Kristopher Bradley Kunz, “Kris”, of Cody died Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Aurora, Colo., at the University of Colorado Hospital at the age of 36.
Kris’s life was tragically cut short by the ravages of Leukemia and subsequent treatment.
Kris was born in Cody on April 8, 1983, to Fred and Lorie Kunz and has a brother William “BG” whom all reside in Cody. Kris attended Livingston Elementary School and is a 2002 graduate of Cody High School. Kris studied engineering at the University of Wyoming following high school.
Prior to beginning treatment for cancer Kris spent most of his life living and working on his family’s farm in Diamond Basin on the South Fork. He grew up with an appreciation for the outdoors and an agricultural lifestyle. He enjoyed hunting and fishing in the mountains near his home as well as riding dirt bikes and 4 wheelers in Diamond Basin; he was also an avid snowmobiler at one time.
Kris began to display strong mechanical and creative ability at a young age and could often be found fabricating projects or working on the lathe in the shop.
Kris found great satisfaction and love in being at home with his family raising hay and cattle and working. He always felt a strong connection to the land he grew up on and to the animals he grew up with. He participated in 4H and FFA prior to finishing high school and took several steers to the Park County Fair.
Kris had a strong connection with his dogs and cats too and could often be seen driving a John Deere tractor or Honda 4-wheeler with a springer spaniel next to him. He had a soft place in his heart for animals and helped many strays that showed up on his door step. This part of Kris was also evident in the way he took care of the cattle on the farm.
In addition to the family farm, he helped with his father’s excavation business, IE, LLC. This type of work was an easy cross-over for Kris since it involved running equipment, mechanical know-how and hard work.
Kris combined his creative talents and love for the outdoors and built many custom rifles prior to becoming sick. He showed great ability in this area and was also responsible for most of the ideas that is Beartooth Mercantile; a firearm and outdoor company he dreamed of growing with his brother.
Many people around Cody knew Kris’s smiling face and enjoyed his company. He worked at Rocky Mountain Sports and at the Super Bowl during different times in his life. During this time many more people around Cody got to experience Kris’s affable personality and unique perspective.
Kris’s strength and caring were strongly displayed through his entire 14-month battle with cancer. He remained positive and optimistic through all the hard times and impressed many doctors and nurses with his attitude. As Kris went through more treatment, he often showed more concern for his mother’s wellbeing by his side than he did his own. Kris always showed great love for his family in which he will always remain a major part of.
Kris is preceded by his grandparents William C and Gloria Kunz, and George and Jean Friesen, and his uncle Shaun Friesen.
Kris is survived by his parents Fred and Lorie Kunz, and his brother William “BG.” His other relatives include uncle George and aunt Joanne Friesen of Midland, Texas and cousins Dana Gonzales and Kayla Welsch also of Texas. He also has an aunt Pam Scott and aunt and uncle Billie Jean and Rod Riplett and their children Robert and Tiva all of Billings. Kris’s aunt Lynda Kunz currently lives in Colorado.
Services for Kris are to be held Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Cody at 10 a.m. with burial in Riverside Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday at 5 p.m. at the church.