always had dreams of being a rancher and this was as close to fulfilling his dreams as he would ever have.  He managed a ranch for the Perkins Brothers and one for the Morrisons.  He and mother were very happy on the ranch.  They both worked very hard, had lots and lots of company, and made many friends.  Dad was active in the little ward up there.  We’ve always felt that if they had stayed he would have been an active member of the Church and would have had a temple marriage.  But mother was expecting her second child and she wanted to be closer to her family, so around Christmas of 1916 she came to live with her sister, Cora Winkless Chamberlain on South State Street where South High School now stands, until after the birth of her baby girl, LaVone, 25 February, 1917.


They only stayed a year in Idaho after that, moving back to Salt Lake City.  Daddy was a salesman for “First Lady Cosmetics”; “Startups Candy Company”, the best and most lucrative job was salesman for Liggett Myers Tobacco Company.  He had all the territory of Carbon County.  He was good at his job and had chances to be advanced in the company.  It meant moving away from Salt Lake City and mother would not leave her family.


In 1926 his health began to fail and by 1927 he was told by the doctor to take a vacation and rest or he would be dead.  This is when he took us up Little Cottonwood Canyon for a whole month.  Instead of just taking a sick leave, he felt he should resign his job.  It was the biggest mistake of his life.  The depression came and hard times hit lots of families, but Daddy didn’t hold another full time job until the Second World War when he went to work for Remington Arms and Geneva Steel Company.


LaVone’s earliest recollection of Dad was seeing him on his knees in front of her, while he removed his soiled white stockings and turned them inside out, to the clean side, so we could ride home on the street car from Grandma Winkless’ house.  When we moved to Murray on the Bird Farm, LaVone ways always with Dad.  June was in school.  When we moved to Grandma Kunkel’s to help care for her in 1923, Dad used to carry LaVone upstairs on his back until she was as big as he.  We remember Daddy making our school lunches and cutting the sandwiches into dainty sections for small girls to eat.  When we moved to Grandma Winkless’ house to live and take care of mother’s parents, it was Daddy who had hot water for baths every morning.  He always cooked our breakfast.  LaVone wore suits and blouses in the office where she worked at Deluxe Glass Company.  He kept them professionally cleaned and pressed.  He kept our shoes spit shined until they always looked brand new.  It was a pleasure to bring friends home.  Our Dad could carry on an intelligent conversation on many, many subjects and the kids all loved him.  Not only that, when the games and chatter began to die down, he always made the nicest, tastiest sandwiches and served.


We always had crowds of company, every day of the week, in fact, they stayed until after midnight.  Daddy used to wait on them had and foot.  When Frank Carsteson broke his leg, it was our Dad that saw to it he was taken to and from the doctor’s office.  He was always running errands for Mother’s family.  Mother is a good woman, but she is also very demanding.  It was hard on our Dad, because he had to take orders from Mother’s family all his life.


After his operation in 1938, his spirit seemed to be broken and it was hard to get back on his feet.


He loved to go fishing.  Raymond Watson was one of his best fishing companions.  He also went fishing with Sid Kramer and Jack Moulton in later years.  One time in Little Cottonwood Canyon Dad caught a really big fish.  It had to be folded up to get into the fish basket.  He washed it off every day, showed it off to the other fisherman on the creek.  We never did get to eat that fish.  We finally had to throw it away.


It has been said here that Dad was kind and gentle man, not only to his own family but to his in-laws.  Our Mother could never have taken care of Grandma Winkless without the help of a considerate and loving husband.  No other man would have taken what our dear Dad took.


When June and Jay moved into the house their first child was just an infant.  Dad and LaVone would carry him out of the bedroom, bed and all, into the kitchen every morning.  Daddy always sang, “Go to Sleep, My Little Buckaroo.”  Buckaroo was shortened to Bucky and that’s how Jay Russell Johnson got his nickname.


Daddy was an artist and musician.  He could draw animals beautifully.  He played the piano with a touch that made everyone within hearing distance want to dance, or hum along with him.  He had made a harness that went around his neck to hold a harmonica and could play that and the piano at the same time.  He was always the life of the party.


We all lived in the old house at 417 West 6th South.  June married Jay Johnson on July 25, 1936.  LaVone married Jack Moulton on March 28, 1941.  Grandma Winkless died in the fall of 1945 leaving Mother and Daddy alone for the first time since they first married.  They should have had a wonderful time, but by now our Dad’s health had really failed.  He died in the old home in October, 1951, when he was just 62 years old.  Earlier in the year he had given up the smoking habit.  He was to be ordained an Elder the week of the death.  He and Mother never made it to the temple.  His work was done after the waiting period of one year.


He loved his grandchildren.  At the time of his death he had seven lovely grandchildren:  Jay Russell Johnson, Brian Johnson, Gordon Johnson, Vaughn K. Moulton, Sydney Moulton (whom he nick named “The Little Princess”), Kathleen Moulton (whom he nick named “Button” from the song “Button and Bows”), and Madeleine Moulton who was just eight months old.  On June 3, 1955 his eighth grandchild was born, June K. Moulton.


We loved our Dad.  He was a wonderful father and he taught us a lot of things that we will always be grateful for.  It has been terribly hard to get over his death.  Perhaps because we always felt that we, his daughters and his wife failed him.  He died thinking he was a failure.  He wasn’t a failure.  We will never be able to measure his worth in silver and gold.  Wherever he is, we know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a part of him and we will be a family forever.


(From notes and journals kept over the years.  Compiled together April 1978)